CONCORD, N.C. -- This year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race features changes designed to make it the most thrilling yet.
The event -- which takes place on Saturday, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- will span 113 laps.
Those laps will be split into three segments. First, two 50-lap portions with mandatory green-flag pit stops that are designed to help shuffle the field. They will be followed by a final 13-lap race to the checkered flag.
Just before the start of the final segment, a random draw will determine whether the top nine, 10 or 11 cars will be required to head to pit road for a four-tire stop.
The rest of the field will stay out on the track on older tires, with the competitors in fresh tires lining behind them for the final sprint to the finish.
As always, the winner will take home a $1 million prize.
“We worked with NASCAR and talked to several drivers to gather feedback for what they thought would make the very best race for the fans,” Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith said.
Already, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are eligible to participate in the All-Star Race. Currently, Chase Elliott is is one of 25 competitors vying for the chance to participate in the event via fan vote.
The polls are open as fans have the opportunity to vote a driver of their choice into the field.
“The drivers don’t all agree on the perfect strategy," Smith continued, "which means some drivers will be fighting on race-worn tires to stay up front at the end, while others will be charging through the field on new tires after the final pit stop. At the end of the final shootout, one driver will have a million reasons why ‘13’ is a lucky number.”
The format is designed to harken back to the early days of the All-Star Race, with longer segments designed to put the racing into the drivers' hands followed by a thrilling final segment that introduces the unknown of the fresh versus worn tires.
After the first segment, teams will be required to make a pit stop with a minimum two-tire change. During the second segment, there will be a mandatory green-flag pit stop with once again a minimum two-tire change prior to Lap 85.
Only green-flag laps will be counted in the final dash.
“The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has long been a fan favorite,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. “We think this year’s format will ensure one of the best all-star races to date and we can’t wait to see it play out.”
In addition, the Sprint Showdown -- on Friday, May 20 -- has been updated to two 20-lap segments followed by a final 10-lap segment, with the three segment winners advancing to the Sprint All-Star Race.
The field for the first segment will be set by practice speed, while the field for the second and third segments will be set by pit-road order following mandatory minimum two-tire pit stops.
Live coverage of the Sprint Showdown begins Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will also carry the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.