NASCAR All Star Race Preview
Lowes Motor Speedway
Saturday, 9:00PM Eastern
The best drivers in the world will take center stage Saturday night in NASCAR’s All-Star Race in Charlotte, North Carolina. The race is one of the biggest events on the calendar for NASCAR drivers and fans. The All Star Race is the ultimate venue for the best of the best drivers in the sport. The All Star Race is a non-points race that drivers go all out for the chance at victory. In points races, drivers may try to stay out of trouble and take it easy at times. However, in the All Star Race drivers give it their all every lap because there is a million dollars on the line for the winner. Absolutely nothing matters except winning and that’s why this race is so exciting for fans. There are 18 drivers locked into the event based on previous Sprint Cup Champions, All Star winners, or race winners in the past year. The All Star race over the years has highlighted some of the greatest racing the sport has ever seen and we would expect nothing less this Saturday night.
Lowes Motor Speedway is always huge for drivers and race teams because it is next door to Mooresville which houses the majority of team racing centers. Many drivers also consider Charlotte home putting some added focus on winning in front of family and friends. We will take a look at some drivers to keep in mind heading into this weekend’s big race. Dale Earnhardt Jr has really been struggling over the recent weeks this season. Earnhardt has been plagued by pit road mistakes and car that seems to get worse as the race rolls along. However, Earnhardt did run well last year at Lowes Motor Speedway in both May races. Dale Jr actually led shortly in the All Star race and had the best car in the Coca Cola 600 before cutting down a tire while leading the race. Earnhardt won the All Star event in his rookie year changing tires in the final 10 lap segment to become the first ever rookie to win the event. Well this year the final segment returns to 10 laps to add more excitement like it was back in 2000 when JR won, and it would be the perfect time for Earnhardt to get back on track.
Kasey Kahne won both the All Star Race and the Coca Cola 600 last year. Kahne would not even have got into the All Star race if not for a fan vote that allowed him to get into the event after failing to advance from the preliminary race for drivers that are not locked into the event. Kahne has struggled this year like Earnhardt, but both drivers run the high line very well which can be used very effectively at Lowes Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart has been running very well over the last few weeks and has been so close to winning for the first time as an owner. Stewart had a huge lead in the final laps of the 600 last season before cutting a tire that ruined his night. Stewart along with teammate Ryan Newman has been running very well over the last few weeks for Stewart-Haas Racing. Newman is also a past winner in 2005 of the All-Star Race and this could be a great opportunity for him to get to victory lane as well.
Jeff Gordon has won the All Star Race a record 3 times tied with the late Dale Earnhardt. Gordon is leading the points in 2009 which is a big turnaround from where the #24 team was this time last year. Mark Martin has gotten very hot over the last few weeks winning 2 out of the last 4 races. Martin is also a two time winner of the event as well and the way the number 5 car has been running it would be a stretch to say they have a chance as well. Kyle Busch jumped out to an early lead last year in the All-Star Race and flat out drove away from the field. Busch undoubtedly NASCAR’s most talented driver blew an engine which perhaps was the only thing that stopped him from going to victory lane. Busch has to be a key driver to watch in this type of races, because the young gun always pushes the car to the limit which is what you need in this type of environment. There will be a ton more drivers fighting for the right to take home one of the most prestigious race wins in NASCAR Saturday night in what is guaranteed to be an exciting race. Will we have another first time All-Star Winner like last season or will one of the veterans get back to victory lane? Only time will tell as we count down the moments to the green flag drops a little after 9:00PM Eastern Saturday night.