Editor’s note: This story was first published on April 28.
NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway revealed Thursday on FS1’s Race Hub the qualifying and race formats for the 2022 All-Star Race and All-Star Open on May 22 (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), with $1 million on the line for the race winner.
This year’s running will feature a new qualifying format for drivers already locked into the All-Star Race. Qualifying will consist of two rounds. The first round will see a single lap in reverse order of the current 2022 owner points. The top-eight qualifiers in the first round will transfer to a head-to-head elimination bracket.
The eight-car elimination bracket will put a heavy emphasis on pit crews, allowing their talents to shine to better their drivers’ qualifying position. It will feature two cars staged in temporary side-by-side pit stalls near the end of pit road. At the sound of an alert, each pit crew will perform a four-tire pit stop, and at the drop of the jack, drivers will exit their pit stalls onto the track with no speed limit on pit road. The first car back to the start-finish line will advance to the next round.
The final pairing will compete for the pole.
Drivers eliminated in the Round of 8 will start in positions 5-8 based on their one-lap speeds from the first round of qualifying. Drivers eliminated in the Round of 4 will start in positions 3 and 4 based on their one-lap speeds.
The All-Star Open will consist of a more traditional format with single-car, single-lap qualifying in reverse order of 2022 owner points. The Open race format will break down into three stages (20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps). The winner of each stage will advance to the All-Star Race, along with the winner of the Fan Vote.
For the 125-lap main event, there will be four stages — three 25-lap stages and one 50-lap stage. The winner of Stage 1 will start on pole in the final stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 2 and Stage 3. The winner of Stage 2 will start second in the final stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 3. The winner of Stage 3 will start third in the final stage.
There will be a special stage break at the conclusion of Stage 2 where all teams must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The driver and team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in to pit out) will win the pit-crew award and start fourth in the final stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 3.
Another added feature will be unique to the final stage. If a natural caution does not occur between Lap 15 and Lap 25, NASCAR officials will throw an “All-Star” competition caution.