NASCAR will use an aerodynamic package for its May 19 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway that will include an engine restrictor plate and front aero ducts that will move the air to the side of the car before it hits the front wheel.
The package, which also includes a six-inch spoiler equipped with additional six-inch "ears" at the ends, was used in the 2017 Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis. The Xfinity Series will use the package at Michigan, Pocono and Indianapolis this year.
By restricting air flow through the engine (the restrictor plate with holes of 7/8ths of an inch will cut horsepower by about 250) and creating more drag with the rear spoiler (which is normally just 2.375 inches high), NASCAR hopes to create a drafting dynamic similar to Daytona where drivers can be threewide or fourwide and run a similar speed.
"The yearly Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race is an opportunity to see your favorite drivers compete under a unique and exciting format and rules package," NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said. "The positive feedback following last year's Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis gave us the foundation to implement this dynamic package for the All-Star Race.
"We believe the hard work of the entire industry will provide the best race for our passionate fans."
The race, which pays $1 million to the winner, will consist of stages of 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. In a change from previous years, NASCAR will use its overtime rules for the end of each stage instead of just the end of the race. There are no mandatory pit stops, and only green-flag laps will count in the final stage.
To be eligible for the All-Star Race, drivers must have won a race in 2017 or 2018 or be a former All-Star Race winner or NASCAR Cup Series champion who competes full time.
Drivers who already have qualified for the main event are Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.
Matt Kenseth also is eligible, but he is not racing this year.
There will be four spots available to drivers not already eligible. Three spots will go to the drivers who win stages in the "open" last-chance qualifying race, where the stages will be 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps. The final spot goes to the remaining driver who earned the most votes in online fan voting, which begins April 18.