What you need to know ahead of the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race

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NASCAR All-Star Race

8 p.m. ET, Sunday, June 13

Texas Motor Speedway

Fox Sports 1

Format

Six stages, 100 laps

Caution laps do not count toward the 100-lap total

Race winner earns $1 million

Drivers already qualified

Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr.

Drivers are already qualified for the All-Star Race if they won a race in 2020 or 2021, have won an All-Star Race before or have won a Cup Series championship before.

Drivers trying to qualify

Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, Matt DiBenedetto, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, Corey LaJoie, Anthony Alfredo, Quin Houff, James Davison, Josh Bilicki, Austin Cindric, Cody Ware, BJ McLeod, Justin Haley, Garrett Smithley, Timmy Hill, David Starr

Drivers above are listed in the order they will start the Open qualifying race (6 p.m. ET) via where they are in the 2021 points standings. The three-stage qualifying race is 50 laps (20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps) and the winner of each stage qualifies for the All-Star Race. The most popular non-winning driver in a fan vote will also get voted into the race.

A new site

This year’s All-Star Race is the first held at Texas Motor Speedway. The race was moved to Texas after NASCAR added Circuit of the Americas in Austin to the Cup Series schedule and a points race was taken away from Texas. It’s the second consecutive year where the All-Star Race hasn’t been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Lots of restarts

There are five guaranteed restarts over 100 laps in the six-stage All-Star Race. You may not restart your phone five times in a month.

It has long been obvious that NASCAR thinks restarts create the best highlights for fans and that’s transparent with the number of restarts in Sunday’s race. Throw in a horsepower reduction from 550 HP to 510 in the cars’ engines and NASCAR really, really, really wants cars to be close together over the course of the race.

We’ll see if the horsepower reduction and all the restarts make the race entertaining. Dirty air still exists and drivers will have even less ability to accelerate around each other Sunday.

Lots of inverts

NASCAR is also hoping to spice up the race by making the race format as complicated and convoluted as possible. Try and follow along below.

• The starting lineup for the race was determined by random draw. Larson (who else?) starts first. The four drivers from the open race will start in 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st.

• The top finishing cars from the first stage will be scrambled via a random draw ahead of the second stage. That random draw could include as few as the top eight finishers or as many as the top 12.

• The entire field will be inverted after the second stage before the third stage in reverse finishing order of the second stage.

• The top finishing cars from the third stage will be scrambled via a random draw ahead of the fourth stage. That random draw could include as few as the top eight finishers or as many as the top 12.

• There is no invert after the fourth stage. Instead, the starting order for the fifth stage will be determined by the average finish of each driver across the top four stages. The drivers will be lined up from best to worst average finish.

• From there, it’s an actual straight-up race. The finishing order of the fifth stage determines the starting lineup of the sixth stage. The winner of the sixth and final stage wins the race.

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