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NASCAR adds mandatory four-tire pit-stop to All-Star race

Photo by Eric Jamison

Photo by Eric Jamison

CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR has added a mandatory four-tire pit stop to the format of the Sprint All-Star Race.

The race will once again be decided by a 10-lap shootout to the finish. But, for the first time, teams will be required to enter pit road for a full stop. The order that cars exit pit road will determine how they line up for the sprint to the $1 million payout.

"The pit crew is going to be under the gun and under pressure to get the job done to get you out first," Kyle Busch said after Wednesday's announcement.

The remainder of the format for the May 22 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway remains unchanged. The race begins with a 50-lap segment, and there is a mandatory green-flag, four-tire pit stop after the 25th lap.

That is followed by two 20-lap segments, then a 10-minute break before the final sprint to the finish.

Under the new tweak, drivers will leave pit road after the break in the order they finished the third segment. There will be one pace lap, then the mandatory four-tire stop.

There are currently 18 drivers eligible for the race, which series sponsor Sprint consistently tweaks to add excitement to NASCAR's version of an all-star event.

Martin Truex Jr., who has not yet earned a spot in the field, said at Wednesday's announcement that NASCAR's all-star event is a better showcase than the ones held by the four traditional professional sports.

"We put a lot of effort into it," Truex said. "Not to say that other sports don't. But I think if you watch, for instance, the NFL All-Star Game this past year, a lot of guys couldn't even play because they were going to be in the Super Bowl. So their best of their best couldn't even play.

"I just feel like they don't put in the effort. It's not as big of a deal as it is for us. It could be the million dollars that's up for stakes."