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Winning and pitting get more emphasis in NASCAR's all star race

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2012

To claim the $1 million top prize in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race this season drivers might have to win more than once.

Sprint and NASCAR officials on Tuesday announced a change to the race’s format, which rewards drivers who win one of the first four segments of the five-segment race on May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The winners of the first four 20-lap segments will become the first four cars down pit road during a mandatory pit stop prior to the final 10-lap segment.

Wherever the drivers are positioned as they come off pit road after stop is where they will line up to start the final 10-lap segment.

“This new addition to the format is going to provide even greater incentive for the drivers to go all out to win one of the four segments,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition.

“It also puts even more focus on the pit crews and how they perform during that final pit stop. The team aspect of the sport will be highlighted more than ever and it helps set the stage for an exciting race and an exciting evening for the fans.”

Those eligible for the race include race winners from this or last season and past winners of the all-star race and Sprint Cup series champions from the previous 10 years.

In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race, and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race.

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