I can’t be the only one can I? I think the NASCAR All-Star Race is stupid. Last year’s race coverage reminded me of a giant NASCAR infomercial. It seemed like we got 2 hours of pre-race show and a dozen or so laps of racing. I was bored out of my mind and I love racing. If the object of this event is to create a buzz, NASCAR has failed miserably.
Coming off arguably the best racing NASCAR has seen in recent memory this snooze fest could not have come at a worse time. The crowds the last two weeks seemed to have grown immensely and I’m guessing ticket sales may have been on the rise at other venues as well. Momentum was certainly on the rise in a sport that badly needed it.
I admit, I dislike All-Star games in all sports. Baseball? The only thing dumber than the game is that the winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series. NHL? You know you’re in trouble when the skills competition is more exciting than the game. NBA? See hockey. NFL? Perhaps the poster child of dumb All-Star games.
The drivers and teams get excited because they can go for broke in this non-point’s event. They can go all out to win a million dollars without fear of the risk of impacting their point standings. They’re also happy to be “home” for two weeks and sleeping in their own beds. They deserve a break. For the fans? A big infomercial.
The truth is only a handful of cars have any legitimate shot at that prize and the rest are simply “practicing” for the next weeks Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Some teams will experiment with new engines, new transmissions and suspension packages. Why not? It’s a risk free night of racing.
The drivers who have won a race since the beginning of the 2013 season are in the field for the All-Star race. Also included in the field are past Sprint Cup Champions and past winners of a previous race. Before they get their turn though a qualifying race is run and the winner of that race, plus the runner up will join the field for the All-Star event. Wait, this is where it gets really dumb.
A fan vote is held and the winner gets to join the field. So we’ll have an all-star participant racing solely on fan popularity. What is this, baseball?
The race format is set up perfectly for infomercials, commercials and an occasional lap or two of racing. The Sprint All-Star Race will consist of 5 segments. Four 20-lap segments followed by a final 10 lap segment for those of you who can stay awake long enough.
So if you’re keeping score at home the field will look like this:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Winner of qualifying race
Runner up of qualifying race
Fan vote winner
Anybody want to guess who wins the fans vote? So when Danica wins the popularity contest again we’ll have the 27th place driver racing in a so called All-Star race. Sounds about right. Sigh.
I normally make race predictions at the end of my weekly articles. I’m skipping this one because I don’t care. Perhaps I’ll skip the race entirely and attend a “real” race at my local dirt track on Saturday night It’s racing the way it was meant to be.
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