New ‘Choose Rule’ to Add Strategy to Restarts
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2020) – NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway today announced the format for the NASCAR All-Star Race, including the introduction of a ‘choose rule’ that will allow drivers to choose which lane they line up in for restarts.
The rule, which is popular among short track fans, will fittingly make its NASCAR national series debut during the first NASCAR All-Star Race held on a short track. NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports officials had previously announced the race was moving to Bristol from Charlotte Motor Speedway, which had hosted 34 of the race’s 35 previous editions.
As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart. The rule adds more strategy than traditional restarts, where drivers line up in the order they come off pit road.
“There has already been an incredible amount of buzz around this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race with the move to Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “In addition to the thrilling racing we’re used to seeing at Bristol, the choose rule is going to add another dynamic to the race. Drivers and fans have been asking for this change and I can’t think of a better time to try it than the all-star race.”
“This NASCAR All-Star Race under the bright lights of Bristol is setting up to be a memorable event for ages to come,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “With a million dollar payout and no championship points on the line in this all out high-banked short track clash, it’s surely going to be a race that fans will not want to miss.”
The race will still have four stages, lasting 55 laps, 35 laps, 35 laps and 15 laps. Both green flag and yellow flag laps will count in Stages 1-3 with only green flag laps counting in the Final Stage. In the Final Stage, if the race is restarted with two or less laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green flag conditions.
The NASCAR Open will take place prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments (35 laps / 35 Laps / 15 laps). The winner of each segment will earn a spot in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the Fan Vote.
Technical rules for the cars will remain the same as other NASCAR Cup Series short track races, including the May 31 race at Bristol. The liveries will sport a new look, however, as the car number will move from the door towards the rear wheel in an effort to give more exposure to the teams’ sponsors.
Those eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include: drivers who won a points event in either 2019 or 2020; drivers who won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; and drivers who won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete fulltime.
Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.
Coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Race – which is sponsored by NASCAR’s Premier Partners Busch, Coca-Cola, GEICO and Xfinity – will begin on July 15 at 6 p.m. ET on FS1. The NASCAR Open will air at 7 p.m. and the NASCAR All-Star Race begins at 8:30 p.m. on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Tickets start at $35 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under are on sale at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com. Free parking is available at Speedway Parking located at the corner of White Top Road and Hwy 394 and paid parking options are available at neighboring properties. Shuttles and trams will not be running for this event. A limited number of overnight RV camping spaces are available for purchase. Facial coverings are required in common areas such as entering through the gates, restrooms, concessions, souvenir stands, elevators and concourse areas. Facial coverings may be removed once physically distanced in assigned ticketed seat. Clear bags only (no coolers) will be allowed in for this event. Further details and other requirements can be found on the Bristol Motor Speedway website.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
About Bristol Motor Speedway
Forged amid the scenic mountains of Northeast Tennessee near the Virginia state line, Bristol Motor Speedway is The Last Great Colosseum, a versatile multi-use venue that hosts major auto races, football games, concerts and many other captivating events. The facility features a 0.533-mile concrete oval race track with 28-degree corner banking and 650-feet straightaways that offers racing in several NASCAR touring series, highlighted by two major Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends. While at the track, fans are offered a unique viewing experience courtesy of Colossus TV, the world’s largest outdoor center-hung four-sided video screen with a 540,000-watt audio system. The adjacent quarter-mile dragstrip, Bristol Dragway, offers more than 50 events annually, including the marquee NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The Thunder Valley Amphitheatre presented by Ballad Health transforms Bristol Dragway into a premier outdoor concert venue for the world’s greatest music performers.
Three football games have kicked-off inside the oval, most notably the 2016 Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, where border rivals the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech met before an NCAA-record crowd of 156,990. In existence since 1961, Bristol Motor Speedway was purchased in 1996 by Bruton Smith and his Speedway Motorsports company, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States.
The Speedway Children’s Charities Bristol Chapter was established the following year and has distributed nearly $16 million to local non-profit children’s organizations within the sixteen counties surrounding the Speedway. For more information, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.