Concord, NC (Sports Network) - The payday for the winner of this year's NASCAR
Sprint All-Star Race could be two times more than it has been in previous
Officials from Charlotte Motor Speedway revealed on Tuesday that an additional
$1 million will go to one driver who wins all four 20-lap segments and then
takes the checkered flag for the final 10-lap segment in the all-star (non-
points) race, which is scheduled for May 18. Jimmie Johnson won last year's
event, collecting $1.07 million.
Track president Marcus Smith and defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad
Keselowski unveiled a car made out of $1 million while announcing the bonus
for the all-star race.
"I don't have a strategy but to win," Keselowski said. "I'm just going to go
out there and race as hard as I can to lead every lap, win every segment. And
now it looks like I've got reason to do so."
The length of the race will remain the same as last year -- five segments for
a total of 90 laps. A mandatory four-tire pit stop before the start of the
final segment will continue as well.
However, NASCAR has tweaked the format. After the completion of the fourth
segment (Lap 80), the running order will be repositioned based on average
finish during the first four segments. The highest average finisher will lead
the field onto pit road for the required stop. Then the order of the cars
returning to the track will determine how they lineup for the 10-lap sprint to
"I think last year we had some of the best segments leading up to the 10-lap
shootout that we've ever seen," NASCAR vice president of competition Robin
Pemberton said. "This year puts more importance on every lap because of the
finishes being averaged into each other. So I think it's a step to really
heighten the competition."
NASCAR changed the race format in 2012. The winners of the first four 20-lap
segments moved up to the front of the field before the mandatory pit stop.
Johnson won the first segment but played it safe by running in the back of the
field during the next two rounds. He led all of the final 10 laps for the win.
"This new format is going to make the teams step up," said Johnson's crew
chief, Chad Knaus, who attended the all-star race announcement. "You can't win
this thing if you're not going to be in the top-six for that final segment. So
you're really going to have to push hard to make sure you get some good
Johnson, the five-time series champion, won the Daytona 500 for the second
time on Sunday.
The eligibility requirements for the all-star race stay the same. Eighteen
drivers, including Johnson and Keselowski, are currently eligible. The top-two
finishers from the preliminary event and the fan vote winner will be added to
Any additional drivers who win a Sprint Cup race prior to the all-star event
become eligible as well.
The Sports Network