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NASCAR All-Star Race format for 2019: Rules, stage lengths, how qualifying works

Sporting News logo Sporting News 2 days ago Tadd Haislop
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The one constant regarding the format of NASCAR's All-Star Race over the years is change. That makes the All-Star Race, which in 2019 is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th at 8 p.m. ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will broadcast live on FS1, the perfect medium for experimentation with new rules and aero packages.

The format for the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race is similar to that of last year — four stages consisting of 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps, respectively. Five laps were added to the final stage to make the 2019 NASCAR All-Star race a little lengthier, 85 laps in total. The Monster Energy Open, which will take place a couple hours prior to the All-Star Race and help set the field for Saturday night's main event, will feature a format of three segments (20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps.)

MORE: Watch NASCAR All-Star Race live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

The biggest developments for the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race are additions to a rules package that last year produced one of the most exciting All-Star events in recent memory. The cars in Saturday's All-Star Race will feature a new, single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan as well as a radiator duct that exits through the hood (rather than into the engine compartment.)

"Throughout its history, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race has provided a platform to try new and innovative ideas, some of which we have incorporated on a full-time basis,” said NASCAR executive VP Steve O’Donnell upon announcment of the tweaked aero package last month. "Last year's All-Star rules package resulted in one of the most exciting All-Star Races in history. With a similar package, and added elements that we could see in the next generation race car, we expect another must-watch event."

Added Marcus Smith, the president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc.: "This will be the 35th running of the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, and while it’s known for memorable moments, this race has established a place in history for testing what's best for the future. This is the proving ground. Fans can always look back and see that night racing, stage racing and double-file restarts started in the All-Star Race. And last year’s rules package produced the most three- and four-wide racing I’ve ever seen at Charlotte. This year may provide a peek into the crystal ball for the Gen-7 car, so once again, fans can expect the unexpected."

Below is a full breakdown of the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race format, complete with rules for qualifying.

NASCAR All-Star Race format for 2019: Stage lengths

Stage 1 30 laps
Stage 2 20 laps
Stage 3 20 laps
Stage 4 15 laps

The final stage of last year's All-Star Race consisted of just 10 laps; the addition of five laps to the final stage in the 2019 race is the only tweak to the All-Star Race format.

In the final stage of the All-Star Race, only green-flag laps will count. Both green- and yellow-flag laps will count in the first three stages. NASCAR's typical overtime rules will be in effect for the first three stages, but in the final stage of the All-Star Race, there will be unlimited attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

The Monster Energy Open, scheduled to get the green flag at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday night, will consist of three segments — 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. The leader at the end of each segment will earn a spot in the 2019 NASCAR All-Star race.

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NASCAR All-Star Race 2019: How qualifying works

The rules for eligibility for the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race are as follows (via Charlotte Motor Speedway):

  1. Drivers who have won a points race in either 2018 or 2019 are eligible, as are drivers who have won a previous All-Star Race and compete full time.
  2. Drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full time also are eligible for the event.
  3. Three drivers will join the field by winning one of three stages in the Monster Energy Open.
  4. One driver will also be added to the field by winning a fan vote.

Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. have qualified for the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race via Nos. 1 and 2 of the above criteria.

All other full-time Cup Series drivers will need to earn their spot in the All-Star Race via the Open or the fan vote.

Qualifying to set the field for both the Monster Energy Open and the All-Star Race takes place Friday, May 17 (at 6 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET, respectively) and features a format unique to All-Star weekend. Each car runs three laps and, in the process, must come in for a four-tire stop with no pit road speed limit.

NASCAR All-Star Race 2019: Rules package

Last year's All-Star Race brought a big change in terms of the rules package, one that fueled the permanent change NASCAR made to the aerodynamics and engine specs of its Cup cars for 2019. This year's All-Star Race will feature more changes, some that might be implemented in the Generation 7 car that should be in place by 2021.

Here are the two new rules components for the All-Star Race, from NASCAR's release:

"The first is single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that should offer dramatic improvements in ride height sensitivity for the drivers. This technical component will provide a more stable aero platform and create more consistent performance in traffic."

"Also, the car will be configured with a radiator duct which exits through the hood as opposed to the current design which exits into the engine compartment. This feature will create improved aerodynamic parity and, at the same time, reduce engine temperatures."

The 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race is scheduled to air live on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 18. TV coverage will begin at 5 p.m. ET, with the Monster Energy Open set to take place at 6 p.m. ET, also on FS1.

Kevin Harvick is the defending winner of the NASCAR All-Star Race.

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