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The Winston Cup is NASCAR's annual all-star race held at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. This race is made up of winners from the previous year of racing and former Winston Cup champions. Qualifying for The Winston cup 2001, NASCAR's all-star race, will feature a four-tire pit stop at the beginning of each team's qualifying attempt. In the past, qualifying has included a two-tire stop somewhere within the multi-lap qualifying process. The Winston cup is set for Saturday, May 19, 2001. Last season, the pit stop was moved to the beginning of the attempt. This year, each team will perform a four-tire pit stop followed by three hot laps. The teams will compete for the quickest total time. Only the drivers who enter The Winston weekend as qualified drivers will compete in this process.
"NASCAR Winston Cup racing is a team sport," Rick Sanders, president of RJR's Sports Marketing Enterprises said. "Just last weekend at Darlington, Dale Jarrett's pit crew put him back on the track ahead of the field late in the race, and he went on to win. By including a four-tire stop, we are able to place even more emphasis on the team. The drivers are the all-stars of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, but the crews are all-stars, too."
The remaining NASCAR Winston Cup drivers will attempt to qualify for The Winston through The Winston Open and The No Bull Sprint races run immediately prior to The Winston Cup. Qualifying for The Winston Open will be Friday night, May 18th. A two-lap qualifying format replaces the No Bull 25 qualifying races. The winner of The Winston Open, a 30-lap affair, will advance into The Winston Cup. Following the Winston Open, the winner will go to victory lane. The remaining cars will stay on the track for four caution laps followed by the 16-lap No Bull Sprint. Teams may elect to pit during the caution period, but they will lose track position. The winner of the No Bull Sprint will also advance into The Winston Cup. The format of The Winston Cup will again be three segments of 30, 30 and 10 laps, respectively. Only green-flag laps count in The Winston Cup. Following the first 30-lap segment, there will be a 10-minute break, and the field will be inverted between six and 12 positions. The actual inversion process and number will be announced at a later date. Following the second segment, pit road will open, but the pace car will remain on the track. Teams may pit, but they will lose track position. All restarts in The Winston Cup will be double-file. The first row will consist of the cars running first and second. The second row will consist of the cars running third and fourth, etc. Cars not on the lead lap will restart behind all lead-lap cars.
The Winston 2001 Eligibility List
As of March 23, 2001
Driver Race Won Car Owner
Dale Jarrett2000 Daytona 500Robert Yates
Bobby Labonte2000 Dura 400, RockinghamJoe Gibbs
Jeff Burton2000 400, LasJack Roush
Ward Burton2000 Mall.Com 400, DarlingtonBill Davis
Rusty Wallace2000 Food City 500, BristolRoger Penske
Dale Earnhardt Jr.2000 DirecTV 500, Fort WorthTeresa Earnhardt
Mark Martin2000 Goody's 500, MartinsvilleJack Roush
Jeff Gordon2000 DieHard 500, TalledegaRick Hendrick
Jeremy Mayfield2000 Napa Auto Parts 500Roger Penske
Matt Kenseth 2000 Coca-Cola 600Jack Roush
Tony Stewart2000 MBNA Platinum 400Joe Gibbs
Steve Park2000 Global Crossing at the GlenTeresa Earnhardt
Jerry Nadeau2000 NAPA 500Rick Hendrick
Michael Waltrip2001 Daytona 5000Teresa Earnhardt
Kevin Harvick 2001 Craker Barrel 500Richard Childress

Nascar Winston Cup Champions
(Not Otherwise Exempt)

Drivers Year(s) Won
Bill Elliot1988
Terry Labonte1984, 1996

Race Winners From Precious Seaseons
(Not Otherwise Exempt)

DriversRace Won
John Andretti1999 Goody's 500
Joe Nemechek1999 Dura-Lube 300, Loudon
If a non-qualified driver wins a NASCAR Winston Cup race before The Winston, Andretti and Nemechek will drop out of the field. If either Andretti or Nemechek wins a race, the other will drop out.