NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway today announced the format and competition package for the May 19 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, both tailored to achieve one goal – the best possible race for the fans.
For the first time, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will implement the competition package used in last season’s successful NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which saw record numbers in leaders, lead changes and green flag passes for the lead.
Each car will be fitted with aero ducts, a six-inch-high spoiler with two 12-inch ears, a restrictor plate and the 2014 style splitter. Working in concert, these additions create a unique aerodynamic effect, the results of which received high praise from fans and competitors following last year’s Xfinity race at Indianapolis.
“NASCAR is committed to innovation and will always work to improve the racing product for every series and venue,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “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 format for the annual non-points event will include four stages – 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. Only green flag laps will be counted in the Final Stage. Normal stage break procedures will be in effect, with one exciting addition: NASCAR Overtime will be in play for all stages. Of note, there will be no mandatory pit strategy as in some of the previous editions of the event.
The Monster Energy Open will be three stages set at 20, 20 and 10 laps respectively. Each stage winner will advance to the evening’s main event.
“The All-Star Race has a long history of edginess and innovation. We want to challenge drivers, spark on-track action and create the best show for the fans,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. “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.”
Joey Logano – the 2016 All-Star Race winner – tried out the rules package when he finished third in last year’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis.
“No one knows how this package will race around each other (in a Cup Series car),” Logano said. “The All-Star Race is the perfect opportunity to try something new and out of the box from a rules perspective. I’m glad we are taking this opportunity.”
The field for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race will include Monster Energy Series race winners in 2017 and 2018; former all-star race winners who are competing full-time; Monster Energy Series champions who are competing full-time; the winner of each of the three stages of the Monster Energy Open; and the winner of the 2018 Fan Vote.
Currently, the following drivers are eligible to compete: 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.