Story By: DAVID HART / TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – FORT WORTH, TX – NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway have announced the format and eligibility for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 22, that features four stages and 125 laps of on-track competition for a $1 million payday, stage winner incentives, amplified roles for the pit crews, and a distinctive head-to-head elimination qualifying format.
The NASCAR All-Star Race returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive season and this 38th edition brings some unique twists for the eligible Cup drivers pursuing the winner-take-all $1 million payday. The most prominent twist will come in the form of a four-round qualifying format with head-to-head elimination rounds and the pivotal role of the pit crews.
- Opening round is the traditional single-car, one-lap format in reverse order of the current 2022 owner points.
- Fastest eight qualifiers transfer to a three-round, head-to-head elimination bracket.
- Elimination bracket will feature two cars staged in adjacent pit stalls near the end of pit road.
- At the sound of an alert, each pit crew will perform a four-tire stop and, at the drop of the jack, drivers will exit their pit stalls (with no speed limit) onto the track.
- First car back to the start/finish line advances to the next round.
- Final pairing competes for the pole.
The race will consist of four stages, with the first three 25 laps in length and the fourth and final being a 50-lap shootout for the $1 million prize. The new format has provided a major incentive to win any of the opening three stages or the pit stop competition during the break between Stages 2 and 3.
Stage 1 (25 laps): Stage 1 winner will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3.
Stage 2 (25 laps): Stage 2 winner starts second in final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
Special Stage Break (Pit Stop Competition): Each team must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in/pit out) wins the pit crew award and the driver will start fourth in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
Stage 3 (25 laps): Stage 3 winner starts third in final stage.
Stage 4 (50 laps): Stage 1 winner starts first, Stage 2 winner second, Stage 3 winner third and pit stop competition winner fourth. If a “natural” caution occurs between laps 15-25 of the final stage, standard race procedures will be in effect. If no “natural” caution occurs during that time, NASCAR will call an “All Star” competition caution. Winner of the Stage 4 earns $1 million.
“The NASCAR All-Star Race highlights our best athletes — from the driver to road crew to the pit crews — and this year’s edition brings that to another level,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Sr. Vice President, Competition. “Fans will have a full weekend of exciting competition starting with a unique qualifying format and an All-Star Race that features the top talent in our sport.”
“The incredible intensity of the drivers and teams as well as the Texas-sized excitement from our race fans is what makes the NASCAR All-Star Race just that much more special,” Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage said. “The never-seen-before qualifying format will put even more pressure on drivers and pits crews to perform at their peak. Combining that with the easier-to-follow race format will create more action-packed competition for race fans at Texas Motor Speedway and those watching on FS1 as they watch their favorite drivers battle to earn a $1 million payday.”
The NASCAR Open will immediately precede the NASCAR All-Star Race and will consist of three stages (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps). Each segment winner will advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race as will the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans can vote for their favorite driver who has not qualified for the NASCAR All-Star Race by visiting NASCAR.com for details.
Drivers eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race consist of:
- Cup Series drivers who have earned a points-paying race victory in either 2021 or 2022.
- Previous NASCAR All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time this season.
- Previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who are competing full-time this season.
Drivers who currently have clinched a starting spot (through Talladega) and making return visits to the NASCAR All-Star Race are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., and Bubba Wallace.
Cup Series rookie Austin Cindric qualified for his first NASCAR All-Star Race appearance by winning the Daytona 500 in February.
Country music superstar Blake Shelton will perform a live 60-minute concert May 22 beginning at 3 p.m. as part of the NASCAR All-Star pre-race festivities. The full day of NASCAR competition and entertainment activities will conclude with a 60-minute post-race concert performed by legendary Mexican ranchero music group Banda MS.