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NASCAR Cup: All-Star Race changes revealed

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 19: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Ford, celebrates after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Among the changes to the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race are an extension of the race distance and a possible preview of the next generation Cup Series car, according to an announcement Wednesday evening from the racing sanctioning body. This year’s race is scheduled for May 18 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

“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,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said. “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.”

The exhibition event will consist of four stages. The first three stages will be 30, 20 and 20 laps like the 2018 race, but the fourth stage will be extended by five laps, from 10 to 15 laps. Both green and yellow-flag laps will count in the first three stages, but the stages will end under green. Only green-flag laps will count in the final stage.

Cars will be required to have a single-piece, carbon fiber splitter pan that is expected in improve ride height sensitivity and make the cars more aerodynamically stable. Cars also will be equipped with radiator ducts that exit through hoods instead of engine compartments to increase parity between the cars and reduce engine temperatures. During its announcement, NASCAR hinted that changes to cars for the All-Star Race may be previews of the seventh Generation race cars expected to be introduced in 2021.

“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,” Speedway Motorsports Inc. President Marcus Smith said. “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.”

Eligibility for the All-Star Race remain the same — points-paying race winners of 2018 and to the point of the All-Star Race this season and former All-Star Race winners and past Cup Series champions who still race in the series full-time. By those criteria, drivers already qualified for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race include 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.

Four additional All-Star Race starting spots will be up for grabs the day of the race through the Monster Energy Open and fan vote. Each stage winner and race winner in the Open, comprised of two 20-lap stages and a 10-lap stage, and the winner of the fan vote will advance to start in the final four positions of the All-Star Race.

The Monster Energy Open is scheduled for an approximate 6 p.m. ET green flag on May 18, with the All-Star Race to follow at approximately 8 p.m. Both may be seen live on FOX Sports 1.

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Posted by on April 18, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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