08 April 2015

Inside Line: Changes made to Sprint All-Star Race format

Inside Line is a blogging project for my COMM-326 Sports Journalism course

2015 will see the 31st running of the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16th at Charlotte Motor Speedway and this year's edition will see some changes to the format. Let's take a look.

In the past, drivers eligible for the All-Star Race were all points race winners since the previous year's All-Star Race as well as previous All-Star Race winners and previous Sprint Cup Series champions of the past ten years. Now, the field will include all former All-Star Race winners and all former series champions.

Therefore, newly eligible drivers are Ryan Newman, who won the 2002 All-Star Race, and Matt Kenseth, who won the 2004 All-Star Race. That brings the total of eligible drivers to 17 (A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, defending race winner Jamie McMurray, Newman and Tony Stewart). The winners of the two Sprint Showdown segments will also be in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the fan vote. Also, it is important to note that there are three more races to clinch a berth in the race.

Also, the race will be the longest All-Star Race since 1989 as it will be a total of 110 laps. That is an increase of 20 laps from the last three years as the first four segments will now be 25 laps. There still will be a ten lap shootout to the finish in the fifth segment with the starting order being an average of the first four segments.

The 2015 Sprint All-Star Race will be held on Saturday, May 16th at 7:30 on Fox Sports 1. The Sprint Showdown will be held on Friday, May 15th at 7 on FS1.

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