Breaking down seven things to know about the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas
NASCAR is headed to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, however it’s taking a break from its conventional points races that count towards the routine season champion and playoff standings.
Rather, Texas will host the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race — an enjoyable and usually quick mid-season exhibit occasion with a big handbag (however more on that later).
Compared with previous All-Star Races, this year’s occasion got a little bit of a remodeling, from the format to the host track. And in between the modifications and the different methods motorists have the ability to get approved for the exhibit race, it’s a lot to monitor.
So here’s a breakdown of 7 essential things to learn about the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race.
The essentials: When is the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race?
Date: Sunday, June 13
Time: 8 p.m. ET. TELEVISION: FS1
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
When is certifying? 6 p.m. ET, Sunday, June 13, however more on that later on…
A brand-new format for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race
In April, NASCAR revealed its brand-new format for the 2021 All-Star Race, and it left fans beyond baffled (most likely since it’s needlessly complicated). So here’s our effort to streamline it as much as possible.
The race will be 100 laps divided into 6 rounds.
Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each, Round 5 will be 30 laps and Round 6 surfaces with a 10-lap shootout.
Just green-flag laps will count towards the lap overall.
There is a necessary, four-tire rest stop throughout Round 5.
Sounds basic enough, however that’s just the start since the order motorists will reboot in at the start of brand-new rounds differs.
The Round 1 beginning lineup was figured out with a random draw.
For Round 2, the field will be inverted with a random draw, beginning anywhere in between 8th and 12th.
For Round 3, the whole field will be inverted.
For Round 4, the field will be inverted with a random draw, once again beginning anywhere in between 8th and 12th.
The Round 5 beginning lineup will be figured out based upon motorists’ cumulative surfaces through the very first 4 rounds. The motorist with the very best cumulative surface will begin initially, while the motorist with the worst cumulative surface will begin last. If there is a requirement for a tiebreaker, it will be figured out in this order: Many All-Star Race wins, a lot of profession Cup Series race wins and after that existing motorist standings.
For Round 6, the beginning order will be set based upon motorists’ completing positions in Round 5.
Per NASCAR, this is the description of the guidelines bundle for the 2021 All-Star Race:
The guidelines setup for the All-Star Race will utilize the high-downforce aerodynamics bundle at the 1.5-mile track, however engines will utilize a tapered spacer decreased from 59/64th of an inch to 57/64th. That setup is presently utilized on superspeedways, where horse power targets remain in the 500-510 variety.
What is the reward for winning NASCAR’s All-Star Race?
Per typical, the winner of NASCAR’s All-Star Race gets a huge look for $1,000,000, so that currently makes this exhibit occasion a huge offer. However in addition to the check, the winner likewise gets this three-foot high, 100-pound piston-style prize.
And for that mandatory, four-tire pit stop during Round 5, the fastest team will earn a $100,000 reward.
Is every NASCAR driver eligible for the All-Star Race?
No, not every NASCAR Cup Series driver is eligible for the All-Star Race. And there are a few different ways drivers can qualify.
Drivers are eligible for the exhibition event if they won a points race in 2020 or 2021, won a previous All-Star Race and are current full-time drivers or won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and are current full-time drivers.
Through one of these avenues, 17 drivers have already locked themselves into the 2021 All-Star Race. Those already qualified are:
Christopher Bell, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota; Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Team Penske Ford; Alex Bowman, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet; Kurt Busch, No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; Kyle Busch, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota; William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet; Cole Custer, No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford; Austin Dillon, No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet; Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet; Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota; Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford; Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Team Penske Ford; Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet; Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford; Michael McDowell, No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford; Ryan Newman, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford; Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Drivers can likewise race their way into the NASCAR All-Star Race (or get voted in)
Being a NASCAR Cup Series race winner or champion aren’t the only ways drivers can qualify for the All-Star Race. They can also drive their way in throughout the NASCAR All-Star Open, which is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. ET right before the main event.
The All-Star Open will be broken into three segments — 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps — and the starting lineup was determined based on group owner points.
The winners of the first two segments, along with the first-place finisher in the Open itself, will advance to the All-Star Race.
But if drivers can’t get in any of those ways, there’s still one more option. Leading up to the All-Star weekend, fans were able to vote for their favorite motorist.
So the remaining spot for the All-Star Race will go to the motorist with the highest tally in the fan vote who is not otherwise qualified for a total of 21 motorists this year. But that won’t be announced until after the NASCAR All-Star Open.
Full-time drivers who could win the fan vote include:
Bubba Wallace, No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota; Daniel Suárez, No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet; Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford; Erik Jones, No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet; Ross Chastain, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; Chase Briscoe, No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford; Tyler Reddick, No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet; Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet.
What active NASCAR drivers have previously won the All-Star Race?
Eight drivers currently still racing full-time in NASCAR have won the All-Star Race before: Ryan Newman: 2002; Kevin Harvick: 2007, 2018; Kurt Busch: 2010; Denny Hamlin: 2015; Joey Logano: 2016; Kyle Busch: 2017; Kyle Larson: 2019; Chase Elliott: 2020.
As you can see, Harvick is the only active driver to have won the All-Star Race more than once, and he’s in a four-way tie for third-most wins with Mark Martin, Terry Labonte and Davey Allison.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon are the only two driver to win the race three times, and Jimmie Johnson — who recently retired from full-time NASCAR racing before joining the NTT IndyCar Series as a part-time driver — is at the top of the list with a record four All-Star Race victories.
Brief history of NASCAR All-Star Race tracks
Since the All-Star Race’s inaugural event in 1985, nearly every race has been at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile track in the heart of NASCAR country hosted the race in 1985 and from 1987 through 2019.
The 1986 NASCAR All-Star Race was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway (then known as Atlanta International Raceway), and, as a result of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the 2020 All-Star Race.
And now, the exhibit occasion is off to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2021 NASCAR-All-Star Race: Key things to know about Texas occasion
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.