History The NASCAR All-Star Race

NASCAR All-Star Race
Nascar All Star Bristol 2020

The NASCAR All-Star Race, formerly known as The Winston from 1985 to 2003, the Nextel All-Star Challenge from 2004 to 2007, the Sprint All-Star Race from 2008 to 2016, and the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race from 2017 to 2019, is an annual NASCAR Cup Series stock car exhibition race between race winners from the previous season and the beginning of the current season, as well as all past event winners, and previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who attempted to run the entire previous season.

Two other ways to become eligible to race in the event are winning one of the three stages in the NASCAR Open (a race for drivers not eligible for the main event), or by winning the fan vote.

History The NASCAR All-Star Race

The first running of the race was held in 1985 at NASCAR's longest and fastest non-restrictor-plate superspeedway Charlotte Motor Speedway (briefly renamed Lowe's Motor Speedway from 1999, before reverting to the original in 2009) and has been run there every year until 2019, except in 1986 when it was run at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Michael Waltrip became the first driver to win the All-Star race after transferring in from a qualifying race in 1996. Until 2001, the rule restricted only champions of the past five All Star Challenge events, but in 2005, the rule became the winners in the past ten years of either the NASCAR Cup Series or the All-Star Race. For 2015, the full-time drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series or All-Star Race are now exempt, regardless of when they won the race.

The Showdown was restricted to the top 50 drivers in either the final standings of the previous year or current standings in the current year. From 2000 to 2002, and again starting in 2015, two qualifying races (the "Showdown" currently) are implemented.

In 2004, Nextel, predecessor to Sprint, added a vote of race spectators, internet users and Sprint cellphone users to add one additional driver not in the field, but in the Showdown, and finishing on the lead lap, to the final starting field. Starting in 2008, the event's name featured the use of the edition of the race in Roman numerals, with the 2008 race's official name the "Sprint All-Star Race XXIV".

Also, the fan entry driver was changed, with the new formula coming from those attending races up to that point, Sprint retail locations and double votes from Sprint subscribers.

In 2014, the Showdown race was moved to the night preceding the All-Star Race. To replace the event, Charlotte Motor Speedway president, Marcus Smith announced that qualifying for the All-Star Race will take place shortly before the main event.

In 2020, the race was moved to Bristol Motor Speedway on July 15 as COVID-19 pandemic prevented Charlotte from accommodating fans. The venue changed again in 2021 to Texas Motor Speedway, which replaced its spring date with the All-Star Race.

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