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The Art of Racing 5-20
NASCAR changes for better
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NASCAR’s new aero-package seems to be heading in the right direction and proof of that was evident in last Sunday’s race in Dover. The Monster Mile as it is known has been notorious for cars spinning on their own as drivers were right on the edge throughout races. Resulting incidents frequently gathered other cars along the inside wall. This let drivers use all the lanes, resulting in the most thrilling race this year.
Matt Kenseth survived an 18-car pileup and some challenging drivers over the last 45 laps to get the win everyone knew was coming. In the first 11 races, Kenseth should have won at least twice, maybe as many as four times, but instead went home as one of the 39 losers every week. 
He was leading the Daytona 500 on the last lap and got hung out in the draft and finished 14th. Ten laps from the end at Martinsville, he restarted second only to finish 15th. There were refueling issues in Atlanta, contact with walls in Las Vegas and other cars at Talladega, blown tires at Bristol and electrical issues at Richmond.
Kenseth gave Joe Gibbs Racing its seventh victory in 12 races this season and in the process all but locked himself into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with teammates Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin, all race winners in 2016.
This weekend, NASCAR renews its version of an all-star race. It all begins with a Sprint Showdown to allow some of the non-qualified drivers a chance to get in the all-star race by winning one of three segments. A fourth driver (Danica Patrick) will get in by fan vote.
The all-star race will consist of 113 laps divided into three segments.
The first 50-lap segment will require drivers to make a minimum two-tire pit stop under green. The drivers will then be required to do a minimum two-tire pit stop during the first break and start the second segment the way they come off pit road.
The second 50-lap segment will require a minimum two-tire pit stop under green before Lap 85. There will then be a draw to determine whether the first nine, 10 or 11 cars will have to do a four-tire pit stop during the break while the remaining cars will not be allowed to pit. The cars that pit will line up behind the drivers who weren’t allowed to pit.
The final 13-lap segment will count only green-flag laps. The idea is that cars on fresh tires will have to fight their way to the front over those 13 laps. Watching the cars on fresh tires trying to weave through the 12 or 13 drivers on old tires will probably result in lots of crazy and daring maneuvers.