DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced the format for the NASCAR All-Star Race Wednesday evening, including the introduction of a ‘choose rule’ that will allow drivers to pick which lane they line up in for restarts.
The news was first broken on FS1’s NASCAR Race Hub.
Popular among short track fans, the choose rule will fittingly make its NASCAR national series debut during the first NASCAR All-Star Race held on a short track.
NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports officials had previously announced the race was moving to Bristol from Charlotte Motor Speedway, which had hosted 34 of the All-Star Race’s 35 previous editions.
As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart. The rule adds more strategy than traditional restarts, where drivers line up in the order they come off pit road.
“There has already been an incredible amount of buzz around this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race with the move to Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “In addition to the thrilling racing we’re used to seeing at Bristol, the choose rule is going to add another dynamic to the race. Drivers and fans have been asking for this change and I can’t think of a better time to try it than the All-Star Race.”
“This NASCAR All-Star Race under the bright lights of Bristol is setting up to be a memorable event for ages to come,” added Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “With a million dollar payout and no championship points on the line in this all out high-banked short track clash, it’s surely going to be a race that fans will not want to miss.”
The race will still have four stages, lasting 55 laps, 35 laps, 35 laps and 15 laps. Both green flag and yellow flag laps will count in the first three stages, with only green flag laps counting in the final stage.
In the final stage, if the race is restarted with two or less laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green flag conditions.
The NASCAR Open will take place prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments of 35 laps, 35 laps and 15 laps. The winner of each segment will earn a spot in the All-Star Race, along with the winner of the Fan Vote.
Technical rules for the cars will remain the same as other NASCAR Cup Series short track races, including the May 31 race at Bristol.
The liveries will sport a new look, however, as the car number will move from the door towards the rear wheel in an effort to give more exposure to the teams’ sponsors.
Those eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include drivers who won a points event in either 2019 or 2020; drivers who have won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full time; and drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full time.
Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot are Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.