CONCORD, N.C. – No points. No problem. Just follow the money.
That’s the easiest way to describe Saturday night’s 29th NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Twenty-two drivers will battle for a winner’s payout of more than $1 million without worrying that failure might damage their Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup chances.
The strategy is simple enough: Checkers or wreckers. Just bring back the steering wheel – as long as you’re carrying it to Victory Lane.
The 135-mile race will be contested in five segments – four of 20 laps and a 10-lap finale. Nineteen drivers – 2012-13 Sprint Cup winners, and All-Star winners and Sprint Cup champions from the past 10 seasons – have claimed starting positions. Three additional starters – the top-two Sprint Showdown finishers and winner of the Sprint Fan Vote – complete the 22-driver lineup.
Odds favor defending All-Star Race winner Jimmie Johnson, a three-time event winner. He shares the all-time victory record with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt.
Johnson is the only driver to win more than once in the most recent 14 editions of the non-points race. He’s led in eight of his 11 NASCAR Sprint All-Star race appearances, including the last five consecutive.