Explaining the Sprint All-Star Race


allstar_14The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, scheduled for Saturday night, isn’t your typical Sprint Cup Series race, and not just because there are not points on the line. The format is completely different.

The race has a total distance of 90 laps, broken up into four 20-lap segments and one final 10-lap sprint to the win. Caution flag laps between the two segments do not count toward the 90-lap total.

Pit stops are optional throughout the segments and during the yellow flags following the first three segments. And as usual, after pitting during those times, drivers line-up based on where they blend in with the field after leaving pit road. After the fourth and final 20-lap segment, though, a four-tire stop is mandatory.

Prior to the manadatory stop during the caution between the fourth and fifth segments, cars will be lined up based on their average finishes in the first four segments. Then, everyone will head down pit road for four tires. Cars will then line up to restart the 10-lap sprint to the finish in the order in which they got off pit road. Only green-flag laps will count in the final segment.

A couple other difference between the All-Star Race and your typical Sprint Cup event relate to green-white-checker finishes and red-flag conditions. Normally, there is a limit of three green-white-checker attempts. That limit doesn’t exist in the All-Star Race. Also, unlike in a normal race, teams may work on their cars during any possible red-flag periods.

Qualifying

Qualifying for the All-Star Race is also an animal of a totally different kind. Drivers entered in the All-Star Race (race winners from 2013 and to this points in 2014, winners of the All-Star Race in the past-10 years, the winner and second-place finisher of the Sprint Showdown, and a fan vote winner), will each make single-car runs of three laps that include a four-tire pit stop. There will be no pit road speed limit.

Qualifying for the All-Star Race is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday, with the race to follow at 9 p.m. Both may be seen live on FOX Sports 1.

Nineteen drivers were on the original entry list for the All-Star Race. They include: Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Brian Vickers.

Clint Bowyer won the Sprint Showdown on Friday night, and A.J. Allmendinger finished second to join the All-Star Race entrants. Josh Wise won the fan vote to claim the 22nd entry.

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Tags: Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR Popular Sprint All-Star Race