A race normally held in May just before the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the annual All Star Race this year will be held on July 15 in Thunder Valley at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

As NASCAR works toward filling the stands, a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the race under the lights.

Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith spoke on the race saying, “the NASCAR All-Star Race is an event known for making history, and we will enhance that legacy by hosting the event at Bristol Motor Speedway.”

Noting the state of current events, Smith added, “while Charlotte will always be recognized as the birthplace and traditional home for the All-Star Race, the current data surrounding the pandemic in North Carolina makes Bristol a better option for fan access this summer.”

NASCAR Executive Vice President of Racing Development Steve O’Donnell also spoke on the venue change saying, “we are excited to take one of the most unique races in our sport to one of the most unique race tracks in our sport.  Bristol Motor Speedway puts on classic short-track action every time we race there, and we’re anticipating an elevated level of intensity for the NASCAR All-Star Race.”

The first All Star race was held in 1985 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – the spot that is considered the home track for many of the drivers centered in the Charlotte area.  This year will mark only the second time that the race has not been held in Charlotte; the 1986 race was held in Atlanta where Georgia native Bill Elliott won the race.

Drivers who compete in the All Star race don’t race for points but for bragging rights and a $1 million prize.

Always featuring some unique formats, NASCAR will reveal the details of the annual race in the coming weeks.

While most of the drivers earn their way into the race, there is also a voting process for fans to choose their favourites.  The driver with the most votes who does not race his way into the race via the Open, will get into the race via the fan vote.

Fans may cast one vote per submission per day per email address.  Fans may cast their votes at https://www.nascar.com/fanvote.  Voting ends at noon on July 14.

Drivers competing for the fan vote in this year’s All Star ballot are;
Quin Houff
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Aric Almirola
Ty Dillon
Clint Bowyer
Brennan Poole
Chris Buesche,
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Ryan Preece
John Hunter Nemechek
Cole Custer
Bubba Wallace
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chad Finchum
Joey Gase
B.J. McLeod
JJ Yeley
Brendan Gaughan
Timmy Hill
Ross Chastain
Christopher Bell
Daniel Suarez

Any driver eligible for the fan vote who wins a race between now and the All Star race will automatically become eligible for the All Star race.

Winners of the stages during the Open will also earn a spot in the All Star race main event.

To date 15 drivers have earned their spots into the All Star race main event:
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Newman
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr.
Erik Jones
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Alex Bowman
Justin Haley
Matt Kenseth


feature photo credit: By Eddie Maloney from North Las Vegas, USA – Bristol Motor Speedway, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31880076