All Stars shine in Charlotte - NOTES by Lugnut - News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR NOTES: All Stars shine in Charlotte

Photo Credit: Jonathan Coleman Photo Photo Credit: Jonathan Coleman Photo
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

The stick-and-ball sports have their All-Star games but they are usually more a social event than a hard-fought competition. NASCAR's version places the past season's best teams against each other with the winner leaving with at least a million dollars in their pocket.

With that much money on the line, the claws usually come out as each driver pushes the envelope to win that prize money for their team. The famous "Pass in the Grass" where Dale Earnhardt Sr. nearly spun through the infield in an attempt to get by Bill Elliott is evidence of the intensity of the on-track action.

With no points on the line, the strategy is simple. You either bring home the trophy or you don't bring it home. For most drivers, it's checkers or wreckers in this event.

The All-Star race first came on the scene in 1985 with Darrell Waltrip taking the million-dollar prize. The eligibility requirements have changed some over the years but a few things have remained the same.

Drivers that have won a NASCAR Sprint Car point race in the last season or the All-Star Race in the last 10 years are automatically in the field. Sprint Cup Champions that do not fill the initial requirements are also eligible if their championship is within the last 10 years.

Some Sprint Cup stars will have to race their way into the field by winning or finishing second in the Pre Race Showdown event. Martin Truex Jr. is one of those drivers who has had success this season but no victories. He will be one of the favorites to race his way into the All-Star.

"I feel like we should win that race. Anything less would be a disappointment," commented Truex on his chances of getting into the Main Event. "We're going there guns loaded trying to do all we can do, and hopefully we'll come out on the right side of it this time."

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon hold the all-time win record for the All-Star race among active drivers. Dale Earnhardt Sr. joins them with three victories in Feature Event.

Seven different organizations have won NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Races since 1997 but surprisingly, Joe Gibbs Racing is not one of them. However, the coach has two of the hottest drivers on the circuit driving his cars this time around in Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch so this should be his best chance to get into the winner's circle.

With so much money and pride on the line, you won't see drivers taking it easy like you do in other sports. They will be up on the wheel each lap, battling to bring home the win. It should be a great night.

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