NASCAR Reveals All-Star Race Details
The rules package for the 2018 weekly exhibition race draws from the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NASCAR announced on Tuesday the aerodynamic rules package and event format for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race scheduled for May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carlolina. Cars will run an aero package similar to the one used by the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year in a companion race to the 2017 Brickyard 400. Meanwhile the race format has been simplified.
“NASCAR is committed to innovation and will always work to improve the racing product for every series and venue,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said during the official announcement. “The yearly Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race is an opportunity to see your favorite drivers compete under a unique and exciting format and rules package. The positive feedback following last year’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis gave us the foundation to implement this dynamic package for the All-Star Race. We believe the hard work of the entire industry will provide the best race for our passionate fans.”
The aero package will include a restrictor plate, aero ducts, a 6-inch rear spoiler with 12-inch ears, and a 2014-style splitter.
Mandatory pit stops have been a feature of the All-Star Race in the past, but not this year. Also the race has been extended to a length of 80 laps, split into four stages of 30, 20, 20, and 10 laps. Only green-flag laps will count in the final 10-lap sprint to the finish. Also, no stage will end under yellow, so there is the potential for overtime in each stage.
“The All-Star Race has a long history of edginess and innovation,” Speedway Motorsports Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith said during the announcement. "We want to challenge drivers, spark on-track action and create the best show for the fans. This race has always been a proving ground for some of the best innovations in our sport, from running under the lights to stage racing and double-file restarts. It’s the perfect opportunity to try something different, and with a 10-lap shootout for a million dollars, expect the unexpected on May 19.”
Drivers eligible for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race include winners of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2017 and up to the point of the All-Star Race this year, past winners of the All-Star Race who still compete in the series full-time, past series champions who are still competing full-time, stage winners from the preliminary Monster Energy Open and the winner of an online fan vote.
The Monster Energy Open will be a 50-lap race, divided into two 20-lap stages and a 10-lap stage contested by drivers not already qualified for the All-Star Race.
Drivers already qualified for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, seven races into the season, include Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Martin Truex Jr.