NASCAR announces changes for Sprint All-Star Race
A set of changes concerning Sprint All-Star Race has been announced by NASCAR officials today. The biggest difference is the duration of the race. It will now be 20 laps longer than the 2014 Race and the first four segments of the five-segment race will include 25 laps, compared to 20 in recent years. The final segment, remains at 10 laps and pays $1 million to the winner.
Also, for the first time, the race will include ll former all-star race winners and Sprint Cup Series champions, compared to those of the past ten years as was the case in the years behind us. The field will have a minimum of 20 drivers and there are currently 17 drivers eligible. Two out of three eligible spots on the grid are reserved for the segment winners from the two 20-lap Sprint Showdown segments, while the final spot belongs to the Sprint Fan Vote winner. His identity will be revealed in Victory Lane after the Sprint Showdown.
Drivers in the all-star race will compete in cars that conform the current set of rules. Drivers’ average finish from first four segments will determine the order the cars will enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop following the fourth segment. Also, running order ties will be broken by the finish of the fourth segment. The order of the cars returning to the track following the mandatory pit stop determines the starting order for the final winner-take-all segment.
All laps will count in segments one through four. In the fifth and final segment, only green flag laps will be counted. There will be optional pit stops during the breaks following each of the first three segments, with the field set by the pit stop/stay out positioning during the five caution laps.
The following drivers are currently eligible to compete in this year’s 31st running of the all-star race: AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, last year’s winner Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell has commented on the new set of rules: “These updates were made to ensure that our fans have every opportunity to see the best drivers in one of our crown jewel events and give them even more on-track action. Expanding this field and adding laps delivers that to our fans, raising the competition level and ensuring that this race continues to be the biggest all-star event in all of sports.”
The 2015 Sprint All-Star Race will air live on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET on May 16