The NASCAR All-Star Race‘s second edition at Texas Motor Speedway will have four stages and an increased role for pit crews. NASCAR announced the weekend format for the event on Thursday.
Traditional single-car qualifying will be followed by a new twist as the top eight are placed in a head-to-head bracket. While a knockout qualifying system is already present in series like Formula E and Nitro Rallycross, the All-Star Race’s take will see both cars begin on pit road where their pit crews perform a four-tyre stop before they begin a one-lap dash. The winner of each duel advances to the next round, with the last two standing vying for the pole.
“The NASCAR All-Star Race highlights our best athletes, from the driver to road crew to the pit crews, and this year’s edition brings that to another level,” commented NASCAR competition senior vice president Scott Miller. “Fans will have a full weekend of exciting competition starting with a unique qualifying format and an All-Star Race that features the top talent in our sport.”
As usual, the Open will allow drivers who have not locked themselves into the All-Star Race to qualify. Those who are already in the event did so by either winning a race in 2021 or 2022, or being a former All-Star Race winner or Cup Series champion who is running the full season. The Open is split into three segments of twenty, twenty, and ten laps. The winner of each will advance to the All-Star, as will the winner of the Fan Vote.
The All-Star Race is four stages long, with the first three being of twenty-five laps. The winners of the three will comprise the top three to start the final, fifty-lap segment. After the first two stages, the pit crews once again play a role as the team with the fastest four-tyre stop will start fourth in Stage #4. However, each of the four must also finish fifteenth or higher in the third stage in order to keep their starting position.
“The incredible intensity of the drivers and teams as well as the Texas-sized excitement from our race fans is what makes the NASCAR All-Star Race just that much more special,” commented Texas Motor Speedway general manager Rob Ramage. “The never-seen-before qualifying format will put even more pressure on drivers and pits crews to perform at their peak. Combining that with the easier-to-follow race format will create more action-packed competition for race fans at Texas Motor Speedway and those watching on FS1 as they watch their favorite drivers battle to earn a $1 million payday.”
As of last Sunday’s Talladega race, twenty drivers are guaranteed a spot in the All-Star Race: A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., and Bubba Wallace.
The race will take place on 22 May. Larson is the defending winner.