What is Different About the New Format for 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway?

Published 05/01/2021, 5:15 PM EDT
Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano (22) and Kevin Harvick (4) lead the field at the start of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports


Later on this year, NASCAR plays host to its annual mid-season exhibition event, the All-Star Race. On an interesting note, the All-Star race is going to be a lot more different than previous years. Recently, the governing body announced that they are trialing a new format.

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This year, the Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the All-Star race, as opposed to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Last year, the Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the iconic event, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the June 13th race will be the first time Texas hosts the event.

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)

Additionally, only green flag laps count in the NASCAR All-Star race. In-race perks include a $100,000 cash prize for the fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop.

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What is different about this NASCAR All-Star race?

As per reports, the 100-lap exhibition race will be broken up into six stages. Of course, the race winner still earns a $1 million check as opposed to points towards the driver standings. Each of these stages are known as rounds and NASCAR may choose to reverse the grid at the start of some rounds.

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The first four rounds last around 15 laps each, comprising a total of 60 laps. Meanwhile, the fifth round stretches for 30 laps and the final round is a 10-lap shootout. It is also worth noting that the starting lineup will be determined through a random draw. The first reverse grid takes place in Round 2 and again for Round 3 and 4.

On an interesting note, Round 5’s starting grid consists of the cumulative results from Rounds 1 to 4. The last driver from the cumulative results starts on the pole and the grid progresses from there. Finally, Round six commences with the winner of Round 5 on pole and the grid runs down from there.

This year’s field includes Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, the Busch brothers and William Byron. Also joining them are Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Finally, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr make up the rest of the grid so far. However, there is a chance that more drivers could join the list by the next six races.

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Dhruv George

11386 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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