This Week in NASCAR [Maylong Edition]

All-Star Weekend in Charlotte

5/18/12 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Maylong Edition]The NASCAR drivers have a weekend off from points racing, but not from racing.  This weekend we have two races, and they are both for bragging rights. Oh, and the money, don't forget the money.

As I'm writing this, the cars are on the track in practice for the first race, the All Star Showdown.  As of right now, Dale Earnhardt Jr is fastest, but AJ Allmendinger, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano also have very fast cars.  These guys don't have a win so have to race in to the All-Star race, along with many others.  

The other way a driver can get into the All Star Race is through the Fan Vote.  The website has been tallying votes for weeks and once the Showdown is completed, the winner of that race will advance to the All Star Race.  At that time the winner of the Fan Vote will also be announced and that driver will also advance to the big race.  

On Thursday the crews for the teams competed in the Pit Crew Challenge.  It will air on SPEED over the weekend, but Jimmie Johnson's crew beat out Denny Hamlin's crew in the final and did a fair bit of celebrating.

In order to qualify for the Sprint Cup All Star Race, a driver must have had a win in the past year.  A few first timers will compete this year, including Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne and Paul Menard.  All three are in the race by virtue of a win last year, and all three can be expected to do well.  

In this 28th running of the All Star Race, there are several past winners, including Carl Edwards and his teammate, Matt Kenseth.  Matt has had a strong start to the 2012 season, so could definitely be a factor.

Perhaps one of the ideas for the All Star Race that is the most fun is the paint schemes.  Every year the crews and their sponsor seem to come up with unique and special paint schemes, honoring their charities, their foundations, a sponsor, or perhaps a child.  These cars are released as special addition diecasts, and special promotions in the souvenir tents feature the paint schemes in T-shirts, hats, cozies and more. Blog Photo - This Week in NASCAR [Maylong Edition] The All Star weekend can Souvenir sales can be a business in its own right.  I can attest to that, as I have a Dale Earnhardt Sr. All Star Diecast from 1995, back when the race was called the Winston.  The car is in its original packaging, never opened.  (I also have one from the 1998 Daytona 500 - the one Dale won).

This year's race will have another new format.  Every year it seems to be a challenge to come up with a format the fans have never seen.  This year the All Star Race will consist of four 20 lap segments.  The goal will be to win the segments as the winners of the four segments will line up first for the ten laps shootout to the checkers.  The twist?? The winners will line up in the top four positions before they head to pit road for a mandatory pit stop.  So, not only will how a driver and his car performs on the track be a factor, but the pit strategy in that final break could also be a huge factor.  Will they go with four tires, two tires or fuel only?  Also, the goal will be to win the first segment, as the Segment 1 winner will have P1 heading to the pits for that final pit stop.  

It is expected that with the ability to change the format, change up the rules and factor in a qualifying race will, for a change, make this an All Star competition people will actually want to watch.
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5/20/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Nascar powers did away with it, like most of the things that make racing, racing.

That's no surprise.  They're like my work, whatever makes sense they do the polar opposite.

5/20/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

Ricky Stenhouse was in a league of his own as he makes it three in a row at Iowa. These kid looks like he will be the next superstar in NASCAR. Kurt Busch with an incredible save at the end coming to the finish, shocked with how calm he was when ESPN interviewed after the race.

Darrell Wallace, Jr finishes 9th in NNS debut. Sadler, McDowell, Dillon, Kurt Busch, Allgaier, Whitt, Kligerman, and Gaughan round out the top ten.

5/20/12   |   Canadianhick   |   2149 respect

These has nothing to do with the big boys of NASCAR but rather the future of NASCAR. I have been following Bill Elliott's son Chase for awhile now. The future of employer of the #24 car at HMS a might add,  picked up his first win in the K&N Pro Series East/West yesterday in Iowa. These kid for being 16 has quite the resume for victories and is a name worth keeping an eye.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. is another kid who have been following for awhile too and he has taken a huge points with crashes the last two weeks. Looking forward to seeing him in his NNS debut these afternoon in Iowa in the JGR  #20.

5/20/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

kramer wrote:
Bring back the inversion.  Bring back the intermission.  Make the segments different lengths...and for God's sake boys, ACT like it's The Winston!  What happened to the old all-star cliché "checkers or wreckers?"

Nascar powers did away with it, like most of the things that make racing, racing.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Bring back the inversion.  Bring back the intermission.  Make the segments different lengths...and for God's sake boys, ACT like it's The Winston!  What happened to the old all-star cliché "checkers or wreckers?"

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

Yeah, I have to agree.  JJ wins the first segment and then just rides around in the back waiting for the green to fall on the final segment.  Maybe if they had rolled the dice to see which of the segment winners would be in the lead for the final segment? Or mandatory 4 tire change pit stops?? I don't know, but I was so hopeful, just like every race this season, and I feel like we aren't getting what we deserve.  

I need to clarify, because I liked the segment idea - the four leading to the final.  It was the final segment in my mind that was the failure.

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

If the new format was to make it better for the fans? This fan says : FAIL

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Well, I was so excited for this race, because I thought it would be fun, with the new segments, and I feel like I've had such a let down.  Only reason we are still turned to the channel is for the Dale Jr interview, which I hope we get to see.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

That was the most boring All-Star night I've ever seen save the end of segment 3.

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

Crap!!!!!!!!!

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

The anti-Johnson language in my household right now would make a sailor blush.........

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

Come on Brad!!!!!!!!!!

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Nice job for Jr winning segment 4!  Here we go for 10 laps and a million bucks...you ready?!cool

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Jr. not taking tires.  hmmmmmm 

Advantage 48. and I do not want him to win.  Go JR!!!!!

I apologize to no one for being a Dale Jr fan :D

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Jr win Segment 4, the cars will line up according to their segment finishes, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Dale Jr and the rest of the field from segment 4.  Mandatory Pit stops coming up next.

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

I'm giggling.  So stoked to see Dale Jr doing this!!!!!

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Welcome to the party, Debi!

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Keselowski hangs on to beat Kahne by 2 inches for segment 3.  Greg Biffle becomes the 2nd Roushketeer to go out in a blaze of glory.  Junior and the Dinger will be on the front row for the restart following the cleanup from the Biff's big kaboom.  Those 2 have both been very strong all night, and in the final 10-lap segment, they could very well finish 1-2 again.

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

And Greg Biffle joins teammate Carl Edwards, looking for a fire truck......

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Go Go Go Go Go JR!!!!!!!


And I think the segment thing is kinda neat, actually! First time I've liked it in a long time.  blush

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

So coool, you could hear the crowd cheering for Jr right there

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

Could they make it sound more confusing.....I'm not sure how I like this format.

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Matt sure seems to want it really really badly.....

Kahne too, I thought he mighta had it at the line, but not quite.

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

Matt sure seems to want it really really badly.....

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Just got home from work, got to see the last couple of laps of segment two, and I have to say I'm impressed with Dale Jr.  In 2008 Kasey got the fan vote in and won the race.  Can Jr. win the Showdown and the Big race?  

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Kenseth wins segment 2 in front of Junior and Hamlin.  Trevor Bayne lost it on the last lap of the segment and just barely kissed the wall.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Edwards goes kablooey, bringing out the first caution of the night that's NOT a competition yellow between segments.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Johnson wins segment 1.  The Childress boys got together (Harvick and Menard).  Kurt Busch got a good bit of damage thanks to the turn 4 wall.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

And the fan vote goes to...Bobby Labonte, AKA Bobbily Abonte!

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

AJ Allmendinger had a flat tire coming to the green flag and had to pit off the front row.  He stayed on the lead lap miraculously, and ran down the guys up front to finish second and advance to the All-Star Race with Junior.

I am gonna take a wild guess and say Jeff Burton gets in as the fan vote.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

The Sprint Showdown goes caution free and Junior leads all 40 laps to get into the All-Star Race on his own!  So NOW who gets the fan vote with Dale Jr. winning the race?  Who's second in the voting?

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Junior walks away with segment 1 of the Sprint Showdown leading all 20 laps.

5/19/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Let's go racing ALL-STAR STYLE!  Debi, do you care if we make this the official live thread?

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

(Edited by Debi_L)

I hate that I have to work today.  If I'm lucky I'll be home for the last segment........

5/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

I got to see the replay of the race when I got home from work.  A HUGE congrats to Justin Lofton who was there all night long, just lurking.  The announcers did mention him a few times (the kids had told me who won, so I was paying attention) but were, as usual, focusing on the "names" .  All in all a pretty great race!  And I agree - just one of them racing deals.....

5/19/12   |   JenX63   |   32821 respect

Truck race was great! Hated that ending for Brad, but I think everyone is clear that he no longer "respects" Ron Hornaday. I'm not sure what Brad was expecting, but, that was just racing in my opinion.

5/18/12   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Does anyone else think this puppet thing they are doing on SPEED is lame?? UGH.