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A NASCAR All-Star Vote for Justin Haley Is a Vote for Puppies

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A NASCAR Star Vote for Haley Is a Vote for PuppiesMeg Oliphant - Getty Images


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NASCAR on Tuesday night unveiled the format and things to watch at this year's All-Star Race that will be coming to North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 19.

Okay, we'll admit we kinda glossed over the rules and regulations that NASCAR sent over today. After all, we've got plenty of time to acquaint ourselves with all the fine print before the the big race day.

We do know that 18 drivers have punched their tickets based on Cup Series wins over the past two seasons, or if they’ve won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full time, or if they've won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full time.

There will also be the All Star Open race that gives all the other non-qualified drivers their chance.

Justin Haley, driver of the No. 51 Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Rick Ware Racing, is one of those 20 drivers not in line to get any type of automatic berth and qualifying by finishing top-3 in the Open is a crapshoot, at best.

Haley wants in, and, alas, there is a back door in the rules that allows someone like Haley—a driver who's best finish is 17th this year—to make the All-Star grid.

Haley's best chance might just be the fan vote that gives everyone a shot. To that, Haley and his crack PR team wasted no time in putting out a campaign video on Tuesday night seeking your vote.

He make a pretty good case, we have to admit.

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In this year of hotly contested elections all over the country, here's one election we'll be watching closely.

All Haley is asking for is a chance (and your vote). Here's his first official campaign video:

And for those of you looking for this year's format, here's the scoop, courtesy of NASCAR:

NASCAR All-Race Format

The NASCAR All-Star Race will be 200 laps with two All-Star cautions at lap 100, and lap 150. At the lap 100 break, teams must perform a four-tire pit stop, using any tire of their choosing. All laps (caution and green flag) will count, and NASCAR Overtime rules will be in effect.

Saturday’s All-Star Open will give drivers who are not guaranteed a spot in the main event a chance to race their way into the All-Star Race. The 100-lap Open will have an All-Star caution at Lap 50, at which time teams must perform a four-tire pit stop. At the end, three Open drivers will advance to the All-Star Race – the top two race finishers and the Fan Vote Winner. NASCAR All-Star Race Fan Voting is now open on NASCAR.com/fanvote.

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Expect plenty of special paint schemes at this year’s race.Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

“This format will challenge drivers, crew chiefs and pit crews from Friday through Sunday, and strategy will play a huge part in who takes home the $1 million prize,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “The All-Star Race has always been a place for innovation, from its very creation in 1985 to racing under the lights, unique paint schemes and double-file restarts. Now we have an old-school, short track format developed by Dale Jr. plus a new twist on tires courtesy of NASCAR and Goodyear. Kevin Harvick gave great input on stepping up the impact of qualifying. Throw it all together at North Wilkesboro and we’ve got something special for the 40th running of the NASCAR All-Star Race.”

All-Star Festivities; Pit Crew Challenge Matters

All-Star weekend festivities will begin Friday evening with the All-Star Open qualifying and All-Star qualifying / Pit Crew Challenge.

While last season’s qualifying was based solely on the results of the Pit Crew Challenge, this season combines the traditional qualifying effort with the Pit Crew Challenge element.

Drivers will take the green flag, run one full lap at speed, and on the second lap proceed to one of two NASCAR designated pit stalls for a four-tire stop with mock fuel delivery. When the pit stop is complete, the cars will exit pit road and race back to the checkered flag. The qualifying time will be the total elapsed time from green flag to checkered flag, and the pole sitter will start on the pole for Heat Race 1 and the All-Star.

The pit crew with the fastest stop during the All-Star qualifying attempt (no penalties) is the winner of the Pit Crew Challenge. Timing lines are established one box behind and one box ahead of the NASCAR designated pit stop boxes. Pit Crew Challenge results will determine pit picking order.

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Fan embraced last year’s All-Star Race at historic North Wilkesboro.Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images

Heat Race Format to Set the Grid

Saturday night will feature two 60-lap heat races that will determine the starting lineup for the All-Star Race among drivers already locked into the field. There will be an All-Star caution at lap 30 of each heat race; teams must perform a four-tire pit stop. The results of Heat 1 will establish the inside row, and the results of Heat 2 will establish the outside row. The action-packed weekend will conclude Sunday night with the All-Star Open and All-Star Race.

“The emphasis on tire strategy and returning to an old-school qualifying approach are both great moves to give the entire weekend more impact,” said Harvick, who will call his first NASCAR All-Star Race for FOX Sports. “Being able to walk away from qualifying with both a Pit Crew Challenge champion and a locked-in pole winner elevates the event for both the fans and the teams.”

Drivers Already In

Drivers eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include those who’ve won a points event in either 2023 or 2024, drivers who’ve won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full time, and drivers who’ve won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full time.

Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot include: AJ Allmendinger, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Daniel Suárez, Martin Truex Jr., and Shane van Gisbergen.

On TV

The NASCAR All-Star Race will air live on FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 19.