NSCS: Sprint All-Star and Showdown Race Preview

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for All-Star weekend at the 1.5-mile oval. These two unique events will be the last of the non-points races this year for the Sprint Cup Series. Jamie McMurray comes into the weekend as the defending race winner.

The showdown entry list features 29 drivers who are not locked into the Sprint All-Star race. Among those 29 include Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Alex Bowman, Sam Hornish Jr., Danica Patrick, Casey Mears, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JJ Yeley, Chase Elliott, Jeb Burton, Paul Menard, Jeff Green, Mike Bliss, Alex Kennedy, Cole Whitt, David Gilliland, Landon Cassill, Kyle Larson, Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, David Ragan, Brendan Gaughan, Tanner Berryhill, Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Michael McDowell and Josh Wise.

The Sprint All-Star race entry list features 17 drivers. They include Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, A.J. Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The top two finishers in the Showdown race will also transfer into the Sprint All-Star race on Saturday. There will also be another position left for a fan vote winner.

See below for Sprint Showdown format:

Race: 7:15 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

  • Two segments, 20 laps each. The winner of each segment will advance to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
  • The winner of the first segment will report directly to the garage at the conclusion of Lap 20.
  • All laps (green flag and yellow flag) will be counted during segment 1.
  • Only green flag laps will count during segment 2.
  • Between segment 1 and 2, there will be a yellow flag at which time teams can pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Cars pitting will not retain their position on the race track.
  • Crews will be permitted to work on the cars if the race is stopped due to a red flag. However, all work must be performed on pit road or garage area only.

 See below for the Sprint All-Star race format:

Race: Saturday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

  • Five segments.
  • Segments 1 through 4 will be 25 laps each.
  • Segment 5 will be 10 laps.
  • Teams may enter pit road during the yellow flag period between segments 1 through 4, but will not retain their running position.
  • All laps (green flag and yellow flag) will count during Segments 1 through 4.
  • Only green flag laps will count during segment 5.
  • The running order at the completion of the fourth segment will be repositioned based on the average finish for the first four segments. Ties in average finish will be broken by finishing position in the fourth segment.
  • All cars must then enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop.
  • The order of cars returning to the track will determine the starting order of the fifth segment.
  • Crews will be permitted to work on the cars if the race is stopped due to a red flag. However, all work must be performed on pit road or garage area only.

He’s back! Kyle Busch will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend for the Sprint All-Star race. Busch, who got injured in a scary crash in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at the Daytona International Speedway, has not driven a Sprint Cup Series car since Daytona 500 final practice. Erik Jones, who made his Sprint Cup debut last weekend at the Kansas Speedway, will serve as the standby driver incase Busch starts feeling discomfort.

Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. come into the Charlotte Motor Speedway as two drivers needing to get into the race. Larson fell short numerous times throughout the year last season of capturing a race win. Larson also fell just shy of making the 2014 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup under the new rules. Truex has found a lot of success this season, scoring 10 top 10 finishes in the first 11 races of the year. Truex also goes into next weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 sitting second in the Sprint Cup Series driver points.

You can watch both Sprint Cup Series races this weekend on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Go. The Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcasts of both races. 

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.