NASCAR All-Star Race Format: Rationalization of the extra phases, inversions and different adjustments for 2021

NASCAR wants the All-Star Race to go from green flag to checkered flag this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. It tries to do this through the rules of the race.

The annual event regularly includes rule changes designed to increase competition, but NASCAR took some of the adjustments to another level this year. It built in additional stages and developed complicated methods of setting the starting grid in the middle part of the race. Expect a lot of people to say they are confused while trying to figure out what’s next in the race.

Fans may also be confused that the race is taking place in Texas rather than the usual Charlotte venue. Speedway Motorsports, which owns both tracks, has made the switch to ensure Texas will host two cup events this year. Texas’s second race date has been postponed to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

There is some correspondence with the event, however. The All-Star Open will again precede the All-Star Race and again produce three of the last four starters in the field, which this year will comprise 21 vehicles. The last place in the field will again come from an online fan vote. This year’s Open will begin sometime after 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. The main event follows sometime after 8 p.m. ET. FS1 shows both races. The race will be shown on TSN3 in Canada. The radio coverage is provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

Below is a breakdown of the format and rules for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race in Texas, including the new stage procedures.

MORE: Starting grid for the 2021 All-Star Race

NASCAR All-Star Race Format

The conditions of participation for the NASCAR All-Star Race have not changed. Drivers were granted automatic entry in three ways:

  • Win a points event in 2020 or 2021
  • Be a past NASCAR All-Star Race winner and compete in the series full-time
  • Be a past NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full-time

Seventeen drivers qualified according to these criteria.

The drivers who did not meet the criteria will compete in the All-Star Open, which this year will be a 50-lap race in three stages. The winner of each stage moves up to the all-star race, where he starts from behind. The winners of stages 1 and 2 leave the open and start preparing for the all-star race.

The last place in the 21-part All-Star-Race field is determined by a fan vote. The winner of the vote will take part in the race unless that driver has also won a stage in the Open. If the winner of the fan vote wins an open stage, the driver with the second most fan votes gets the place and so on.

The NASCAR All-Star Race pays the winner $ 1 million. No championship points will be awarded. Pit crews compete for a price of $ 100,000 in Stage 5 as all cars have to make a four-tire stop during the first 20 laps of the stage. fastest stop from entry to exit wins. According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, the tiebreaker will be where the cars end in Stage 5.

The cars will run an aerodynamic package with high downforce and a narrower spacer. The horsepower will be in the range of 500-510. According to, the setup is used on Superspeedways.

Stage lengths of the NASCAR All-Star Race

run Stage lengths
The opening 20 rounds | 20 rounds | 10 rounds
All-star racing 15 rounds | 15 rounds | 15 rounds | 15 rounds | 30 rounds | 10 rounds

Now comes the confusion. NASCAR uses several methods to reshuffle the field after Phases 1-4. None of them are straight forward, so here’s an attempt at translation:

  • After phase 1: The best eight to twelve finishers are inverted. The exact number is determined by a random drawing.
  • After level 2: The entire field is inverted.
  • After stage 3: The best eight to twelve finishers are inverted. The exact number is determined by a random drawing.
  • After phase 4: The field is set by the cumulative finish from the first four rounds. The driver with the best overall result (stage win = one point, second place = two points, etc .; lowest total number of points wins) starts the 5th stage from pole. The tiebreakers are the most all-star wins in career, the most points races in the Cup Series and the drivers’ standings in the Cup Series 2021.

NASCAR will no longer mess with the field after Stage 5. The drivers simply start where they left off this stage.

If necessary, there is overtime for all six stages. At the end of stage 6, unlimited attempts can be made to renew. Only laps with a green flag count during the race.

The restart selection rule takes effect. The drivers have the option of restarting in the inner or outer row. You’ll need to make the call before they reach the commitment arrow on the bar. Last year’s All-Star race in Bristol also had a selection rule.

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