Next up: NEXTEL All-Star Challenge

NASCAR's All- Star race, formerly known as The Winston, has some exciting new changes for the inaugural NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. For the first time, no only will the winner of the All-Star Open transfer into the race; but fans will be able to vote ...

Next up: NEXTEL All-Star Challenge

NASCAR's All- Star race, formerly known as The Winston, has some exciting new changes for the inaugural NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. For the first time, no only will the winner of the All-Star Open transfer into the race; but fans will be able to vote in one driver from the field to also participate.

President and CEO of Lowe's Motor Speedway Humpy Wheeler, predicted four- time Cup series champion, Jeff Gordon, to walk away with the win at All- Star event, Wheeler has picked the race winner correctly 9 of the last 15 times. In a ceremony at Lowe's, Wheeler made his picks and unveiled Gordon's No. 24 Hendrick Chevrolet that he will race at the contest.

Gordon has won three previous All-Star races. Every time Gordon has won at All-Star race, he has gone on that year to be the Cup series champion.

"I feel privileged that you picked us this year," said Gordon. "I've had a lot of spectacular things happen to me in this All-Star event. I think we have a great chance of winning this thing this weekend."

Wheeler went on to say that his dark horse pick to win the event worth a cool million dollars, is the No. 38 Yates Ford team of Elliott Sadler.

For those new to the All-Star contest, here's the breakdown:
The field is comprised of 21 cars
Drivers and car owners who have one a race in the previous time period
Any driver who has won an All-Star event in the past
Any active driver who was a former Cup series champion
The winner of the NEXTEL open
Fan vote-in

The All-Star Challenge will be 90 laps, broken down into three segments of 40, 30 and 20 laps.

First Segment

Teams must make a green flag, four-tire pit stop between laps 10-35.

Ten minute red-flag pit stop to determine how many cars will be inverted.

Second Segment

No required pit stop, but teams may pit at will.

Third Segment

Green flag laps, winner takes $1 million purse

Qualifying: All-Star Race

Time-trials consist of three laps including a mandatory four-tire pit stop.

The NEXTEL Open:

All eligible active drivers not already in the All-Star race under the provisions listed above

30 laps, two segments of 20 and 10 laps

During yellow flag conditions, four tires may be changed

Green and yellow flag segments count

Between segment one and two there will be a mandatory yellow where teams can work on cars.

Qualifying: The NEXTEL Open

Teams will run two consecutive laps; the faster circuit will determine their position for the event.

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