CONCORD, N.C. – The format for this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race has been announced, and among the key changes this season is a unique car setup.
The competition package will be the one used in last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a race won by William Byron. That action-packed event saw 16 different lead changes, and the All-Star Race will serve as a chance to see the package on the NASCAR Cup Series level.
Cars will be fitted with aero ducts, a six-inch-high spoiler with two 12-inch ears, a restrictor plate and the 2014-style splitter.
“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,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “We believe the hard work of the entire industry will provide the best race for our passionate fans.”
The All-Star Race format itself will feature four stages – 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. There will be breaks between every stage – but this year, there will be no mandatory pit strategy. In the final segment, only green flag laps will be counted.
Additionally, overtime will be a possibility in each stage.
Currently, the only Hendrick Motorsports driver eligible to compete in the All-Star Race is Jimmie Johnson. But there are still several ways to for his three teammates to make it into the event as well.
First, winning a race this season prior to the All-Star Race would qualify them for the event.
The winner of the 2018 fan vote will also join the All-Star field. Chase Elliott earned the fan vote in each of the past two seasons.
Additionally, the winner of each of the three stages of the Open will automatically advance to the $1 million event. The Open’s three stages are set at 20, 20 and 10 laps.
The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 19, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and will be broadcast on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.