Because there are no points on the line, the Sprint All-Star Race has always been a unique event using a variety of formats that differentiate itself from other races. This year's edition is no exception with another twist announced Wednesday.
Like previous All-Star races, the starting lineup will again see drivers make three laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway that also involves a mandatory four-tire pit stop. But unlike a normal NASCAR race where there is a maximum speed on pit road, that rule will be waved for Friday's qualifying session and drivers will allowed to enter and leave pit road as fast as they wish.
"Wow!! Qual for @sprint all star race is going to b exciting!! NO pit road speed coming in or going out. Not what I had in mind but ok ..." Kyle Busch posted to Twitter.
Crews will not be allowed over the pit wall until their driver has come to a complete stop. A five-second penalty will be added if a crewmember jumps over the wall too soon.
There has been a mandatory speed limit on pit road since 1991 when in the following year a tire-changer for Bill Elliott was struck and killed by a car at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In comments made to Sporting News, NASCAR President Mike Helton said he has no concerns about lifting the pit-road speed limit.
"It's been a long time since we had an open speed limit on pit road," Helton told the Sporting News. "We'll only do that for qualifying for the All-Star Race because we can control the environment and it will be very clean down there when this happens.
"There are really good reasons why we have pit-road speeds and we'll stay on-board with those. It's an opportunity to do something different on a weekend that's known for different stuff."