In the week before the longest race of the season, NASCAR holds its annual All Star race in the Monster Energy Cup Series.
On May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 20 of the best drivers in the Series will battle it out…but not for playoff points or standings. The prize is $1 million.
The All Star race features different formats than the traditional races with heats and shootouts that make for some excitng races.
The biggest format change for 2018 is the restrictor plate. For the first time outside of the super speedways tracks in Daytona and Talladega, the car setups will include the use of a restrictor plate. The cars will also have a six inch spoiler with 12 inch “ears” on each side and the splitter and aero ducts design from 2014.
NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway chose the package configuration in hopes of promoting passing among the drivers.
The All Star race is 80 laps around the one and a half mile track and will consist of four stages…
Stage one ends on lap 30
Stage two ends on lap 50
Stage three ends on lap 70
Stage four ends on lap 80 with only green flag laps counting toward the race total.
Unlike the regular races, the stages will not end under the yellow flag conditions and the overtime rule will be in effect.
And unlike past years, there will be no required pit stop in the middle of the race and the field will not be inverted at any time in the race.
The All Star race is only open to drivers who are competing full time and…
have won a race in 2017 and 2018
any past All Star race winner
and any former Monster Energy Cup Series champion
There is also a fan vote and the Open race winners that will be a part of the main race.
While there is no mandatory pit stop during the race, there will be a mandatory pit stop during the three lap qualifying event. The big difference in making a pit stop during qualifying and the race is that there is no pit road speed limit during the qualifying pit stop.
So far 17 drivers have qualified for eligibility in the All Star race; with the final racers to be determined at the track on Saturday night.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr