Speedway News (1557)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
VOTE BRUTON TO THE NASCAR HALL OF FAME: Next week, Bruton Smith will find out if a lifetime of achievement in motorsports has earned him a spot in the prestigious 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. The committee of voters – 53 in all, including 21 from the nominating committee; 31 from former drivers, owners, crew chiefs, manufacturers and media; and one to represent the fan vote – will gather Thursday at the downtown Charlotte shrine to narrow the field from the 25 nominees.
Smith, Speedway Motorsports Inc. chief executive officer and chairman of the board has long been a pioneer in motorsports, dating back to the 1950s, when he was the promoter at tracks such as the old Charlotte Speedway and the Shelby Speedway located at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
Smith’s first major speedway endeavor began when he partnered with racing legend Curtis Turner to open Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1960 and held the first World 600 that year. Since then he has built a racing empire of eight speedways across the nation under the SMI umbrella, with those speedways hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, 17 NASCAR Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series races and many other high-profile motorsports events.
Smith has previously been inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2007), National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame (2006) and Texas Motorsports Hall of fame (2008).
JOSH TURNER CONCERT A HIT WITH NASCAR FANS: Country music singer, songwriter and two-time Grammy nominee Josh Turner entertained the infield crowd Saturday prior to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with his deep, melodic voice. The pre-race concert was presented by Lance sandwich crackers.
“I have done a lot of NASCAR events throughout my career.” said Turner. “It’s always fun to come out here, because the NASCAR fans and country music fans are kind of one and the same, from my experience. Just being able to come out here and play in the infield, it’s just a lot of energy. People are excited about the show, the race and everything else going on around it. It’s great, and I’m honored to be here today at Charlotte.”
CAM ON A WIRE: By now everyone knows about Fox Sports and SPEED’s famous CAMCAT, the 85-mph, high-tech camera suspended above the race track by a pair of gigantic cranes positioned outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The camera made its debut this year at Daytona and will return to add excitement for today’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The two-point, flying camera system developed in Austria is suspended a maximum of 140 feet in the air, dipping to 45 feet above the track at the 2,900-foot cable’s midpoint.
Aside from the sheer engineering greatness of this cutting-edge technology, what makes the Cat Cam even more special for fans at the track is that speedway officials will be pulling that phenomenal footage from SPEED to air directly onto the world’s largest HDTV, the 200-foot wide, 80-foot tall screen located on the speedway backstretch.
Commemorative LiftMaster Pole Night Tickets Honor 20th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s May Sweep at CharlotteWritten by Steven B. Wilson
Twenty years after NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt drove into the record books with an exhilarating sweep of both the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway is honoring the legendary driver’s accomplishment with a limited edition LiftMaster Pole Night commemorative ticket.
For just $20, Earnhardt fans and enthusiastic race historians can get their hands on this unique keepsake, which marks Earnhardt’s memorable back-to-back wins at his hometown track. The tickets feature photos of Earnhardt with the trophies he earned at the 1993 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.
Earnhardt entered the 1993 All-Star race with two victories in the special event already in his possession. Danny Lawrence, who was then the team’s assistant engine builder and second gasman, noted the environment created by the All-Star race was electrifying.
“When (we pushed the car) around the corner (onto the frontstretch), it sounded like an earthquake (the way) people were roaring. It sent chills through your bones,” Lawrence said.
Earnhardt struggled with his car during the race’s first two segments. However, when it came time for the race’s 10-lap shootout, Earnhardt once again reigned supreme.
After Earnhardt jumped the restart, NASCAR threw the yellow flag, lined up the cars again with Earnhardt still in second, and then threw the green flag. Earnhardt didn’t jump the second restart. This time he passed Martin with slightly more than a lap remaining for the victory.
“That was all him. Our car really wasn’t that good,” Lawrence said.
When it came time for the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt once again produced a phenomenal performance to win stock car racing’s longest event for the third and final time. He shook off two penalties and came from a lap down on two occasions to become the first driver to win the Coca-Cola 600 at night.
“What Dale Earnhardt was able to do was damn near impossible,” said Danny “Chocolate” Myers, Earnhardt’s long-time gasman who now co-hosts a show on XM-SIRIUS Satellite Radio. “It was through sheer dedication and determination that he was able to pull it off.”
Earnhardt’s victory made him the first driver to claim two consecutive Coca-Cola 600 victories since Darrell Waltrip in 1988-89. And Earnhardt accomplished the feat with an event record of 145.504 mph, breaking the old one of 145.327 mph set by Richard Petty in a Dodge in May 1975.
“Dale would tell us all the time, ‘Boys, we’re making history’, but we never thought about it,Lawrence said. “It was neat to be able to go to any race you wanted to and you felt like you had a chance to win. When we had a bad day it was when we finished 12th. If we had a 12th-place car, he somehow would finish fifth. It was awfully neat to be working on that deal back then when he was so good. He wasn’t happy unless he was winning.
“He was cool under pressure. He always thought if the race was still running he still had a chance of winning it. He never overdrove it; he never got in trouble. That’s why he was the best.”
NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE A GREAT PLACE TO GET MARRIED: When John and Monica Russell decided to get married, they knew exactly where to do it. As diehard race fans, there was really no other option.
“I thought, ‘Well, let’s get married at a race track,’” John Russell said. “Why not get married on the biggest stage (in racing).”
The couple met online in October, and three days later they were engaged.
“It was his wedding,” said Monica, who has been married once before. “I said, ‘What do you want, baby?’ So here we are. I haven’t actually been to a race here since 1994, so I am loving it.”
Both diehard Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, the bride and groom wore No. 88 T-shirts for the ceremony, which took place Saturday morning at the start/finish line of Charlotte Motor Speedway They took their wedding photos in Victory Lane and will be featured live on the Speed Stage at 4 p.m.
The Russells, from Bethune, S.C., spent the week before the wedding taking a NASCAR-themed pre-honeymoon in the area, checking out Victory Junction Gang Camp, Stewart-Hass Racing Wednesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Whisky River, Victory Lane (go-kart racing), Roush/Fenway Racing and the NASCAR R&D Center.
BEST CAMPGROUND IDEA EVER: Imagine you come to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 10 Greatest Days in Racing. But because you want to get there early and set up camp, and enjoy the atmosphere, the 10 Greatest Days in Racing turn into about two great days of camping at the race track. After two weeks, you have a mountain of dirty, smelly laundry to take home. Until now.
Just outside Turn 1 in the Tim Flock Campground is the new all & Snuggle Laundry Pit Stop, which is offering free laundry service for all race fans. But not only that, they are also a family entertainment zone, complete with cornhole, kids’ games, movies, popcorn and more.
“A lot of fans come in kind of skeptical, like what’s the catch,” said Jody Bennett, Senior Vice President for Aquarius Sports and Entertainment, who was manning the welcome table inside the Laundry Pit Stop Saturday. “They can’t believe it’s really free. But after we show them around and explain that it really, truly is a free service courtesy of all, Snuggle and Target, they love it.”
Open daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the all & Snuggle Laundry Pit Stop has provided free wash, dry, fold and delivery services for 32 loads in each of its first two days, which is the capacity for the eight-washer, eight-dryer trailer. But they’ve also given away loads of coupons, Snuggle mini teddy bears, Laundry Pit Stop cinch sacks, and even free full-size all and Snuggle products.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Bennett said. “And we haven’t even lost a sock.”
Fans are invited to attend the all & Snuggle Happy Hour next Thursday, 4:30-6:30 p.m., for free food, prizes, giveaways and a free qualifying ticket, as well as the chance to meet Target driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY 200 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES QUOTES
BRENDAN GAUGHAN (SECOND PLACE, No. 62 South Point Chevrolet): “(Gesturing to the name plate in front of him) First, I’m glad to know they still make these with my name on ‘em. It’s been a decade since I’ve been able to see one. You know, we did not have the textbook night. This is Charlotte. It’s a 3- 4- wide race track. Qualifying 23rd did not scare us at all; of course, I’d like to qualify better than 23rd. I’ve got to work on that. But the high groove that I like to run doesn’t usually lend itself to a great qualifying run. At the start of the race, we went for it; everything was going good. (Crew chief) Shane (Wilson) did a strategy move; we off-pitted everybody, and it looked like it was gonna work great. We came in, we got a green-flag stop, and I think we were within one lap of lapping the whole field. And I think the 18 broke something and gave everyone else the caution. So then it was kind of a work-for-it night. We thought we had a problem with about 30 to go, came in to check our Chevrolet; the boys said it checked out fine, so I believed my boys, and in the end I was catching Kyle (Busch). That’s why he’s Kyle Busch. He knows I like the high side, he knows these trucks all have an aero push, so he moved up to my groove for one corner of one lap and took the air off of my nose and just killed my momentum enough that I was only gaining on him again at the end. So great job by him. To come home second, this is our third top-5 in a row now, so I’m happy as I’ve been in a decade.
(Is that what you expected Kyle to do?) Stevie Reeves is my spotter, and Stevie Reeves is truly a veteran spotter. We all knew he was gonna do it because he did it earlier. He knows he’s gonna do it, and I know he’s gonna do it, but I just didn’t think he’d do it at that point, so I wasn’t ready for it. And that’s a little bit of rust on me, so to speak. I haven’t been in that position lately. So the rust is knocked off, and I will remember next time, and I’ll make sure when he goes to do that move, I go to the bottom to keep air on mine and try to keep gaining.
(You said you were mad as hell when you got on the truck; can you elaborate on that?) It feels great to be mad as hell. For the last eight years, I mean… you look at Kevin Harvick get out of the race car pissed off because he finished second, and I’m thinking I’d give anything to get a second place finish right now. But when you’re driving Chevrolets that are this good, you can be mad, because I had a truck that was gaining on Kyle Busch. And if I were a little more on my game when he goes to take my air, and I go to the bottom and I continue to gain on him and make a race out of it … that’s what I was mad about. I do know how to do these things. It’s been a while since I’ve done ‘em, but it feels good to be mad about second place.”
MAX GRESHAM (THIRD PLACE, NO. 8 AMWINS CHEVROLET): “We couldn’t be any happier with how tonight went. It was a great run for us to night. We started off kind of far in the back and worked our way forward, and that last pit stop really just came to life. It was kind of humming there at the end. This is justification for us that we’re going in the right direction, getting better every week. That’s all we can ask for. We had a lot of close calls there at the end. It seemed like on all the last restarts we were on the outside, which was hectic.”
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THERE’S NO PIT ROAD SPEED: The drivers have had one 15-minute session to work on their new approaches to and exits from pit road for tonight’s All-Star qualifying event. So how’d it go?
“It was chaos,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “It was borderline humorous at times what you were seeing out there.”
Earnhardt said he got as much as he could out of the short session, but that he’s still expecting tonight’s session to be a crapshoot for most drivers.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of people all over the place as far as how they approach coming onto pit road and leaving pit road, but we’ll try to do the best we can,” Earnhardt said.
Former NASCAR driver Ward Burton fondly remembers his experiences coming down pit road with no speed restrictions, and he said he thinks today’s drivers are so skilled that they won’t have too much trouble acclimating.
“A few of them will slide right through their pits, but probably not too many,” Burton said. “The biggest thing is the transition from the banking down onto pit road. They’re probably better off to be conservative coming in and concentrate on running a good couple laps and getting out fast.”
NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY 200 POLE WINNER NOTES
JEB BURTON (NO. 4 ARROWHEAD/KANGAROO EXPRESS CHEVROLET): “I am lucky to be driving for such a great team. These guys work hard for me. They believe in me and give me great trucks every week. They have been making me look good. (What’s it like to be on pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway?) It’s really cool, coming here as a little kid. It’s a dream come true. I have got an awesome race team. It feels really good for all the hard work me and dad have put in for the last three or four years trying to get a ride. I finally got one and the results are there now. It’s really emotional. No matter what happens tonight, we have had a heck of a two days. (Pressure for tonight?) I think the pressure is really off now. I know we have the speed here. We got the pole, so I know we are going to lead a lap and get that bonus point and hopefully get a top-five tonight. (How do you race tonight?) Smart, I am just going to take my time and run it trying to stay out of everybody’s trouble, and hopefully be there at the end. I think staying out of trouble and giving everybody a lot of room. We’ll take our time and after the last pit stop, go racing. (On having family here) The whole family is here. It like a hometown track, and it’s really cool. So we are trying to get the trophy. I think we have proved to everybody that I belong in NASCAR. Hopefully that is opening some doors. I look forward to the future.
Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer, along with team owners Rick Hendrick, Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman, will be honored Wednesday, May 22, at the 33rdannual Speedway Children’s Charities Gala presented by Sonic Automotive.
The event, located at the Ritz Carlton in uptown Charlotte, is aptly themed a “Night of Champions” as Johnson, Kahne and Bowyer each won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway last year.
“We are proud to be able to honor five of NASCAR’s biggest stars at the gala this year,” said Marcus Smith, vice chairman of Speedway Children’s Charities. “These men are not only winners on the track; they are winners off the track too, giving back to the Charlotte community as well as the communities where they were raised.”
The gala is one of the biggest fundraising events in the Charlotte area and has raised millions of dollars over the past 30 years to improve the quality of life for children in the region since its inception. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the grant program of the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations that help children in need.
“Our goals have remained constant – helping children in educational, financial, social and medical need in our community who many not otherwise have a voice,” said Lisa Starnes, director of the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
“The funds raised at the gala will have an important impact on the lives of many children and families in our community.”
The gala will be hosted by FOX Sports personality Krista Voda. Entertainment will be provided by popular recording artist Edwin McCain.
Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. ESPN personality Marty Smith will host the silent auction during the reception. Among the items up for bid is a VIP visit to FOX NFL Sunday, where the winner will meet Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Curt Menefee, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan, plus watch all of the day’s NFL games in a VIP room at the FOX Studios in Los Angeles, Calif. Other items up for bid include other VIP packages, jewelry, vacations and a yellow labrador retriever puppy.
For more information on the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and how you can help children in need, visit www.charlotte.speedwaycharities.org.
TRACK KANGAROO EXPRESS OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Ward and Jeb Burton signed autographs, posed for pictures and greeted fans Friday during a special autograph session at the newly opened Kangaroo Xpress infield convenience store.
Located inside the backstretch, the Kangaroo Express offers nearly anything a race fan could need in a convenient on-site location: ice, chips, sunglasses, drinks, T-shirts, personal care items and much more.
“Have you been in there?” Jeb Burton asked. “It’s really cool.”
Jeb Burton is the pole sitter, driving the No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express Chevrolet in tonight’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Burton was fastest in Thursday’s final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, turning a lap in 29.905 seconds (180.572 mph).
ALL-STAR SPECIAL PAINT: A handful of cars will feature special paint schemes this weekend, including the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson (red, white and blue); the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski (blue-on-blue); the No. 18 of Kyle Busch (brown); and the No. 47 of Bobby Labonte (red-and-blue).
SEE YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER: Many NASCAR Series drivers will make appearances during the 10 Greatest Days in Racing beginning this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Below are a few highlights.
Saturday, May 18: Sprint Unlimited Fan Experience, located in the midway in front of the Charlotte Motor Speedway main grandstand. Schedule: Bobby Labonte, 4 pm; Dale Earnhardt Jr., 5:05 pm.; motorsports artist Sam Bass, 5:45 pm.
Monday, May 20: Meet and greet brothers Ty and Austin Dillon with grandfather/team owner Richard Childress at Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd. in Concord, NC. Autographs are scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm.
Wednesday, May 22: GoPro Be a Hero Karting Challenge with Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Brad Sweet, Scott Speed, Matt Crafton, Jason Bowles, Kyle Larson, Jason Allgaier and Nelson Piquet Jr. at the Mooresville Motorplex, 130 Motorplex Dr., Mooresville, NC. Fans will get access to the garages and drivers for $15. There will also be a 10-lap Wonder Woman race for leading females in the racing industry. Fans will also get a track walk over the .7-mile facility.
Thursday, May 23: Kyle Busch Motorsports in Mooresville, NC will host an open house featuring drivers Joey Coulter, Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr. They are scheduled to appear from 11am-12pm. Coulter will also hold his first annual corn hole tournament. Fans can participate with an $18 entry fee.
Thursday, May 23-Saturday, May 25:The 14th annual Food Lion Speed Street festival in uptown Charlotte. Driver appearances, music, booths, activities and more. Free admission; open daily noon to 11 pm.
Friday May 24: Lottery winners to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr., Regan Smith and Brad Sweet at JR Motorsports at 2 pm. Wrist bands will be issued May 23 at the JR Nation retail store in Mooresville, NC.
Friday, May 24: Fan Day with Kasey Kahne, 10 am. Race fans can meet drivers Brad Sweet, Cody Darrah and Daryn Pittman. Kasey Kahne Racing, 265 Cayuga Dr., Mooresville, NC.
Business, Sports Leaders to Honor 10,000 Military and Their Families With Special Luncheon at the Coca-Cola 600Written by Steven B. Wilson
Charlotte Motor Speedway is joining with business leaders from around the country to honor some 10,000 active military and family members before the green flag drops on NASCAR’s ultimate test of man and machine, the May 26Coca-Cola 600, as part of a Memorial Day weekend saluting the U.S. Armed Forces. The day of tribute will feature a special celebration luncheon hosted by John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John’s International, where more than 3,000 pizzas will be served to the military guests.
“We are excited to partner with Charlotte Motor Speedway to honor the heroes of the US military and their families,” said Schnatter. “This is just one small way of saying ‘thank you’ for the sacrifice they and their families are making every day to defend our freedom.”
The star-studded affair will be emceed by HLN’s Robin Meade, and will include special appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret), a political commentator, television host, military historian and New York Times best-selling author; Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Papa John himself. The event will be held at zMAX Dragway from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and also feature live music and a drag racing exhibition with Smith and Papa John.
Hundreds of the troops will then be loaded onto buses courtesy of the speedway’s Patriot Partners program where companies such as Toyota, Papa John’s, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Bojangles’ and more sponsored their transportation from area military bases. More than 30 Patriot Partner buses will then take a parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a patriotic “Welcome Home Our Troops” pre-race show. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers march through the grandstands to participate in the pre-race ceremonies. The show will also include an air parade featuring during the national anthem performed by Robin Meade and a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg firing squad.
“What better way to honor all of the men and women who serve to protect our freedoms than to welcome them home and give them a great big bear hug from more than 100,000 fans on hand for the Coca-Cola 600,” Smith said. “We’re excited to have such supportive partners like Papa John’s to make this Memorial Day weekend one that military members, their families and all of our fans will never forget.”
SPEED IN THE PITS: The last time pit road was without a speed limit during a NASCAR race, Kyle Busch was a 15-year-old kid. Joey Logano had just hit double digits and begun to race Bandits cars. David Ragan wasn’t old enough to get his driver’s license.
But tonight, they will get a taste of NASCAR’s roots as the series abolishes the pit road speed limit for NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race qualifying, which will consist of three laps with a pit stop and four-tire change.
NASCAR’s last foray into limitless pit speed came during the All-Star qualifying races in 2000. Only four drivers eligible for tonight’s race are left from that original roster 13 years ago: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.
“It’s been a long time (since there was no pit road speed limit),” Busch said. “We’ll see how it all plays out. I think it’ll be interesting. I have no idea what to expect, to be honest with you.”
Busch might not know what to expect, but anyone who was around NASCAR in the 1980s and ‘90s knows. One grizzled PR veteran recalled making a point to go out and watch pit road practice during that 2000 All-Star Race weekend, because it was the most chaotic, entertaining, frenzied time of the entire weekend. The drivers who had experience driving without pit road speeds were still able to perform, but the uninitiated were glaringly obvious, overshooting their pits and generally creating havoc.
“I’m glad I don’t have to do it with no pit road speed (every week),” Matt Kenseth said. “I think it can get pretty crazy and pretty dangerous… I can’t imagine what it would be like today.”
BUSCH THE BOOKIE: Kyle Busch probably thinks Bruton Smith is a pretty smart dude. Smith has offered up Bruton’s Big Bonus, a $1 million windfall for any driver who can win all five segments in addition to the winner’s $1 million prize. Busch said he didn’t like the odds of a winner taking all five segments.
“If I were a sports bookie, I’d put a 300 to 1 on it,” Busch said. “You have to run each segment as hard as you can. You have to stay out front to keep your average finish as high as you can. There’s gonna be a lot of things playing out in between the segments with pit stops, tire strategy; do you take two, do you stay out? Do you come in and get four? If there’s a yellow in the middle of the segment, do you pit then and get yourself ready for the next segment? It’s certainly gonna make it a lot more fun, not only for the fans but for the crew chiefs as well. I say fun, but I’m sure they’re going to have their headaches after it… I think this year’s gonna be a heck of a lot better.”
MOMENT OF SILENCE: Charlotte Motor Speedway and fans attending the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race Friday will observe a moment of silence to recognize the passing of former NASCAR driver and short-track legend Dick Trickle.
GIBBS TO SAY ALL-STAR INVOCATION: It’s a race full of tradition and pageantry, and this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race will be no different. In what is becoming a quasi-tradition, team owner Joe Gibbs will deliver the invocation before Saturday’s thrilling NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race. He also said the pre-race prayer in 2012 and 2009. In 2010, Gibbs’ grandson Taylor gave the invocation.
MEADE TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT COKE 600: She may be best known as host of Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade, but Meade is also making a name for herself as a country singer. As she prepares to release her second country album next month, Meade will showcase her pipes next weekend while performing the National Anthem at the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
BRUTON’S BIG BONUS: With a $1 million payday, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race already offers the richest per-mile winner’s purse in motorsports. But this year, the pot gets a little sweeter with Bruton’s Big Bonus. If a driver wins all four of the 20-lap segments and stays up front to win the final 10-lap shootout, he will double his payday to $2 million thanks to Bruton’s Big Bonus of $1,000,000.
The May 18 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will consist of 90 total laps: four 20-lap segments, followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and the 10-lap sprint to the big-money finish.
“My dad, Bruton Smith, says that three things motivate people – love, fear and money,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “These drivers love to race, and they fear losing with backyard bragging rights on the line. This is motivation like never before to get up on the wheel for the fans.”
STILL TIME FOR NASCAR ALL-STAR FAN VOTE: Race fans have until 5 p.m. Saturday to vote their favorite driver into the All-Star Race. Fans can vote an unlimited number of times by downloading the NASCAR ’13 application or by visiting NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. The votes received on NASCAR ’13 will count twice towards a driver’s total. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a starting position in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
There are 26 drivers eligible for the fan vote, including Rookie of the Year candidates Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. To be eligible for the 2013 Sprint All-Star Fan Vote, drivers had to finish in the top 55 of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series point standings or attempted to qualify for the 2013 Daytona 500.
JOSH TUNER TO PERFORM BEFORE ALL-STAR RACE – Double platinum-selling country music artist Josh Tuner will perform Saturday at 3:15 p.m. in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield as part of pre-race activities for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race. Charlotte-based Lance brand snacks will sponsor the 90-minute show, which is free to all race ticketholders, and will also include special promotions and games for the family. Gates open at 1:00 p.m.