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Race stages detailed for NASCAR races

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NASCAR race lengths vary from track to track, and NASCAR's new race format will vary in length depending on the race. The stage winners and race victor will also receive playoff points.

Earnhardt went to Victory Lane in NASCAR's biggest race in 2004 and again a decade later in 2014.

But NASCAR couldn't keep to a consistent format - only six events have the second stage ending at the halfway mark - because it wanted to avoid a stage from ending close to the end of a fuel run and avoid encouraging drivers to go slower, save fuel and win a stage. The truck races will have two stages of 40 laps and a final stage of 87 laps; the Xfinity races will have two stages of 45 laps and a final stage of 110 laps; and the Cup series will have two stages of 85 laps and a final stage of 164 laps.

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The Clash, as it's known, is a 75-lap, two segment non-Cup-points race that involves the previous year's pole winners, previous 500 pole winners, and any remaining Chase drivers from the past season. "And in the end, stage lengths were decided based upon what would provide the best race for fans". When the third stage concludes the first-place driver is declared the victor and points are distributed throughout the field.

Earnhardt will make his return to racing when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series opens its season February 26 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

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