This week it is so easy to love NASCAR. Well, it’s rather evident that I love NASCAR every single week, but I feel that the race on the docket next is accessible to all people, not just hardcore fans.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup All Star Race XXVIII is happening this weekend and will be a spectacular event.
The All Star Race began in 1985 as a part of Bill France Jr.’s endless quest to make NASCAR a nationally loved and watched sport.
The All Star race is a non-points race that takes the best of the best of the sport and pits them against one another in an explosive contest under the lights on a hot Saturday night in May.
Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the annual event, although in 1986 Atlanta Motor Speedway was the venue for that lone year.
Driving for Junior Johnson in what became a spectacular season; Darrell Waltrip took top honors and prize money for that first All Star event, $200,000 for running 70 laps.
Over the years the length of the race grew, the format has changed to “keep things interesting”, and the purse has increased, but the true spirit of the event has stayed the same.
The 2012 All Star Race format has been changed up again. For the first time in the race’s history five segments (up from four) will be run broken down into four segments of 20 laps and one segment of a 10 lap sprint.
The change has been incurred to create more incentive to win one of the first four segments. The winners will subsequently line up 1-4 in the fifth segment, the 10 lap shootout. The rest of the field is determined by how they exit Pit Road for that last 10 laps.
But how does one get into the All Star Race? That has not changed this year.
Eligibility to get into the NASCAR Sprint Cup All Star Race XXVIII is as follows (as listed on Jayski.com):
1st criteria: Drivers who have won races in the current and preceding year. If a driver leaves a team with which he has won a race, he remains eligible (through the last race before The All-Star Race), the team does NOT.
2nd criteria: Drivers who are past Sprint Cup champions in the last 10 years
3rd criteria: Drivers who have won The All-Star Race in the past 10 years
4th criteria: The winning driver of the Sprint Showdown
5th criteria: Driver who finishes 2nd in the Sprint Showdown
6th criteria: Driver voted in by the fans
This makes for an incredible field of competitors!
The lineup is formally introduced once set amid fireworks, raucous cheers, and a ton of pageantry. The teams are a part of the introductions making for even more fun and tomfoolery, each team trying to be most memorable, silly, or outlandish.
|The No. 88 team during All Star intros.|
Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
I’ve been watching the NASCAR All Star Race since 1991. Back then, living in Salem, Virginia, my husband and I were able to buy a copy of the poster of the All Star lineup. We would purchase the current year’s and adorn our apartment wall with it. As the years added up the wall space became limited as we never could seem to let the previous years’ go.
When we moved we discarded those relics. I’m sad, too, as I believe they all had Dale Earnhardt in them.
As the All Star Race grows nearer, I’m all aflutter. There is no better night in NASCAR for no-holds- barred racing, with nothing on the line but bragging rights, and the egomania that pushes those drivers to win big or go home!
The NASCAR Sprint Cup All Star race is a ton of fun and yet another reason why I love NASCAR.
Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.