Sunday, August 1

NASCAR All-Star Race Format: Explaining Additional Stages, Reversals, and Other Changes for 2021

NASCAR wants this weekend’s All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway to be lively from green flag to checkered flag. He is trying to achieve that through the rules of the race.

The annual event regularly includes rule changes that are intended to increase competition, but NASCAR took some of the adjustments to another level this year. That put in additional stages and intricate methods devised to place the grid in the middle of the race. Expect many people to say that they are confused while trying to figure out what will come next in the race.

Fans may also be baffled by the race in Texas instead of the usual venue, Charlotte. Speedway Motorsports, which owns both tracks, made the switch to ensure Texas had two Cup events this year. Changed the date of the second race from Texas to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

However, there is some consistency with the event. The All-Star Open will once again precede the All-Star Race and will again produce three of the last four starters on the field, which this year will be 21 cars. Last place on the field will again come from an online fan vote. This year’s Open will begin sometime after 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. The main event will follow sometime after 8pm ET. FS1 will show both runs. The race will be shown on TSN3 in Canada. Radio coverage will be provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Below is a breakdown of the format and rules for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race in Texas, including the procedures for the new stage.

MORE: Starting Lineup for 2021 All-Star Race

NASCAR All-Star Race Format

The eligibility requirements for the NASCAR All-Star Race did not change. Drivers obtained automatic entry in three ways:

  • Win a points event in 2020 or 2021
  • Be a previous NASCAR All-Star Race winner and compete full-time in the Series
  • Become a NASCAR Cup Series Champion and compete full time.

Seventeen drivers qualified through those criteria.

Drivers who did not meet the criteria will compete in the All-Star Open, which this year will be a 50-lap race divided into three stages. The winner of each stage will advance to the All-Star Race, where they will start from behind. The winners of stages 1 and 2 will exit the Open and begin preparing for the All-Star Race.

Last place in the 21-car All-Star Race field will be determined by a fan vote. The winner of the vote will enter the race, unless that driver has also won a stage at the Open. If the winner of the fan vote won an open stage, then the pilot with the second highest number of fan votes will get the spot, and so on.

The NASCAR All-Star Race pays $ 1 million to the winner. Championship points are not awarded. Pit crews will compete for a $ 100,000 prize on Stage 5 as all cars must make a stop on four tires during the first 20 laps of the stage; the fastest stop from entry to exit wins. For Bob Pockrass from Fox Sports, the tiebreaker will be where the cars finish on Stage 5.

The cars will use a high downforce aerodynamic package with a narrower spacer. Horsepower will be in the 500-510 range. For, the setting is used in superspeeds.

Duration of the NASCAR All-Star Race stages

Race Stage lengths
The opening 20 laps | 20 laps | 10 laps
All-Star career 15 laps | 15 laps | 15 laps | 15 laps | 30 laps | 10 laps

Now comes the confusion. NASCAR is using multiple methods to rearrange the field after Stages 1-4. None of them are straightforward, so here is an attempted translation:

After Stage 1: The first eight to 12 finalists will be reversed. The exact number will be determined by random drawing.
After Stage 2: The entire field will be reversed.
After Stage 3: The first eight to 12 finalists will be reversed. The exact number will be determined by random drawing.
After Stage 4: The field will be established by cumulative completion of the first four rounds. The rider with the best cumulative result (stage win = one point, second place = two points, and so on; lowest cumulative score wins) will start Stage 5 from pole. The tiebreaks are the majority of his career All-Star victories, the most Cup Series points race victories, and the 2021 Cup Series driver standings.

NASCAR will not enter the field after Stage 5. Drivers will simply restart from where they left off that stage.

If necessary, there will be overtime for all six stages. Unlimited overtime attempts can be made at the end of Stage 6. Only green flag laps will count during the race.

The election rule for restarts will be in effect. Drivers have the option of restarting in the inner or outer row. They will have to make the call before reaching the engagement arrow on the track. Last year’s All-Star Race in Bristol also had a choice rule.

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