In 2014, the Sprint Showdown will not be the same night as the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, immediately preceding the main event as in years past. Instead, the Sprint Showdown will be moved to May 16 (Friday), preceding the Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte scheduled for later that evening.
Instead of the Sprint Showdown, the last chance race to get into the All-Star Race, the All-Star event will be preceded on Saturday (May 17) by qualifying to set the starting grid for the event. That qualifying will consist of three laps for each entrant and those three laps will include a mandatory four-tire pit stop.
“These changes mean fans get even more bang for thier buck here at the greatest place to see the race,” Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith said. “In addition to watching the trucks battle on Friday night and rocking with a pre-race concert with Jack Owen on Saturday, fans will be treated to back-to-back nights of Sprint Cup Series action as drivers leave everything on the track with a $1 million payday on the line.”
Eligibility requirements for the Sprint All-Star Race remain unchanged. Drivers who won a Sprint Cup points-paying race in 2013 and who win a points-paying race in 2014 prior to the May 17 All-Star Race, Sprint Cup champions from the past 10 years and the last 10 All-Star Race winners will automatically be eligible to race in the main event and will not compete in the Sprint Showdown. Drivers already in the All-Star Race include Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, David Ragan, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch.
Drivers competing in the Sprint Showdown will be racing for two of the final three spots in the All-Star Race. The top-two finishers will advance, as well as the winner of an online fan vote.