Drivers, fans, and even NASCAR officials came away confused and bewildered by Saturday night’s All Star race rules. Add to that the announcers in the TV booth as well. With the intent of making the race more interesting, well they kind of succeeded. The 50-50-13 format had some mandatory pit stops and leader inversions that should have made for quite a race. It was still a good race, it was the things that were hard to explain that were the dissatisfies. Tony Stewart was livid. Harvick could only laugh. Junior did not know his right from his left. It made for great theater, anyway.
Confusion trumps compelling racing in NASCAR All-Star event
NASCAR was looking for more drama in All-Star Race
New format brought confusion, to drivers and fans alike
Joey Logano’s victory overshadowed by rules questions
BY DAVID SCOTT AT THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
NASCAR re-jiggered the format of Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race in the hopes of pumping more drama into the event.
The changes only appeared to cause confusion and hard feelings at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
So, after Joey Logano passed Kyle Larson with three laps to go to win his first All-Star Race (and the $1 million that went with it), only one thing was completely clear: The idea of driving from behind on new tires at the end of the race was better than driving on older ones at the front of the field.
How the race reached that point was a study in misunderstanding and miscommunication, sometimes at about 180 mph. The rules of the new 50-50-13 lap-format, which required a fair amount of study to begin with, nearly came unraveled at times during the race’s first two segments.
“I’m as baffled as anybody,” said Tony Stewart, who wrecked out of the race in the second segment. “It’s the most screwed up all-star race I’ve ever been involved in. I’m just madder than hell because I don’t know how they officiated this race.”
Said Matt Kenseth: “I had no idea what was going on. None.”
And Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “I didn’t know (which) way was up and (which) way was right and left.