NASCAR's annual All-Star Race is getting a new format that pays tribute to Charlotte's "One Hot Night"race of 25 years ago.
The four-stage format for the 2017 Monster Energy All-Star Race on May 20 will reward winning and incorporates a strategy component, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway said in announcing the setup Tuesday.
The Saturday night race format:
—The race will feature four stages (20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps), totaling 70 laps, an ode to the 1992 edition of the same distance.
—The goal for all competitors: earn a spot in the final 10-lap, 10-car stage.
—The winner of each of the first three stages will lock up a spot in the final stage, as long as they remain on the lead lap after the third stage.
—The cars with the best average finish in the first three stages will make up the remaining spots needed to fill the 10-car final stage.
—The remaining 10 cars will be lined up by average finish of the first three stages and given the option to pit. Exit off pit road determines starting order for final stage.
—The winner gets $1 million.
Crew chief strategy comes in as each car will have one set of softer tires — for better grip and, thus, speed —available to use at its discretion. The one caveat:Teams that choose to usethesofter tires to start the final stage must start behind those that use regular tires.
"The Monster Energy All-Star Race is designed to be fun for fans, showcasing the best drivers and race teams in NASCAR …I'm excited to see how the stages play out, especially the final 10-car, 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag,"NASCAR executive VPSteve O’Donnell said in a statement.
Drivers who have already clinched All-Star spots: Chris Buescher, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.