NASCAR Shakes Up All-Star Race Format

Kyle Larson

Getty Kyle Larson celebrates a win in the All-Star Race.

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers head to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 22, for the annual All-Star Race. They will battle for the $1 million payday while taking on the new format that features a head-to-head elimination bracket in qualifying.

FOX Sports host Kaitlyn Vincie announced the new format during the April 28 episode of “NASCAR Race Hub.” She revealed to the viewers that the All-Star Race will feature four stages with a total race length of 125 laps.

The first three stages will be 25 laps with the winners moving to the front of the pack for the final stage. Stage 1’s winner will start on the pole for the final stage and Stage 2’s winner will start on the front row. Stage 3’s winner will start third for the final, 50-lap run to the checkered flag.

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While the stage winners will each secure a spot in the first two rows, the fourth driver will rely on his team. There will be a mandatory pit stop during the All-Star Race. The team with the shortest time on pit road will win the pit crew award and will send their driver to the fourth position for the final stage. Though this driver will have had to finish 15th or better in Stage 3.


The All-Star Race Will Feature a Unique Qualifying Format

All-Star Race

GettyThe Cup Series drivers compete in the All-Star Race.

The 2022 All-Star Race will feature four rounds of qualifying. The first will be a straightforward single-car qualifying session with the eight fastest drivers moving on to a three-round elimination bracket.

The head-to-head brackets will feature two drivers lining up in adjacent pit stalls. Their crews will perform a four-tire pit stop. Once the jacks drop, the two drivers will race off pit road and to the start-finish line. The winners will advance to the next round with the final pairing competing 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,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Sr. Vice President of Competition, in a press release. “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.”

“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,” Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage added in the press release. “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.”


The All-Star Open Features a Straightforward Format

Prior to the All-Star Race, there will be a quick race for the winless drivers. They will compete to secure a spot in the main event while trying to avoid sustaining any damage to their stock cars. They must have a drivable car to compete.

According to the announcement, the Open will consist of three stages. The first two will be 20 laps each while the third will be 10 laps. The winner of each segment will move on to the main event, where they will compete for the $1 million payday.

The final spot in the All-Star Race will go to the winner of the fan vote. The driver who receives the most votes will also compete for the payday, provided they did not secure their spot by winning a stage or the All-Star Open.

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