NASCAR’s Sprint All-Star Race is one of the most exciting races of the year: a Saturday night shootout for over $1 million. Here’s a brief history of this non-points event taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The All-Star Race began as The Winston, named for the former Cup Series sponsor. The first event took place in 1985 at Charlotte and the following year it was moved to Atlanta Motor Speedway; that was the only time the event was held somewhere other than Charlotte.
- The race has also been called the Winston Select (1994 to 1996) and the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge (2004 to 2007); it has been known as the Sprint All-Star Race since 2008.
- The format of the event has changed many times over the years. Its current format: a 50-lap segment with mandatory 4-tire green flag pit stop on Lap 25 followed by two 25-lap segments, a 10-minute break and a 10-lap final shootout.
- A last-chance race was added in 1987, then called the Winston Open; from 2000 to 2002, a second last-chance race named the No Bull 5 Sprint also added to the field. Only two All-Star Race winners have come from the last-chance races: Michael Waltrip in 1996 (Winston Open) and Ryan Newman in 2002 (No Bull 5). The last-chance race is currently known as the Sprint Showdown.
- A fan-vote for the final driver was added in 2004. In 2008, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to win the All-Star Race as a fan-voted driver.
- The late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon both won the event three times; Hendrick Motorsports has the most team wins in the event with six.
- Stay tuned to Skirts & Scuffs for more Sprint All-Star Race updates.