New All-Star Race, Sprint Showdown Formats Announcedby Kyle Pokrefky May 6, 2016 0 comments
Expect changes aplenty for this year’s Sprint All-Star Race and Sprint Showdown.
NASCAR formally revealed the new formats for both exhibition races on Friday afternoon with notable differences being featured for the 2016 runnings of both events.
The All-Star Race will convert to a three-segment race with the first two segments standing at 50 laps with the final segment lasting for 13 laps.
The starting order of the first segment of the race will be determined by qualifying speeds and will require a mandatory green-flag minimum two-tire pit stop. The second segment’s starting order will be set by pit road’s exit order from another mandatory minimum two-tire pit stop.
During the break between Segments 2 and 3, NASCAR will randomly draw a number that will select either the top-nine, top-10 or top-11 drivers at the conclusion of Segment 2 and mandate those drivers to make a minimum four-tire pit stop during the break. Pit road will only be open to the drivers selected to make the pit stop during the break. Green flag laps will only count during the final 13-lap segment of the race.
The Sprint Showdown has also received a change to its format with the qualifying race for the All-Star Race now being split up into three individual segments.
The starting order for Segment 1 will be set by practice speeds and will run for 20 laps. Segment 2’s starting order will be set by pit road’s exit order after a mandatory minimum two-tire pit stop during the break and will also run for 20 laps. Segment 3 will run for 10 laps and will also have its starting order set by the pit road exit order from a minimum two-tire pit stop.
Each segment winner of the Showdown will transfer into the All-Star Race with the Segment 1 and 2 winners no longer continuing in the Showdown following their wins.
Eligibility requirements for the All-Star Race remain relatively unchanged for 2016.
Race winners from the 2015 and 2016 seasons will be entered for the exhibition with past All-Star Race winners and past Sprint Cup champions also earning berths into the race.
Using these parameters, the active full-time drivers currently eligible to compete in this year’s running of the All-Star Race are Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman.
The Sprint Fan Vote will also remain for this year, with the winner transferring into the All-Star Race.
If a minimum of 20 drivers is not met once the Sprint Showdown has been completed and the Fan Vote winner has been declared, the remaining spots on the grid will be filled by the next highest driver(s) in the Fan Vote tally.
Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images