Race Weekend Central

‘Choose Rule’ Featured in All-Star Race Format

The NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race and All-Star Open format at Bristol Motor Speedway will feature a choose rule, NASCAR announced Wednesday (July 1).

Drivers will commit to the inside or outside lane when they approach a certain spot on the track. If they don’t make a clear choice or switch lanes after passing that spot, they will have to drop to the rear of the field. Currently, only the leader gets to choose his lane in double-file restarts.

Cup competitors first talked about trying the choose rule, which is commonly used at short-tracks, and the sanctioning body agreed to try it in the All-Star Race.

“There has already been an incredible amount of buzz around this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race with the move to Bristol Motor Speedway,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said. “In addition to the thrilling racing we’re used to seeing at Bristol, the choose rule is going to add another dynamic to the race. Drivers and fans have been asking for this change and I can’t think of a better time to try it than the All-Star Race.”

Additionally, the All-Star Open will have three stages — 35, 35 and 15 laps each. Each stage winner and the Fan Vote winner will move on to the main event, which also includes 2019 and 2020 race winners, All-Star winners and active full-time Cup champions.

The lineup for the Open will be set based on a random draw, split in half based on owner points. Pit selection is the inverse of the starting position.

The main event features four stages of 55, 35, 35 and 15 laps in length. In the final stage, only green flag laps will count; if the race is restarted with two or three laps left, then there will be as many attempts as needed to finish. There will be a random draw to set the lineup for the entire field.

Pit road strategy will be like other points-paying events.

Finally, the car numbers will be placed further back, toward the back fender.

The All-Star Open and All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be on July 15 at 7 p.m. ET and will air on Fox Sports 1.

About the author

Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor and involved with photos, social media and news editing. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.

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Bobby DK

Thanks. Love to see new things on a stale product. Ask all the fans and get a consensus of what you need to do and you will always win. Up till now it’s been Nascar way or the highway.


What if the second place driver picks the inside line first and the first place driver wants it? What if the 20th place driver picks the outside line and the 19th place driver wants it? Another ridiculous rule.

WJW Motorsports

Guess I’m confused Don. How does the second place driver get to the cone before the first place driver? I’m all for giving this a shot at an exhibition (tired of watching guys brake check on the way out of the pits to avoid being stuck in the non preferred lane).


OK. So how does that change what happened before this rule. The driver ahead gets to choose the line. So they have to choose it sooner? Big diff. The second place driver still does not get to choose the line he wants.

Michael Finley

No. The first place driver gets to choose which lane they will start in under the regular rules. Under this rule, the field chooses where they want to start at, with first choosing first, second choosing second, third choosing third, and so on and so forth.

If the top five choose the outside, they will be the first five cars on the outside lane. Sixth will then get to choose if they follow the top five to the preferred lane on the outside, or take a gamble and be the first car on the inside.

This is a rule that has been used for many years by local racetracks around the country.


I’m kinda excited anticipating these new changes. I thank NASCAR for trying it. I was SSSOOOOOO happy when double file starts were permanent. Blew my mind when it was first experimented with.
I got a little pissed when drivers learned how to finagle position at the pit out line. Defeated the competition of the pit crews.
This might bring the pit crew back into the competition equation again then allow drivers an opportunity to choose without having a camel race. Yanno, that’s when 2 camel owners bragged and disagreed who’s camel was slowest. Things got kinda boring with each camel owner riding and urging his own camel slower. Somebody came along and suggested they swap rides and it was a hell of a race after that.
My vote goes for the choose cone.

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