NASCAR Announces 2021 All-Star Race Format

NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway officials announced the details of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race on Wednesday, including a six-segment breakdown of the event.

Through the six rounds of the non-points event, there will be multiple inversions of the running order and the winner will receive $900,000 with an additional $100,000 prize going to the fastest pit crew during a mandatory pit stop during round five. The breakdown for the race is:

  • Round 1: 15 laps with an inversion of the top-eight to top-12 at the end of the round, to be determined by a random draw.
  • Round 2: 15 laps with a full-field inversion at the end of the round.
  • Round 3: 15 laps with an inversion of the top-eight to top-12 at the end of the round, to be determined by a random draw.
  • Round 4: 15 laps.
  • Round 5: 30 laps with the starting lineup for the round set by cumulative finishes from the first four rounds. The best cumulative finisher will start first. All cars MUST make a mandatory pit stop during this round, and the crew that performs the fastest stop will win $100,000.
  • Round 6: 10-lap shootout, with the winner earning $900,000.

In addition to these rules, it was also announced that only green-flag laps will count during the event and that the field would use the 550-horsepower, high-downforce package, but the tapered spacers will be reduced from 59/64th of an inch to 57/64th, decreasing the horsepower to around 510.

This will be the first time since 2003 where the race winner is not guaranteed a $1 million prize and it is just the third time in the event’s history that the race won’t be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway — the 1986 All-Star Race was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and won won by Bill Elliott and the 2020 event was held at Bristol Motor Speedway and was won by Chase Elliott.

Teams that have won a race in 2020 or 2021 and full-time drivers that have either won the All-Star Race or the Cup Series championship in previous years will be locked into the All-Star Race field. As of April 29, 2021, there are 17 teams eligible to enter in the event:

  • Christopher Bell – 2021 win
  • Ryan Blaney – 2020 & 2021 wins
  • Alex Bowman – 2020 & 2021 wins
  • Kurt Busch – 2020 win
  • Kyle Busch – 2020 win 
  • William Byron – 2020 & 2021 wins
  • Cole Custer – 2020 win
  • Austin Dillon – 2020 win
  • Chase Elliott – 2020 wins
  • Denny Hamlin – 2020 wins
  • Kevin Harvick – 2020 wins
  • Brad Keselowski – 2020 & 2021 wins
  • Kyle Larson – 2021 win
  • Joey Logano – 2020 & 2021 wins
  • Michael McDowell – 2021 win
  • Ryan Newman – 2002 All-Star Race winner
  • Martin Truex, Jr. – 2020 & 2021 wins

The All-Star Open, which will consist of any teams that are not locked into the All-Star Race after the June 6 race at Sonoma Raceway, will also return in a three-round format with the first two rounds being 20 laps each and a final 10-lap dash to the finish. The winner of each round will advance to the All-Star Race and the All-Star Fan Vote will help one more driver get into the main event.

The 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race is set to be held on June 13 at 8 p.m. ET with the All-Star Open taking place just before at 6 p.m. ET. Both events will air on FS1 and MRN.

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