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DATE News (chronologically)
03/25/09
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All-Star race to feature 10-lap shootout
The 25th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will feature a 10-lap shootout as its final segment, Lowe's Motor Speedway officials announced today.

The event, which is set for May 16 at the track outside Charlotte, will consist of four segments. It will conclude with the 10-lap sprint and offer a $1 million payout to the race winner.

The opening segment will be 50 laps, with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on lap 25. At that point, teams must pit for four tires. The second segment is 20 laps, with the caution flag displayed at the end of the segment for an optional pit stop. The third segment is 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the final starting positions for the fourth and final segment, which is the 10-lap shootout.

The opening segment will be 50 laps, with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on lap 25. At that point, teams must pit for four tires. The second segment is 20 laps, with the caution flag displayed at the end of the segment for an optional pit stop. The third segment is 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the final starting positions for the fourth and final segment, which is the 10-lap shootout. The last time the race had a 10-lap shootout in the final segment was 2001.

"It’s get-the-job-done-now, and that’s what we’re here to do," Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman said of the altered format. "Restarts are going to be extremely important, track position is going to be really important, all the things we deal with – but it’s for a million dollars and it’s for those bragging rights. The 10-lap part of it, that’s the way we all used to race when we started racing, 10-lap heat races, last-chance races. It’s about getting it done quick for a lot of money."

Details on a fan vote for the event will be announced in April at Texas Motor Speedway.

Mark Martin, a two-time NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner, says he is looking forward to competing in his 20th all-star event this year, which would tie him with Terry Labonte for the most all-star race starts.

“The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is always wild, and that’s what’s so exciting about it,” said Martin, whose 1998 all-star victory came when the 10-lap shootout format was used. “This race is all about winning. There are no points on the line, and second doesn’t really mean anything. It’s all about pride and celebrating with your team. I’ve been fortunate to win the all-star race twice in my career and would love to make it three times, especially driving for Rick Hendrick.”

The eligibility standards for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same: Race winners from either the 2008 or 2009 season through May 9 or any past champions of the all-star event or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (over the previous 10 years) are eligible for the race.

In addition, the top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, all advance into the all-star race lineup. Kasey Kahne can thank the fans for giving him the opportunity to win the 2008 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, as he made it into the field after being voted in by the fans.

The fifth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Presented by Craftsman returns to kick off the all-star week’s competition. It will be held May 14 at 7 p.m. EDT at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The event’s finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team is the defending pit crew champion. Tickets for the event can be obtained by going to www.pitcrewchallenge.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

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