All-Star Race format unveiled

On Tuesday, NASCAR revealed the race format for May’s Monster Energy All-Star Race.  The 2017 race will feature a nod to the famous 1992 race held 25 years earlier, nicknamed “One Hot Night.”

Eligibility for the race is determined through wins, as race winners from the 2016 and 2017 seasons are guaranteed a spot.  Drivers can also advance if they are a full-time competitor who had won an All-Star Race or a Cup Series championship.

The drivers who are already eligible for the race are Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr.

Drivers who are not locked in will participate in the Monster Energy Open, a 50-lap event divided into stages of 20, 20, and 10 laps.  The winners of each stage advance into the All-Star Race, which will be held later in the evening.  Another method of advancement is through winning the Fan Vote.

The All-Star Race is divided into four stages consisting of three 20-lap segments and one of 10 laps.  The winners of the first three stages advance into the final, provided they are on the lead lap by the end of the third.

The fourth and final stage will consist of 10 cars; in addition to the three stage winners, the final spots are determined by drivers with the best average finish across the first three stages.  Although the starting positions for the final stage is by average finish, pit strategy can change the grid.

Goodyear will also get involved in the race, providing softer tires that give teams better grip and higher speed.  However, drivers who opt to run with soft tires will start the final stage behind those on standard tires.

The winner will receive $1 million.

“The Monster Energy All-Star Race is designed to be fun for fans, showcasing the best drivers and race teams in NASCAR,” Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell stated.  “With the effort that Goodyear has put into this race with multiple tire compounds, I am excited to see how the stages play out, especially the final 10-car, 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag.”

The 2017 Monster Energy All-Star Race will be held on May 20.  Joey Logano is the defending All-Star Race winner.

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