Fantasy NASCAR

NASCAR All-Star Race Format

all star race

NASCAR All-Star race format intensified with qualifying elimination bracket, stage winner and pit crew incentives.

NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced the format and eligibility for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 22, that features four stages and 125 laps of on-track competition for a $1 million payday, stage winner incentives, amplified roles for the pit crews, and a distinctive head-to-head elimination qualifying format.

The NASCAR All-Star Race returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the second consecutive season and this 38th edition brings some unique twists for the eligible Cup drivers pursuing the winner-take-all $1 million payday. The most prominent twist will come in the form of a four-round qualifying format with head-to-head elimination rounds and the pivotal role of the pit crews.


  • Opening round is the traditional single-car, one-lap format in reverse order of the current 2022 owner points.
  • Fastest eight qualifiers transfer to a three-round, head-to-head elimination bracket.
  • Elimination bracket will feature two cars staged in adjacent pit stalls near the end of pit road.
  • At the sound of an alert, each pit crew will perform a four-tire stop and, at the drop of the jack, drivers will exit their pit stalls (with no speed limit) onto the track.
  • First car back to the start/finish line advances to the next round.
  • Final pairing competes for the pole.

Race Format

The race will consist of four stages, with the first three 25 laps in length and the fourth and final being a 50-lap shootout for the $1 million prize. The new format has provided a major incentive to win any of the opening three stages or the pit stop competition during the break between Stages 2 and 3.

Incentives to Win a Stage

STAGE 1 (25 laps): Stage 1 winner will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3.

STAGE 2 (25 laps): Stage 2 winner starts second in final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.

SPECIAL STAGE BREAK (Pit Stop Competition): Each team must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in/pit out) wins the pit crew award and the driver will start fourth in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.

STAGE 3 (25 laps): Stage 3 winner starts third in final stage.

STAGE 4 (50 laps): Stage 1 winner starts first, Stage 2 winner second, Stage 3 winner third and pit stop competition winner fourth. If a “natural” caution occurs between laps 15-25 of the final stage, standard race procedures will be in effect. If no “natural” caution occurs during that time, NASCAR will call an “All Star” competition caution. Winner of the Stage 4 earns $1 million.

“The NASCAR All-Star Race highlights our best athletes – from the driver to road crew to the pit crews – and this year’s edition brings that to another level,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Sr. Vice President, Competition. “Fans will have a full weekend of exciting competition starting with a unique qualifying format and an All-Star Race that features the top talent in our sport.”

“The incredible intensity of the drivers and teams as well as the Texas-sized excitement from our race fans is what makes the NASCAR All-Star Race just that much more special,” Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage said. “The never-seen-before qualifying format will put even more pressure on drivers and pits crews to perform at their peak. Combining that with the easier-to-follow race format will create more action-packed competition for race fans at Texas Motor Speedway and those watching on FS1 as they watch their favorite drivers battle to earn a $1 million payday.”

The NASCAR Open will immediately precede the NASCAR All-Star Race and will consist of three stages (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps). Each segment winner will advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race as will the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans can vote for their favorite driver who has not qualified for the NASCAR All-Star Race by visiting for details.

Eligible Drivers

  • Cup Series drivers who have earned a points-paying race victory in either 2021 or 2022.
  • Previous NASCAR All-Star Race winners who are competing full-time this season.
  • Previous NASCAR Cup Series champions who are competing full-time this season.

Drivers who currently have clinched a starting spot (through Talladega) and making return visits to the NASCAR All-Star Race are

  • AJ Allmendinger
  • Aric Almirola
  • Christopher Bell
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Alex Bowman
  • Chase Briscoe
  • Kurt Busch
  • Kyle Busch
  • William Byron
  • Ross Chastain
  • Chase Elliott
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Kyle Larson
  • Joey Logano
  • Michael McDowell
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Austin Cindric
Blake Shelton 60-minute pre-race concert

Country music superstar Blake Shelton will perform a live 60-minute concert May 22 beginning at 3 p.m. as part of the NASCAR All-Star pre-race festivities. The full day of NASCAR competition and entertainment activities will conclude with a 60-minute post-race concert performed by legendary Mexican ranchero music group Banda MS.

Coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Race – sponsored by NASCAR’s Premier Partners Busch Light Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO and Xfinity – will begin May 22 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1. The NASCAR Open will begin at 6 p.m. on FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, MRN, and 95.9 The Ranch and the NASCAR All-Star Race at 8 p.m. on FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, MRN, and 95.9 The Ranch.


Texas Motor Speedway Infographic – Living Large

Texas Motor Speedway, with permanent seating of 128,655 and an estimated overall capacity of 181,655, is one of the world’s largest sports facilities located in Fort Worth, Texas. So how expansive is the enormous infield that is encircled by the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval that plays host to NASCAR and INDYCAR racing annually?

At just over 84 acres, the speedway’s infield can fit the venues of ALL of Texas’ major professional sports franchises – the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans; MLB’s Texas Rangers and Houston Astros; the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets; and the NHL’s Dallas Stars – in its massive infield as well as the state’s largest NCAA football stadium (Texas A&M’s Kyle Field) for good measure.

Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


Matching the headlines for the last three weeks in the Chase will be difficult.

I am stuck somewhere between thinking Kenseth was justified to wreck Logano and upset because Logano was in every one of my fantasy lineups last week. We will see what else can happen this week in Texas, and Homestead will be interesting between the #22 and #20 if Logano fails to advance to the final round.

With only three races remaining in the NASCAR season, there is little opportunity to gain in your standings. Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead are all races that favor the frontrunners. Your best hope, if you are behind in the standings, is to select drivers who are under-the-radar and hope that you get lucky. My suggestion in Texas, like most weeks, is to front-load your lineup with the top-3 drivers and fill out your roster with two budget options. The next few weeks will be tense for Fantasy owners who are close in the standings, and choosing wisely will be critical as the season comes to a close.

For the top-3 spots, I am leaning towards drivers who are still in Chase contention. There are non-Chase drivers who can certainly find success, but I like to pick drivers who are racing for a Championship. Even with the events from last week, keeping Joey Logano out of your lineup is risky. Not only is he on a hot streak, but he also finds success in Texas. Over the last five Texas races, Logano for four top-5 finishes and maintains a 5th place average. He has only led 129 laps in this stretch, so he has seen consistent efforts that are not dominating. Early this year, Logano finished in 4th while staying in the top-15 for all of his laps. For large oval tracks, Logano has a 5th place average finish and has led the most laps in the series. Logano’s 7th place average finish position in 2015 is best in the series.

The combination of track success, season success, and track type success provides Logano with a high probability of success this week. The only risk with Logano this week’s is that the Martinsville drama carries over into Texas, and his performance is somehow affected. I do not anticipate this will be the case and am comfortable with Logano in my lineup.

For the second roster spot, I am going to lean on the driver who has helped my roster this entire season. Kevin Harvick does not have consistent success at Texas, but he did finish 2nd earlier in 2015. Over the last five Texas races, Harvick has two top-5 finishes and a 13th place average finish position. These numbers are not enough to convince you to roster him, but enough to show that Harvick is competitive in Texas. On large oval tracks this season, Harvick has led the most laps of any driver. Even though Logano now has a better average finish position now in 2015, Harvick has still led the most laps of any driver in 2015. Harvick is on the bubble to advance in the chase right now. Harvick is dominant on next week’s race in Phoenix, and I would expect a more conservative approach towards this week.

Jimmie Johnson was strongly considered for my 3rd roster recommendation due to his victory earlier this season. Down the stretch, the #48 team has finished worse than their average on a consistent basis so I am staying away from the team unless I see something in qualifying to change my mind. Of the Chase eligible driver, the one who finds the most consistency in Texas is Kyle Busch. Over the last five Texas races, Kyle Busch finish has three top-5 finishes and has a 5th place average finish. Busch missed the race earlier this season due to a broken leg. His numbers at large oval tracks and 2015 are not enough to warrant a start. Due to these number, Busch carries more risk than the other drivers suggested, but I feel he is the best option of the Chase eligible drivers. This is his best chance for an automatic qualifier and expect Kyle Busch to be aggressive this week.

Selecting three Chase eligible drivers uses the majority of my salary cap. As a result, the final two roster spots will be the best available budget options. David Ragan has not seen consistent success in Texas, with a 29th place average finish position over the last five races. With Kyle Busch’s team, Ragan finished 13th earlier in 2015. He is hovering around a 25th average finish position in 2015, and should provide enough value for his salary cap figure. There is not another budget driver I love, but will tentatively suggest Matt DiBenedetto until at least qualifying. DiBenedetto finished in 34th place earlier in 2015. This finish will only be value if he qualifies in the back of the field. I will keep an eye on qualifying and may start the 43rd driver in an effort to find value in start-to-finish differential.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the best drivers each week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format to manage the talent on our rosters. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Texas races. Next, we divide the average points earned by the salary cap figure to determine which drivers provide the best value in Texas. Jimmie Johnson narrowly missed my roster because I am keeping non-Chase eligible drivers off my roster. As a consolation prize, I will use Johnson’s impressive Texas numbers to further illustrate the formula.


  • Average finish position last five Texas races: 6.8 equals 37.2 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Zero equals zero points per race
  • Laps led: 574 equals 57.4 points per race
  • Fast laps: 254 equals 25.4 points per race
  • Total Fantasy Live points per race: 120
  • Fantasy Live salary cap figure: $24.50
  • Fantasy Live points divided by salary cap figure: 120 divided by $24.50 equals 4.9 points

Below you see the Fantasy Live rankings for each driver over the last five races at Texas. If you are wanting to take risks, you can take a driver with the 5th or 6th best numbers in hope that the unexpected happens. We are talking Fantasy racing, so there is always the possibility of getting lucky.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 4.90
  • Kyle Busch 3.01
  • Brad Keselowski 2.33
  • Joey Logano 2.24
  • Kevin Harvick 1.69
  • Denny Hamlin 1.55
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.23
  • Jeff Gordon 1.16
  • Kurt Busch 0.64

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.11
  • Clint Bowyer 1.86
  • Kasey Kahne 1.84
  • Kyle Larson 1.64
  • Ryan Newman 1.51
  • Jamie McMurray 1.45
  • Aric Almirola 1.29
  • Carl Edwards 1.12
  • Paul Menard 0.81

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Greg Biffle 2.33
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 1.38
  • Austin Dillon 1.20

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • AJ Allmendinger 2.68
  • Tony Stewart 2.35
  • Cole Whitt 1.84
  • Danica Patrick 1.69
  • Justin Allgaier 1.39
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.30
  • Trevor Bayne 1.17
  • Casey Mears 1.16
  • Ryan Blaney (-1.83)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 2.65
  • Michael Annett 2.64
  • Joey Gase 2.57
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.32
  • David Gilliland 2.24
  • JJ Yeley 2.20
  • Brett Moffitt 1.93
  • David Ragan 1.93
  • Landon Cassill 1.61
  • Michael McDowell 0.98
  • Alex Bowman 0.83
Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Texas, AAA Texas 500

There are only three weeks remaining in the NASCAR season. With Dale Earnhardt Jr’s surprise win at Martinsville, this leaves one more open spot for consistent drivers like Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth for the championship. They may attempt a conservative approach in order to secure their ticket. Other drivers, like Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, need to take risks to advance to the final rounds. Your lineup should reflect your status in your league: conservative or risky. There are plenty of options this week because we do not see completely dominant drivers. I would suggest choosing your three favorite drivers and fill the final two spots with the best budget options available.

The first pick for my roster is the most consistent driver at Texas. Matt Kenseth has 12 Top-5 finishes in his last 19 starts and has not finished outside the Top 20 in the last ten years. With 79% of his laps in the Top 15 and an average running position of 9.4 since 2005, Kenseth is the best in the series in lap-to-lap performance. Matt Kenseth has been solid all this season and he should be a productive choice for your roster.

I am suspicious of my second roster choice because he has burned me multiple times throughout the 2014 season. Kyle Busch has been running more consistently lately with the exception of being caught up in an early wreck at Talladega. With 7 Top-5 finishes in his last 18 Texas races, Kyle Busch has shown upside in Fort Worth. He is third best in the series in lap-to-lap consistency, and I expect a solid finish this week.

Greg Biffle was tempting for my third pick, but I had enough cap room to upgrade to Jeff Gordon. While Biffle has better track data, Gordon is decent in Texas and is a more consistent driver in 2014. He is also the best driver in the championship standings after a second place finish at Martinsville. I am expecting a conservative approach that will appeal to those on top of the standings.

With the top drivers taking up most of my budget, I am left to fill the remaining two spots with budget drivers. David Ragan is often a decent value based on his low salary cap number. He has middle-of-the-road lap-to-lap numbers in Texas. If he finishes in the middle, then he will be a valuable choice. Landon Cassill, with a 17th place average over the last month, is slowly raising his salary cap number. He should still be worth the value.


Fantasy Live on has a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the five best drivers every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned over the past five Texas races for each driver and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that indicates how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar. Greg Biffle is on my yahoo roster, but I left him off of my Fantasy Live roster in favor of Jeff Gordon. As a consolation prize, we will use his Texas numbers to demonstrate our formula.


  • Total Laps Led Last Five Texas Races: 91 laps equals 9.1 points per race
  • Fast Laps: Cannot be calculated
  • Average Finish Position: 6th place average equals 38 points per race
  • Start to Finish Differential: Plus 6 equals 6 points per race
  • Total Points Per Race: 53.1
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.00
  • Fantasy Points Per Dollar: 53.1 divided by 23 equals 2.31 points per dollar

See this week’s fantasy live points per dollar numbers below with highlighted picks in bold. Good luck with your picks for Texas.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 3.55
  • Kyle Busch 2.69
  • Joey Logano 1.89
  • Matt Kenseth 1.78
  • Brad Keselowski 1.60
  • Clint Bowyer 1.57
  • Ryan Newman 1.44
  • Kevin Harvick 1.05
  • Carl Edwards 1.01
  • Jeff Gordon 0.95
  • Dale Earnhardt 0.79

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.53
  • Brian Vickers 2.32
  • Greg Biffle 2.31
  • Kyle Larson 1.80
  • Tony Stewart 1.61
  • Denny Hamlin 1.60
  • Kasey Kahne 1.53
  • Aric Almirola 1.27
  • Paul Menard 1.07
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.04
  • Jamie McMurray 0.94
  • Kurt Busch 0.72
  • Austin Dillon 0.57
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.45

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Danica Patrick 1.38
  • Justin Allgaier 1.18
  • Casey Mears 0.64

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Trevor Bayne 1.48
  • David Gilliland 1.05
  • David Ragan 0.81
  • Cole Whitt 0.17

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Landon Cassill 2.30
  • Michael Annett 1.44
  • Reed Sorenson 1.26
  • Josh Wise 1.14
  • Alex Bowman 0.97
  • Michael McDowell 0.01
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500

The first race of the Eliminator Round is in the books, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. picks up the win. This means that because Dale has already been eliminated from the Chase, at least two drivers will make it to the championship race via points. A couple of the Chase drivers had very poor finishes and now find themselves in a position where they will probably have to win one of the next two races to make it to the championship race.

This week the series heads back to Texas Motor Speedway, the mile and a half track that is very similar to the rest of the intermediate tracks on the circuit. Once again a 500-mile race will take its toll on some engines and tires have been a concern most of the year for various drivers. The drivers who struggle on the short tracks really need to run well this weekend before the final race of this round is run at Phoenix.


Jimmie Johnson: I am picking Jimmie to break out of his recent slump and get back to victory lane this week at Texas. Jimmie has won two of the last four races and both of them were during the Chase. Even though Jimmie was eliminated from the Chase, this team is going to fight for another win this season.

Matt Kenseth: Matt has yet to win a race this season and this is one of the tracks that he can get that first win at. Matt has won two races at Texas during his career. He has also finished in the top ten in seventeen of his twenty-four starts here and has the best average finish of any driver at Texas over their careers.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Even though this team has been eliminated from the Chase they are still running hard and running well as we come to the last few races of the season. Dale has run well at all types of tracks this season and I think he will have a fast car once again the weekend in Texas. He won the very first race ever run at this track, but that was a long time ago.

Denny Hamlin: Denny swept the races here back in 2010 and was very disappointed with his finish last week at Martinsville. He felt that he had a car capable of winning last week and that would have given him the free pass into the championship race at Homestead. Now they need to run well over the next two races and they have two tracks they are very capable of winning at.

Joey Logano: This team has been fast all season. Now we will see how they perform under extreme pressure on a track that they should be favored to finish in the top five at. Joey won the spring race here and has finished in the top five in his last three starts at this track. They will be looking for the sweep this weekend and they could very well get it.

Brad Keselowski: After winning the race at Talladega to move to the Eliminator round of the Chase, Brad had mechanical trouble at Martinsville and finds himself once again in a must win situation somewhere during the next two races. This team has been just as fast as their teammate, Joey Logano, every week and they lead the series in wins.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin took the biggest hit of all the Chase drivers at Martinsville when he and Matt Kenseth got tangled up on the track and Kevin had to go to the garage to get his car back on the track and try to salvage as many spots as he could. Now they almost have to win one of the next two races, but the good news is that they have a good chance of winning one of the next two races because they run very well at both of these tracks.

Carl Edwards: Carl didn’t have the best race at Martinsville and has some work to do to get back in contention. However, Carl has won three races at Texas and runs well at Phoenix, so he has a good chance of making it to the championship race. They can ill afford another poor finish though, or they will be in the same position as the other drivers who need to win to have a shot.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff leads the point standings at the moment, by virtue of his second place finish at Martinsville. It’s nice to be in the lead, but Jeff would have rather won the race. Now they need to run well over the next two weeks to move into the championship race. Jeff finished second in the race here in April of this year and has shown that he can get the job done on any track he runs on this season.

Ryan Newman:
Ryan had a great run once again at Martinsville, where he picked up a third place finish. Even though they are another team that hasn’t won a race yet this season, they have put themselves in position to move on to the next round if they can come away with two more top five finishes. I think Texas will be their toughest test between the next two races.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Joey Logano
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Carl Edwards

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Danica Patrick


  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Jeff Gordon

Dark Horse: Brian Vickers

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch