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There is nothing quite like the All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In fact, there is no other race like it in a NASCAR season and that is just one of the things that makes it so unique and special. Although the format may change slightly from year to year, the excitement and intensity of “all or nothing” for the drivers never gets old. It is a fun race, even with all of the intensity, and this year the winner takes home a million bucks.
And before that, there is the “Showdown” which gives two of the teams a chance at getting into the All Star race and taking home even more money. It’s called the Showdown and nothing could describe it better. It is a showdown and only two of the participants will make the All Star race that follows.
The Showdown could be just as exciting as the All Star race, simply because of the ones involved in it. Just take a look at some of the names, especially those in the top fourteen. Just listen to some of these names… David Ragan, AJ Allmendinger, Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Burton, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, Dale Jr and Bobby Labonte.
Just those names alone could mean a very competitive race, but there are others we won’t mentio+n here at the moment. David Ragan has been running strong lately as well as AJ Allmendinger. Add to the mix, Jeff Burton, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano and Dale Jr and I think it sets up a very competitive showdown. (The important thing to remember is that out of 27 starters and two twenty lap segments, only two will move on to the big one along with one fan favorite.)
Unfortunately, no matter how well the top thirteen run, only two of them will move into the All Star race, as I mentioned earlier, and then there is the bonus of one more voted in by the fans. Now, I could be wrong, but I think Dale Jr is probably the one that is assured to get in no matter whether he finishes in the top two or from the fan vote. Of course, I could be wrong about that but I’m already of the opinion Dale Jr wants to race his way in; it is a matter of proving he really is ready to make a run for the Chase not only to himself but to his fans and NASCAR nation, too.
I enjoy this racing weekend as much as any and probably a just little bit more than most depending on who may have a grudge against whom and which driver is willing to take the chance that none of the others are, or by taking that chance, takes out his competition and sometimes himself.
From this fans view, I think the format is what makes it so interesting. This years format for the segments sounds like it will be very interesting and although it is always similar, it is also slightly different. I like the fact that the way they will line up in the final segment will be determined by the way they exit the pits after the mandatory final four tire stop. That in itself ought to prove to be interesting.
Tonight’s race will be unique in itself and yet it will be much like a Saturday night trophy dash for some really big bucks. Let’s see, two races for some really big bucks, a little relaxing of the rules just to make the competition a little more interesting and the mandate from NASCAR to, “have at it, boys”, (with the warning to not step over the line of common sense and safety), and we should have a night of racing filled with emotion, drama and probably a little beating and banging just to make it real… Oh, and let’s not forget, at a track that says if there are any fines handed out by NASCAR tonight, the track will pay them in full…
Hm-m-m-m… What better way can you think of to spend a Saturday night…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 21, 2011 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman and Nascarfansview.com
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