NASCAR drivers on what to do with the All-Star Race

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MADISON, Ill. — The most recent edition of NASCAR’s “all-star game” delivered yet another dud. Despite it being run on a 1.5-mile track, like Texas Motor Speedway, of which the Next Gen car elevated the quality of racing, this season.

Yet Texas was the outlier.

Two weeks later, aside from an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to do damage control, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith hasn’t announced what’s happening with the All-Star Race in 2023.

So what do we do with this life-less zombie?

NASCAR drivers like Aric Almirola say move the All-Star Race around.

“You know, I think we see that in other sports as well,” he said. “And I think it’s, you know, I think it’s fair to the cities that host these races to have that opportunity to showcase their race track and their market for those, you know, bigger events.”

Bubba Wallace said much of the same and added it shouldn’t be in Texas.

“It needs to be a floating deal,” he said. “Just like every other sport all-star event in any other sport, it needs to be floating.”

Furthermore, he noted it shouldn’t be locked into just one venue for years, like it was at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“If it’s a hit, then we’ll go back there in a couple of years, but we got to give different venues a chance to showcase and then people from different parts of the country to come out and see what I mean.

NASCAR drivers All-Star Race

Others, like Corey LaJoie, say don’t hold it in the middle of the season.

“I think there’s a place for the All-Star Race,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s in the middle of the year. I believe it’s after the playoffs.

LaJoie added that it should be limited to playoff drivers and held in Nashville, during the banquet.

“Nobody races their way in, and XFINITY and Truck Series champions get a car to drive around as well, because they earned it.”

Erik Jones suggested “it needs to be reinvigorated,” and that he didn’t think anyone was thrilled to race it at Texas.

“I mean, it’s been kind of the same deal for, you know, what, almost 30 years so.”

While others have a more radical idea.

“I don’t know – an off weekend,” Kyle Busch said, in his trademark deadpan demeanor.

Moreover, what separates the All-Star Race from your average Cup Series race now? Especially Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

“Stages started in the All-Star race; double-wide restarts started in the All-Star race,” he said. “Other things started in the All-Star race, so we now have that in our everyday racing on every single weekend. It’s not that it’s different, it’s just that you are racing for a million dollars in that one particular race, but honestly, I think second-place takes home what a regular Xfinity Series win is throughout the XFINITY season. It is quite a financial jump, yeah, so. I think I went too far there.”

Nevertheless, until NASCAR and/or SMI say otherwise, we’re operating under the assumption that the All-Star Race stays in Texas in 2023.

If so, then don’t expect that huge crowd that turned up at Texas to do so, again.

TOP IMAGE: Sean Gardner/Getty Images