NASCAR All Star Race: From ‘the Winston’ to Its Current Format

Published 05/04/2021, 10:45 AM EDT
BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – JULY 15: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, races John H. Nemechek, driver of the #38 YANMAR Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Open at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


The NASCAR All-Star Race is one of the shining jewels of the NASCAR calendar. A race between race victors from the past season and the current season, it also includes all previous victors as well past NASCAR Cup Series champions who run the whole season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Drivers can qualify for the race by two means: by winning one of the three phases in the NASCAR Open race or by winning the fan vote.

The All-Star has gone by different names, starting with The Winston from 1985 to 2003, the Nextel All-Star Challenge from 2004 to 2007, the Sprint All-Star Race from 2008 to 2016, and the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race from 2017 to 2019.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It was moved from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Bristol Motor Speedway last season for COVID-19-related reasons. The 2021 race will be held at another new venue, Texas Motor Speedway, on June 13.

NASCAR shared the format for the 100-lap show race on the 1.5-mile track, and a few changes have been made to the format. However, the race victor will keep on getting a $1 million check toward the end. Unfortunately, no points will be awarded to the driver.

DIVE DEEPER

All You Need to Know About Former NASCAR Team Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

3 months ago

The 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race

The race is getting somewhat of a makeover this year, and the administering body reported the new arrangement.

The rudiments of those progressions incorporate the race being separated into six phases, with the field being altered before the beginning of these rounds. The initial four rounds are 15 laps each; the fifth round is 30 laps and the last one is a 10-lap round.

“Texas has always felt like an All-Star market; it is a big-event market and Texas Motor Speedway thrives under a bright spotlight,” said NASCAR executive VP and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“The entire Speedway Motorsports and TMS team has done an incredible job embracing and elevating this event, creating a must-see show for fans at the track and watching from home on FS1.”

Fortunately, the manners in which drivers can qualify have continued as before: Points race victors in 2020 or 2021, past All-Star Race victors presently contending full time, and past Cup Series champions as of now contending full time.

Drivers can likewise still meet all requirements for the All-Star Race by means of the All-Star Open, which will happen before the headliner. The Open is partitioned into three phases (20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps), and the champ of each stage will move into the All-Star Race, as will the victor of the fan vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

These format changes have left NASCAR fans extremely confused and have received mixed reactions. What do you think of them?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Abhay Aggarwal

420 articles

Abhay Aggarwal is sports analyst at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in early 2020, he has over 300 NASCAR, Formula 1, and Tennis articles to his name. Abhay has been an avid motorsports fan for over a decade, and he even attended the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2011.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories