NSCS: Who’s to Thank for New All-Star Format? Look to Keselowski for the Answer.

Jacob Seelman Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. — Story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR photo —

After NASCAR revealed the new format for the 32nd renewal of the Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway later this month, a mad clamor began to rise from fans impressed with the sweeping changes and potential spark of excitement they will provide in two weeks’ time.

The question immediately rose up out of the noise: who exactly came up with the “kitchen sink” ideas, so to speak?

The answer, confirmed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Twitter: 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski, with an assist from his fellow members of the Sprint Cup Driver’s Council.

Keselowski, who dominated the 2015 edition of the non-points spectacular before a speeding penalty on the final pit stop knocked him out of contention for the win, brought the approach of “what the fans would want” to the table in discussions for the 2016 format.

It paid off with a brand-new look for the All Star Race, featuring two 50-lap segments with a mandatory green flag pit stop during the middle of each segment, along with a random drawing at the end of segment two to determine whether the top nine, 10 or 11 cars will make a mandatory four-tire stop before the final dash for cash.

Any cars not pitting are required to remain on the race track, with the pitting front-runners lining up behind, and old tires vs. new tires will be the story in a 13-lap sprint for a million dollars.

“I want to see the race be something I would want to watch if I was a fan, and something I would be proud of if I was the driver who won it. Quite honestly, I didn’t feel like the formats of the past couple years were that way,” Keselowski, who called the changes his “dream format” for the All Star Race, told the media at Kansas Speedway on Friday. “Putting the format together was a collective initiative to do just that. I think it’s going to be the modern-day format of excellence when it comes to that race. It should be a short, fun, amazing race, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic that it’s going to be the best race of the year.”

“Whenever you have to pass 12 or 13 cars over the course of 13 laps that’s a lot of passing, and I think that’s gonna require perfection from a driver making all the right moves and understanding every little idiosyncrasy of the race track and his competitors,” he added. “No matter who wins, you’re gonna have to fight hard, whereas I think when we looked at the last few years’ scenario it was pretty simply – win the restart into turn one and you win the race. I didn’t feel like that was an earn it scenario. With the new rules, I think it will be.”

Keselowski also said on his official website that he thinks thinks the battle for the All-Star Race win will be settled and won by “the driver wants it the most, rather than coming down to whichever car happens to restart first at the end.”

“I hope to be the one with a million-dollar check at the end,” he added. “The last segment is sure to demand the ultimate performance. Winning the last segment will require the driver to masterfully navigate traffic and hunt down the leader, or hold off the best drivers with an ill-handling car on old tires with everything on the line.”

NASCAR Sprint All Star Race XXXII will air Saturday, May 21, live on FOX Sports 1 at 9 p.m. ET.


About the Writer

jacobseelmanJacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: speed77radio@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

Email Race Chaser Online: news@racechaseronline.com

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