html

ThatsRacin.com


Sprint All-Star Race rules should stop laying back

- dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

There will be no “sandbagging” in this year’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A new format for the 90-lap race on May 18 was announced Monday at the track. The race will continue to be made up of five segments, but the method of determining how the cars line up for the final 10-lap segment has changed. The starting order of the last segment will be based on the average finish of each car during the first four 20-lap segments.

In last year’s race, the winners of each of the first four segments were guaranteed spots at the front of the field for the final segment. That allowed the winners of early segments to drop to the rear of the field in each succeeding segment, knowing they had their spots for the final segment clinched. Segment winners Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth each were able to cruise through until the final 10-lap sprint, which Johnson won.

“Having the average finish through the race’s first four segments determine how the cars come down pit road for the last mandatory four-tire pit stop takes the competition to an even higher level,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “This format should bring out the best in our drivers and our teams.”

This year’s winner will earn $1 million, with another $1 million bonus for winning all five segments.

The field will include Sprint Cup race winners from 2012-13, All-Star winners and series champions during the past 10 years, the top two finishers of the Sprint Showdown that will precede the featured event and a fan-vote winner.

Scott: 705-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14

More racing news, blogs, photos and more at www.ThatsRacin.com.