The Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) will go about 90 laps (135 miles) in five segments on the 1.5-mile track this Saturday night in Concord, N.C. and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points lead will not change.
The popular fan-friendly and fan-influenced All-Star race is not a NSCS point race at all. It’s a race for bragging rights and maybe $1 million dollars in prize money. This event is a prelude show for NASCAR’s longest race, the Coke 600, the following week.
As most of the NASCAR drivers have homes in the Charlotte area, both races allow them the luxury of local traveling distances and the comfort of sleeping in their own beds for two weeks.
The All-Star race also helps drivers and teams gain data on CMS for the long Coke 600.
NSCS teams also get a money break from hauler and hotel expenses, while hauler drivers might even get some time off during a short work week. It’s obvious that driving the hauler from a nearby shop is far less time consuming than a long trip to Arizona, California or Nevada.
Fans who are not in one of the 140,000 seats at the CMS can watch on SPEED at 7:30 p.m. ET, May 18. Fans eager for information on the All-Star race can review select comments from the drivers in the Top Five.
Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer had comments about this fun race, but none have to worry about losing a point.
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet)
"It means a lot now, it’s got a million more reasons if you are able to win all the segments. It’s a huge payday. It’s fun to race without points and that sets you up for a nice Memorial (Day) weekend and a good starting point with your race car."
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford)
"$2 million is a lot of money. We would definitely like to win all the segments and win the race. The All-Star win a couple of years ago was one of the neatest wins of my life. I’ve watched the All-Star race on television since I was a little kid, seen all the amazing finishes, the crazy circumstances, all the emotion and chaos that goes on around that event, (and) it’s really an honor to be a part of it now as a driver. We’ve been working very hard on our car (and) on our strategy, and I’m really excited to go run the race.
"If I win I’m not going to tear up my car in the grass, I promise you that: I’d like to get that right; I’d like to get a proper slide through the grass without hurting my car."
Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota)
"The All-Star Race at Charlotte is a really fun weekend. It seems like that type of race track has been one of our strong suits so far this year with wins at Kansas and Vegas. It’s always a fun week for the crew, and it’s great to be home in Charlotte for a few weeks. The fans get the chance to visit all the race shops and check out all the racing action for the two weekends as well. I’m looking forward to a fun night Saturday, and then we’ll prepare for my favorite race of the year next weekend, the Coca-Cola 600."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet)
"The All-Star weekend is a great weekend. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s just an awesome race. It’s got a lot of great stories and a lot of history. We’d like to be a part of that this weekend and win the race, so we’re going to work really hard. I’m looking forward to getting in the car and seeing what kind of speed we’ve got and what kind of race car we’ve got."
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Toyota)
"The Sprint All-Star race is such a great event for everyone involved—it normally brings out great racing, tempers and a mad dash to the finish. It’s different than the races each weekend in about every way. You have to win a race to get invited. It’s a pure money event—points don’t mean a thing. The format changes a little each year, but the only thing you have to remember is the guy that finishes first in the last 10 laps segment is walking home with a lot of cash. And I love cash! And so do all the other guys, and we’ll do about anything we can to get to that finish line first. There is over $1 million on the line—$2 million if you win every segment. It is going to be crazy from start to finish. It’s going to be one heck of a show for the fans and I hope to be standing there with a mountain of cash at the end."
Let the fun for fans and racers begin.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained from personal interviews or official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.