DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2010) – The 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will once again feature a 10-lap shootout as its final segment and will add a new wrinkle that should make the competition even more exciting for the fans.
The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, set for Saturday, May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (SPEED, 7 p.m.), will consist of four segments, concluding with a 10-lap sprint and a $1 million pay-out to the race winner. There’s an added twist this year before the green flag drops for the final segment: once the field takes a lap behind the pace car, all cars must enter pit road for a four-tire stop. The order in which the cars exit off pit road is how they will line up for the final 10 laps, placing an even greater premium on the efficiency of the pit crews.
The 2010 format is as follows:
Segment 1: 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on Lap 25 at which time teams must pit and take on four tires. Following the end of Segment 1, the caution flag will be displayed for an optional pit stop.
Segment 2: 20 laps with the caution flag displayed at the end of Segment 2 for an optional pit stop.
Segment 3: 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end of Segment 3. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the field’s lineup for the pace lap prior to the start of the fourth segment.
Segment 4: Once the field takes a lap behind the pace car, all cars must enter pit road for a four-tire stop. The order in which the cars exit pit road is how they will line up for the 10-lap shootout with only green-flag laps counting.
“We saw last year just how competitive this format can be, with Tony Stewart battling Matt Kenseth for the win on the final couple of laps,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “With the addition of the four-tire pit stop, there is going to be even greater competition between the pit crews on who can get their driver serviced and out the quickest. I think the fans are in for quite a show.”
NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. has competed in three NASCAR Sprint All-Star events and is hoping to earn a coveted starting spot.
“This is really a truly exciting event for the drivers and teams to be part of,” said Truex. “I've been fortunate enough to race in this event three times, been voted in, raced my way in and qualified my way in by winning a Sprint Cup event. I can tell you this is truly an event we all want to be a part of. We think it's great. It's awesome to get the pit crews involved.
“The changes this year are going to be incredible. I will be campaigning this year for the fan vote as we stand here right now. Since we're kicking all this off a little bit early, I need to encourage all the fans to vote for their favorite driver, not mention any names, Martin Truex, Jr., obviously. But we look forward to it. It's a great event obviously. All these people, thank you to Sprint for all they do for us, make these events exciting. This is truly a no-holds-barred, best-of-the-best of Sprint Cup racing going at it in a Shootout for a million bucks. It doesn’t get any better than that. We want to be a part of it. Thank all the fans for voting in advance.
“Obviously of the changes with the pit crew thing, look forward to that, too. I’ve got the best crew on pit road this year. They’ve showed that the last two weeks with the Tissot Precision Pit Crew Award. Hopefully I get a chance in those last 10 laps to show what they can do.”
Mark Martin, a two-time NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner, is looking forward to competing in his 21st all-star event this year, which is the most of any driver.
“I love the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race as much as the fans do,” said Martin.
The eligibility standards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same: race winners from either the 2009 or 2010 season through May 16 or any past champions of the all-star event or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (over the previous 10 years) are eligible for the race. In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race lineup. Joey Logano won the Sprint Fan Vote last year.
Individual tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and CREED pre-race concert start at just $39, and four-pack prices with four tickets, four hot dogs and four soft drinks start at just $35 per person. Tickets can be obtained by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at (800) 455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
The sixth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman returns to kick off the all-star week’s competition, Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The event’s finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team is the defending Pit Crew Challenge champion. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Charlotte Bobcats ticket office at (800) 495-2295.
Drivers currently eligible for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (as of March 17): Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, Tony Stewart, and Brian Vickers.