Wednesday night, NASCAR's best drivers will face off against each other in the annual all-star race. They will race on Bristol's short track in search of the winner-take-all $1 million prize. Here's when the race begins and how to watch the action.
The 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race starts at 8:30 p.m. ET. FS1 will broadcast the event while MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio provide the radio call. Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon will call the race, their final of the FOX season before NBC takes full control of the regular-season schedule. The race is also available on the FOX Sports Go streaming app.
We're going to light up the night.
8:30 PM ET | FS1 pic.twitter.com/7JlQ5Gip6v— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 15, 2020
This will be the first event since NASCAR returned from a 10-week postponement to allow a large number of fans. The Geico 500 at Talladega allowed 5,000 attendees, but up to 30,000 could purchase tickets for the all-star race. FOX Sports' Bob Pockrass did not have a concrete number of tickets sold, but he received estimates ranging between 15,000-25,000.
The all-star race is traditionally held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but NASCAR made the location change for multiple reasons. North Carolina and the Charlotte area saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, creating concern about the health of the competitors and fans. Additionally, fans have clamored for more short track races and NASCAR officials saw this as an opportunity to "take a chance and see how it works."
Heading into Wednesday's race, there are some notable differences between a regular-season race and this mid-season event. For example, only 20 drivers will compete instead of the standard 40. Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Truex Jr. have all clinched spots in the all-star race. Four others will join following the All-Star Open, which starts shortly after 7 p.m. ET.
Additionally, the drivers will opt for a Fast and the Furious look during the all-star race. All of the stock cars will feature underglow lights, providing a unique look under the lights. Chip Ganassi Racing first showcased this design feature during Champion's Week in Nashville, adding a very unique look to the Burnouts on Broadway event.
Finally, NASCAR implemented a new "Choose Rule" during restarts. Drivers can decide between the inside and outside lanes before the green flag, as opposed to sticking with a predetermined spot. However, they must make their choice clear and avoid changing lanes after a decision. Failure to do so will result in a penalty pushing them to the rear of the field.