NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR All-Star Race: Everything to know for this weekend's event
NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR All-Star Race: Everything to know for this weekend's event

Updated May. 14, 2024 12:35 p.m. ET

The NASCAR All-Star Race (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, FS1) week is here. And with it, the rules. Plenty of them.

Here's a primer on the week.

Who is in it?

There are 17 drivers entered in the all-star race thanks to their automatic berth to the main event (2023-24 race winners no matter whether a full-time Cup driver or not and past Cup champion/all-star winners who are full-time Cup drivers):


Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, AJ Allmendinger, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, William Byron, Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Daniel Suarez.

There are 20 drivers entered in the Open, vying for the three final spots in the all-star field: Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, Josh Berry, Corey LaJoie, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala, Harrison Burton, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Hemric, Todd Gilliland, Ryan Preece, John Hunter Nemechek, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Justin Haley, Ty Gibbs, Timmy Hill, Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar.

Where is it?

The race is at North Wilkesboro Speedway, a 0.625-mile track where NASCAR returned last year for its first Cup event since 1994. The track was repaved in the offseason so this will be the first Cup event on the new pavement. 

What is up with the tires?

There are three sets of tires:

--The regular tire, or what NASCAR is calling "prime" tires. This is the short-track tire they have been using. It is one of the softest tires made by Goodyear that is designed to wear.

--The softer tire, or what NASCAR is calling "option" tires. This is a new tire that uses the rubber on the rain tires. The idea is that when the rain tires have been used, drivers have liked the way it wore out.

--The rain tire, or what NASCAR often calls the "wet weather" tires because they are used more in the damp than the rain. This is the tire that was used last year at North Wilkesboro during the heat races.

When is practice?

Practice (Friday, 4:35 p.m. ET, FS1) will be one 50-minute session for all cars. Teams have three sets of regular tires and two sets of the softer tires for practice, qualifying, heats and the Open.

NASCAR Cup Series: Goodyear 400 highlights

When is qualifying and what is the format?

--Open qualifying (Friday, 5:40 p.m. ET, FS1) will be NASCAR's regular short-track qualifying — two laps with the best lap counting. All on the regular tire. These teams will not compete in the pit crew challenge.

--Cup qualifying/pit crew challenge (Friday, 6:20 p.m. ET, FS1) will be three laps (all on the regular tire), with at the end of the second lap, a four-tire pit stop (fueler must engage fuel can but won't fuel the car). The fastest three-lap time will be the polesitter for the first heat race and all-star event. The fastest stop, based on timing lines on pit road from one box prior and one box past the pit stall, will determine the pit crew champion as well as the order for pit stop selection.

What is the heat format?

All-Star 60-lap heat races (Saturday, 5:30 p.m. ET, FS2) with lineups determined by qualifying (odd rankings in first heat, even rankings in second). All laps count with one overtime possible. Teams can use whatever tire they want. Caution at Lap 30 where a team must make a 4-tire stop. Heat 1 establishes inside row for all-star race (except polesitter is on the pole for all-star race) and Heat 2 establishes outside row. 

What do the Open teams do Saturday?

The Open teams do not have any track activity on Saturday.

What is the Open format?

The Open (Sunday, 5:30 p.m. ET, FS1) is a 100-lap race, all laps count with one attempt at overtime. Teams can start on any tire. A caution at Lap 50 where they must make a four-tire stop. Top-two advance to all-star race and fan vote winner gets into all-star race.

What is the All-Star format?

The NASCAR All-Star Race (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, FS1) is a 200-lap race, all laps count, overtime rules in effect. Teams have two sets of regular tires and two sets of softer tires. Must start on the softer tire. Caution at Lap 100 with a mandatory four-tire stop. Caution at Lap 150 with no requirement whether to pit.

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


Get more from NASCAR Cup Series Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more