Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fast Facts: All-Star Race History

Skirts and Scuffs is getting ready to cover May racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this week Fast Facts looks at the history of the Sprint All-Star Race, taking place this year on Saturday, May 19th.
  • Originally known as The Winston, this special non-points race for winners from the previous and current year’s points races began in 1985, with all but the 1986 race (held at Atlanta Motor Speedway) having been contested at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • The race took on the name of Cup Series sponsor Winston from 1985 to 1993 and again from 1997 to 2003, becoming The Winston Select from 1994 to 1996. When new sponsor NEXTEL came along, the race became the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge from 2004 to 2007, finally becoming the Sprint All-Star Race in 2008.
  • In addition to winning races, drivers can get into the race via the Sprint Showdown (first and second place finishers) or by winning a fan vote.
  • The original format of 70 laps with a pit stop has been modified many times over the years, with the current format (beginning this season) being 90 laps split into five segments – four 20-lap segments and a final 10-lap dash; winners of the first four segments will line up 1 through 4 for the final 10 laps.
  • The first seven events were held during the day, but in 1992 the race was moved to prime time, where it has been ever since. That first night race, entitled “One Hot Night,” saw Davey Allison and Kyle Petty battle it out for the win after Dale Earnhardt spun in the final turns of the last lap. Allison and Petty crashed going across the finish line, with Allison taking the win; he never made it to victory lane, as he was taken straight to the hospital after the crash.
  • Jeff Gordon and the late Dale Earnhardt each have three wins in the All-Star Race, while Hendrick Motorsports is the winningest team with six victories.
  • Kasey Kahne is the only driver to ever win the All-Star Race after qualifying by fan vote, which he did in 2008. In 1996, Michael Waltrip became the first driver to win the All-Star Race after winning what was then known as The Winston Open (now the Sprint Showdown).
  • Find out more about this year’s race at http://www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/.  

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