The race was 90 laps long, separated into five segments: four segments of 20 laps and a final segment of 10 laps. A mandatory pit stop was utilized between the final two segments, while pitting between the 20 lap segments was optional. Since the inaugural race in 1985, the format has changed ten times. In 2014, the Sprint Showdown was held on Friday –before the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Seriesrace – instead of being before the All-Star Race.
The All-Star Race was open to race winners from the 2013 Daytona 500 through the 2014 5-hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway and previous All-Star race winners from the past ten years were eligible to compete in the All-Star Race. The drivers who finished first and second in the Sprint Showdown, a 40-lap preliminary race, were also eligible to compete in the race, as well as the Sprint fan vote winner provided that the fan vote winner finished on the lead lap and a car still in race-able condition (the latter condition also applied to the Showdown winner and runner-up). The All-Star Race had 22 drivers, 19 of which were race winners.
The Showdown had 23 drivers of the 30 drivers eligible. Justin Allgaier chose to skip the All-Star weekend and focus on the following week's Coca-Cola 600. Allgaier, 29th in points, said accidents the previous weekends contributed to the team's decision to skip the non-points event. “For us, being a small independent team, obviously, the points races are the main focus,’’ said Allgaier, who was 29th in points. “With crashing a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and crashing last week at Kansas, it puts a toll on a team and this is going to allow us to really hit the reset button. “It’s crazy to think that you crash like that, jump out, walk to the ambulance and go home and wake up the next day and not even feel like you crashed."
Kyle Larson was the fastest in the sole Sprint Showdown practice session with a time of 27.820 and a speed of 194.105 mph (312.382 km/h).
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the fastest in the sole All-Star Race practice session with a time of 27.898 and a speed of 193.562 mph (311.508 km/h).