NASCAR changes all-star format

all star

NASCAR’s annual all-star race will be split into five segments this year,  with a mandatory pit stop before the final 10-lap sprint for the $1 million prize.

The All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be 90 laps and begin with  four 20-lap segments. The winner of each segment will move to the front of the  field right before the cars head down pit road for their mandatory stop.

Drivers will then line up in the order they leave pit road to start the final  segment.

“It’s sprint, quick races. Twenty-lap races will mean a lot more now if you  can start up front or at least pit first for the final segment, which will mean  everything,” said 2008 winner Kasey Kahne. “In 10 laps here, if you start  anywhere out of the front two rows, you probably don’t have a shot at winning.  To have the best shot at winning the All-Star Race, you’ll want to win one of  those (segments).”

The new format is designed to place a premium on winning one of the first  four segments, as well as showcase pit crews for the mandatory stop before the  10-lap shootout. Steve Addington, crew chief for Kurt Busch’s 2010 win, said  teams will have to decide quickly what to do during the pit stop.

“The guys in that top five or six are going to be the ones with the pressure  on them to decide if they want tires or not,” he said. “There’ll be a guy in  eighth, ninth, 10th that’s going to gamble  going for a million bucks, who will do a splash of fuel, a stop-and-go and get  out and try to get clean air and get away from everyone else.”

There was little drama in last year’s race, with Carl Edwards winning three  of the four segments what was then a 100-lap race. He went onto pit road as the  leader for the mandatory pit stop, was the first car  off pit road, and handily pulled away on the restart to lead all 10 laps of the  final segment.

 

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