Why I Love NASCAR: The Sprint Cup All-Star Race

The start of the 2010 All-Star Race ... why I love NASCAR.
Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Many sports have an All-Star event, but none do it with the fanfare and gusto that NASCAR does! With a fabulous venue, numerous events, and fast-paced, gear-grinding, power steering, burnout-inducing enthusiasm, NASCAR struts out its best for a period of non-points, highfalutin, bragging-rights-centered set of competitions.

Early in my fandom in the 1990s, The Winston Open led to The Winston All-Star Race and it was my favorite part of the season! My husband and I excitedly and dutifully bought the poster of those who won a pole, a race, or a previous Winston each season. We’d lovingly and proudly put it on the wall in the stairwell of our condominium to herald the event and showcase our fandom in a tangible way. Our driver, Dale Earnhardt, was a permanent fixture on those posters, and we reveled in the pageantry NASCAR unveiled for these events each season. As we were young, we never had the foresight to care for the posters; they were discarded when the next was brought into the house. We no longer own any of the ones from our past. But we still engage in all NASCAR does to create the magic that is the All-Star Race.

We used to sit vigil and watch as the drivers who had yet to win a pole, a race, or a previous Winston, compete in The Winston Open to try and race into the Winston All-Star Race moments before it ran. With no points to protect and the most competitive brand of athlete on the track, the driving was no-holds-barred, out on a limb, fanciful, and crazy! No man wanted to go home before they got into the main event. This platform allowed drivers to do what was natural, race to the extreme with no fear of consequence.  Whether called the Winston All-Star Race or the Sprint Cup All-Star Race, it is much the same and no less a spectacle!

Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in the Queen City, is an optimal place to hold the All-Star NASCAR ceremonies. Most of the Teams have their shops in and around Charlotte, and it is now the home of the great NASCAR Hall of Fame. Fans pour into the city to take part in days upon days of All-Star activities. Whether you go to the Pit Crew Challenge, a free concert at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Qualifying, or one of the many races being held, especially the All-Star Race, you will be entertained to the Nth degree!

This year the party gets started on Wednesday, May 18th, with NASCAR Rev’d Up, a free concert and interactive fan entertainment. In these times of economic hardships, free is a darn good value and is indicative of NASCAR’s commitment to bring quality family entertainment to its fans! The event is being held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This year’s concert will feature performances by multi-platinum country artist Gary Allan and singer-songwriter Josh Kelley. Be sure to make time to visit the Hall of Fame when in Charlotte.
The crew of the No. 18 team competes in the Pit Crew Challenge
Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR
The following day the seventh annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will take place at the Time Warner Cable Arena (broadcast on SPEED). Here pit crews will get to showcase their speed and talents in front of a large audience rooting for them. This competition takes place between the top-24 Sprint Cup pit crews and results in determining pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Denny Hamlin’s team is defending its title this year.

Friday, May 20th, is NASCAR Day. NASCAR Day is an annual charitable celebration that unifies the NASCAR community to better the lives of children. Many retailers sell the pins ($10) that identify this year’s NASCAR Day. Buying and wearing a NASCAR Day pin aids the mission as well as signifies your support of all the good NASCAR does. On Friday evening, the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Qualifying begins at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After qualifying, the Camping World Trucks roll onto the track to race the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, which is being televised by SPEED.

Saturday, May 21st, will be jam-packed with even more NASCAR action! The Sprint Showdown is run in the early part of the evening. The top two finishers qualify for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. If your favorite driver doesn’t race his way in, there is always the fan vote that may carry him in the event. Finally, the excitement hits a fever pitch when the drivers are introduced to an ecstatic crowd and finally strap in their racecars to begin the culminating All-Star Race. If history is any barometer, this All-Star Race should make legions of NASCAR fans thrilled with the drama, heart-stopping action, and dream-making results while seducing a slew of new NASCAR fans to follow our sport! Engaging in the Sprint All-Star activities is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.
Why I Love NASCAR: The Sprint Cup All-Star Race Why I Love NASCAR: The Sprint Cup All-Star Race Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, May 16, 2011 Rating: 5