A few short hours after voting closed, the annual NASCAR Media Day opened. The first announcement of the day: Fans have decided the race format for The Sprint Unlimited, Saturday night’s season-opening event.
In voting that closed last night at 11:59 p.m. ET, fans voted on the first component – the length of the race’s three segments – to be set at 30 laps, 25 laps and 20 laps.
For the first time in the sport’s 65-year history, NASCAR and Sprint announced last month that fans would vote to decide several key competition elements in The Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (8 p.m. ET, FOX, FOX Deportes, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
The winning combination for the segment lengths received 55 percent of the votes, while the option for 40 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps finished second with 23 percent. In last place, the format consisting of 35 laps, 30 laps and 10 laps finished with 22 percent of the votes.
“By giving the fans the power to decide the length of the three segments in the Sprint Unlimited, we feel there will be an unprecedented buzz surrounding the event,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “The 30-25-20-lap format the fans voted for will create three distinctly different segments that will keep fans enthralled throughout the race.”
Fans still have an opportunity to vote on two other competition elements during Saturday night’s race.
Fans have until the green flag drops at the start of the race to vote for the type of pit stop each team must make after the 30-lap first segment. The three choices are a required four-tire pit stop, a required two-tire pit stop or no stop at all at the completion of the first segment. Fans also have until the start of the second segment to vote for the number of cars that will be eliminated after the 25-lap second segment. The four choices are none, two, four or six.
Votes for the remaining two categories can be cast on NASCAR’s new official mobile app – NASCAR Mobile ’13 – or at NASCAR.com/SprintUnlimited. All votes made through the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app will count twice.
Fans are encouraged to follow @NASCAR on Twitter to engage in the conversation via the hashtags #NASCAR and #SprintUnlimited.