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Much like all-star weekends in other sports, NASCAR’s All-Star Race is drastically different than any race of the season. Qualifying for Saturday night's 70-lap, four-stage shootout race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was also unique.
Instead of three knockout rounds of the fastest one-lap speed to set the starting lineup, Friday's qualifying featured two rounds of a special three-lap segment which included a pit stop with no speed limit on pit road after the second lap.
Kyle Larson had the fastest three-lap time in the second round, earning the pole for Saturday's race for a $1 million prize. Kyle Busch will join him on the front row as he seeks his first All-Star win.
The four-stage knockout format for the All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, FS1) will reward winning and incorporates a strategy component. Each team will have one set of softer tires — for better grip and, thus, speed — available to use at its discretion in the 70-lap exhibition race. The one caveat: Teams that choose to use the softer tires to start the final 10-driver, 10-lap stage must start behind those that use regular tires.
The winner of each of the first three stages of the All-Star Race will lock up a spot in the final stage, as long as they remain on the lead lap after the third stage. The cars with the best average finish in the first three stages will make up the remaining spots needed to fill the 10-car final stage.
A total of 20 drivers will be driving in the All-Star race Saturday night. There currently are 16 drivers locked into the shootout with the final four to be determined during the Monster Energy Open just before Saturday's main event.
Here is the current starting lineup for Saturday night's All-Star Race (70 laps):
|1||Tom Pio||4837 pts|
|2||Juan Sanchez||4805 pts|
|3||Alessandro Vetuschi||4652 pts|