NASCAR announced on Wednesday the format for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16th.
Headlining the announcement was an increase in the lap count, jumping from 90 to 110 by increasing each of the first four segments by five laps. The final segment will once again consist of 10 laps.
In segments one through four, all laps will count — green and yellow. In the final segment, only green-flag laps will count. Optional pit stops will take place at the conclusion of each of the first three segments. Following the fourth segment, the field will be reset according to each driver’s average finishing position among all four segments. Each team must then make a four-tire pit stop, with the first car off pit road starting first for the final segment.
Also announced was a change to the Sprint Showdown. Instead of having the top-two finishers after the conclusion of 40 laps make the All-Star Race, the winner of each 20-lap segment will make the field.
The race will be run under the 2015 rules package. There had been speculation that the race would be the debut of the 2016 package.
As previously announced, the field will consist of race winners from 2014-2015, past All-Star Race winners from any year, and all former Cup champions. To be eligible, a driver must also be competing full-time in the Cup Series in the current year. The winner will earn $1 million. There are currently 17 drivers eligible to run the race. At least 20 cars will take the green flag, with final three spots filled by the Sprint Fan Vote winner and the winners of each segment of the Sprint Showdown.
“These updates were made to ensure that our fans have every opportunity to see the best drivers in one of our crown jewel events and give them even more on-track action,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said. “Expanding this field and adding laps delivers that to our fans, raising the competition level and ensuring that this race continues to be the biggest all-star event in all of sports.”