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Nascar Racing

Showdown and All Stars Under the Lights at Charlotte

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If you know anything about NASCAR, you already know the Showdown and The All Star race aren’t just for show – They’re about winning. (Well… They’re about winning… and money… Lots of money.) In fact, it’s pretty much all or nothing and, if done right, it could be worth 2 million dollars tonight.

Another thing about the All Star race is that it isn’t like any other All Star performance in sports. The Sprint All Star race isn’t about just showing up, pretending it’s an important night and then putting on a poor performance. It is about driving as hard as you can, beating every other driver on the track and taking home that load of money. With the purse they’re running for (in particular this year), these drivers will always do just about anything to win and that makes it more interesting than any other professional sport anywhere.

NASCAR is different and this weekend’s race is different than any other. They’ve made changes to the format for the All Star event and it should make for a very interesting evening of racing. From this fan’s view, it looks like they’ve tried to eliminate any sandbagging at all and that means the All Star segments should prove to be flat out racing from beginning to end.

It’s not necessary to go into all the nuances of the races tonight but the field is set for the All Star event except for three. That would be the first and second finishers in the Showdown and, of course, the fan’s choice. Many think, since Dale Jr is already locked in to the All Star race tonight, the fan’s choice will be Danica. Of course, this fan isn’t so definite about that but I guess it could happen. If not, I do know there are a few others the fans might “favorite” into the final and that makes not knowing all the more interesting.

Of the ones that may not drive themselves into the All Star race from the Showdown, the fan’s choice could be a not-so-known one they want to give a chance to run with the “Stars” or it could be one of the more noticed drivers that just haven’t made it yet. Of those that are running in the Showdown a number of names do stand out and could be the choice of the fans. At least for the moment, I going to rule out four of them simply because they could finish first or second in the Showdown. Those would be Martin Truex Jr, Jamie McMurray, Jaun Pablo Montoya and Aric Almirola. (I’m not saying they will take one of the top two spots, I’m just saying they could.)

A couple of names that stick out would be Bobby Labonte and Jeff Burton. Although they have been around a while, it is possible they could get the nod from the fans but they are by no means a lock for the position. The more obvious choices, at least from this fan’s view, would be Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Paul Menard, Casey Mears, David Gilliland and, of course, Danica Patrick. Anyone has a chance of making it, but from my view, these are the most likely.

The Showdown will be flat out racing from beginning to end mostly because they either have to finish in the top two or be the fan favorite to make it into the All Star event. Finishing anywhere else means they likely won’t make the the Big Event for the night. To this fan, that alone spells intensity.

Speaking of intensity, the qualifying session for the All Star race was one of the most exciting I’ve ever seen in many years of NASCAR Cup races. It was a definite throwback to years ago and it remided me of just how much has changed to better protect the pit crews during a race. Although it was a great experience for this special weekend, I don’t ever see them reveting back to it for regular races (and honestly, no one expects them to.) It did remind this fan of how dangerous it used to be and how much better it is now, even though it is still a dangerous job for the crew members.

When it comes to the All Star race, the changes made to the format just about guarantee lap after lap of hard racing, drivers trying to finish up front and have the best average finsihes over the first segments and then take it all the way to the end to collect the the big payout.

The All Star race is always exciting and a fan favorite. It shows what the drivers are made of and definitely shows just how competitive they are, especially when it involves the possibility of taking home a million or two dollars. If the All Star qualifying session was just a hint of what we might see tonight, well… hold on because anything can happen (and probably will…)

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© May 18, 2013 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, Nascarfansview.com and Justafansview.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions

By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.