Knowing the buzz that surrounds these non-point events, NASCAR may want to stop awarding points altogether. Sure, at first thought it sounds crazy, but won’t it make the racing more interesting?
What about a champion you say. The playoffs already water down the title in my opinion, so why not try something different? How about the guy with the most top 5s is the champion?
And, if you still want a 10-race playoff, how about everyone with a win after the first 26 events is in the playoffs and in those last 10 races the guy with the most top 5s is your champ. If there’s a tie, go to the most top 4s and so on until you have a champ.
There are a couple of ways to qualify for the All-Star race, May 22. Any driver who won a race last season or this season is in. Those drivers are Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, David Reutimann, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Regan Smith.
Any guy who has won the Cup championship in the past 10 years (Johnson, Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kenseth and Gordon) would be allowed to back in. I’m happy to say, those five guys don’t need a provisional.
Anyone who has won this event in the past 10 years gets a provisional. Two guys get in that way, they are Kasey Kahne who won it 2008 and Mark Martin who carried the checkers in 2005.
They’ll run a B-feature before the main event. It’s called the Sprint Showdown. Anyone who has run in a Cup race the past two seasons is eligible to run that race. There are about 43 guys on that list, although about 15 of them don’t have a current Cup ride. That race will be a 40-lapper broken up into two 20-lap segments. The top two from that race qualify for the All-Star race.
You may have noticed Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t qualified for the All-Star race yet. He’s the only guy currently in the top 15 in points not in the show. If he fails to come home in the top two of the B-feature I’m guessing he’ll be the guy that backs in because of a fan vote. Voting goes right up until 5 p.m. on May 21. If (when) the fans vote him in, he’ll still have to finish on the lead lap of the B to transfer.
Twenty-two guys will start the All-Star race and will run 100 laps, broken up into four segments. Segment one will be 50 laps. Everyone must make a green flag pit stop on lap 25 and teams must change four tires. After segment one teams, can make a pit stop if they chose to.
Segment two will be 20 laps and again teams may pit afterwards if they want to. Segment three will also be 20 laps after which there’ll be a 10-minute break. Teams can perform normal adjustments to their cars. They can’t change shocks or springs.
The fourth and final segment will be a 10-lap shoot-out. They’ll line up as they came across the finish line to complete segment three. Once the field takes a lap behind the pace car, all cars must pit for four tires. The order in which the cars exit pit road is how they will line up for the 10-lap shootout. Sadly the laps puttin’ around behind the pace car in the first 90 laps will count. The final 10 laps the yellows don’t count and they will run a green-white-checkered finish (up to three tries) if necessary.
The event will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be shown on Speed channel at 7 p.m.
• The B-feature: The guys entered in the Showdown are Brad Keselowski (2), David Ragan (6), Marcos Ambrose (9), Landon Cassill (09), Casey Mears (13), Joey Logano (20), Paul Menard (27), David Stremme (30), Jeff Burton (31), Boris Said (32), David Gilliland (34), Tony Raines, (37), Travis Kvapil (38) and A.J. Allmendinger (43). Also J.J. Yeley (46), Bobby Labonte (47), T.J. Bell (50), Martin Truex Jr. (56), Mike Skinner (60), Derrike Cope (64), Todd Bodine (66), Andy Lally (71), Scott Riggs (81), Brian Vickers (83), Joe Nemechek (87), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88), Brian Keselowski (92) and David Starr (95).
All-Star Race Facts
There have been 26 events and all but the second one (1986) has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That race was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Bill Elliott won.
• 84 different drivers have run in at least one.
• There have been 18 different winners.
• Mark Martin has strapped in for 21 of them, more than any other driver.
• The smallest field was 10 drivers in 1986 and the largest field was 27 cars in 2002.
• Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) are the only three-time winners.
• There have been seven different winners in the last seven races.
• Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999), Martin (1998 and 2005) and Jimmie Johnson (2003 and 2006) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories.
• Allison is the only driver to ever win it in consecutive years.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win it in their rookie season.
• Gordon is the youngest winner at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days (1995). Martin is the oldest at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days (2005).
The race has been won from the pole four times: Earnhardt (1990) and Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole last season.
• The deepest in the field a winner (Newman) has started was last (27th) in 2002.
• Five drivers have won the All-Star race and the Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Earnhardt (1987, 1990, and 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Gordon (1995, 1997, and 2001) and Johnson (2006).
The rock band Foghat said it best back in the ’70s when they sang, “I feel so bad – I feel like a ball game on a rainy day.” (Let me know next time I see you if that tune stuck in your head the rest of the day.) Thing is, most ball games can continue with a little rain, in racing it’s simply a no go.
Everyone in my region was forced to cancel their show last weekend. That is everyone except Star Speedway in Epping, NH, where the PASS guys got their race in last Saturday.
Pro All Star Series
PASS 150 at Star Speedway (Epping, NH) May 14 results – 1. Derek Ramstrom, 2. Ben Rowe, 3. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 4. Lonnie Sommerville, 5. Scott Chubbuck, 6. Matt Frahm, 7. John Dabrowski, 8. Johnny Clark, 9. Richie Dearborn, 10. Joey Doiron, 11. Travis Benjamin, 12. Donnie Whitten, 13. Matt Matheson, 14. David Oliver, 15. Alex Gingras, 16. Mike Rowe, 17. Bryan Kruczek, 18. Scott Dragon, 19. Kyle DeSouza, 20. Steve Johnson, 21. Austin Brehio, 22. Scott Alexander.
• The series is at White Mountain Motorsports Park, May 21.
American Canadian Tour
The ACT 150-lap event scheduled for May 15 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME was postponed and rescheduled for June 4.
• The third of 12 point-counting events is set for May 22 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven. The race will be called the Spring Green and it’ll be 111 green flag laps. The Spring Green was run at the now defunct Catamount Stadium in Milton and Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY over the years and the distance always mirrored the year.
This will be the first Late Model Tour race at this track. It becomes the 22nd track to host a point-counting event. It’s only the second track in the state of Vermont (joining Barre’s Thunder Road) to hold a Late Model Tour event.
The former dirt half-mile was paved before the start of the 2010 season and the Thunder Road Late Models, along with a few ACT Tour regulars, helped open the gates with a 100-lap event. Former Thunder Road Champion Dave Pembroke claimed the first win.
Only six of the 27 teams that raced that day are expected to return this Sunday. Those six are Jean-Paul Cyr, John Donahue, Joey Laquerre, Jamie Fisher, Mike Bruno and Brent Dragon.
Bear Ridge Speedway
The dirt track in Bradford postponed Wells River Chevrolet Night, May 14. Valley Floors will present the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series, May 21 at 6 p.m. Defending champion Adam Pierson won opening night in the Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division. Josh Harrington was the first across the finish line in the Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Will Hull was the first guy under the checkers in the A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Models. Kevin Harran won in the Weglarz Property Maintenance Fast Four division. Sophomore driver Eric Lang leads the way in the KDD NAPA Auto Parts Ridge Runner Hornet class.
White Mountain Motorsports Park
WMMP in North Woodstock, NH did get their car show in May 14 and their first race is scheduled for May 21.
Car show winners were: NAPA Late Models – 1. Jeremy Welch, 2. Todd Aldrich and 3. Bernie Lantagne.
Avery’s Sweeping Tiger Sportsman – 1. Jeff Wimble, 2. Randy Gonyaw 3. Sean Akers.
Beacon Resort Strictly Stocks – 1. Brandon Allbee, 2. Gordon Day, 3. Lucas Wheeler.
Woodsville Guarantee Savings Bank Strictly Mini Stock – 1. Kyle Willis, 2. Travis Dickerson, 3. Lisa Hodgdon.
HK Powersports Kids Trucks – 1. Ryan Olsen, 2. Brandon Croteau, 3. Logan Oliver.
• May 21 the PASS Super Late Models (I still prefer Pro Stocks) will be making their first of three stops at WMMP with a post time of 4 p.m. The front gate opens at 10 a.m. with the first car hitting the track at noon.
The Groveton, NH oval also got their car show in but was forced to call off the NAPA Spectacular Late Model – Bobby Shores Memorial Classic scheduled for May 15. Seventy-three cars were at the show. I believe they will announce the winners of the car show May 21.
An open practice session is set for May 21 from 3-7 p.m. All rookie and Daredevil drivers are encouraged to attend.
Opening day activities are set for May 22 at 1 p.m. All divisions will be in action including Late Models, Outlaw/Sportsman, Super Stocks, Dwarf Cars, Street Stocks, Angels, Cyclones, and Daredevils.
The Road wasn’t scheduled to race last weekend. Their next event is the 49th edition of the Memorial Day Classic, May 29. On tap that day is a 100-lap Thunder Road ACT Late Model event and a 100-lap opening event on the 2011 Bond/WIX Tiger Tour.
This is not a Late Model Tour event and only counts for Thunder Road Late Model points. Even though the Tiger 100 is a Tiger Tour event Thunder Road points will be awarded for feature finishes only. I’m guessing the field will be set by the ACT plus/minus.
Payout for the NHMS ACT All-Star Event
The American Canadian Tour recently announced the payoff for the race August 12-13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The posted awards are $122,998.
The main event (80 miles) pays $62,730 with five grand going to the winner. Second pays $2,500, third $2,000. Fourth pays $1,900 and fifth gets $1,850. The 10th place finisher will cash a check for $1,600, 15th is $1,450. Twentieth pays $1,325, 25th $1,200 while last (44th) gets $1,000.
The heats (20 laps each) will pay out a total of $24,390. The winners will get $400, 2. $360, 3. $350, 4. $340, 5. $330, 6. $320, 7. $315, 8. $310, 9. $305, 10. $300. Everyone from 15th back gets $200.
The B-feature winner gets $700 if he chooses not to transfer to the main event. Second is $650, 3. $600, 4. $550, 5. $500, 6. $480, 7. $460, 8. $440, 9. $420, 10. $400. Everyone who starts the B gets $250.
K&N East Series
The fourth race of the season for the K&N East Series is scheduled for May 21 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. The track is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile tri-oval. The race is a combination event for the East and West Series. The Nationwide Series will run there May 22.
K&N East points – 1. Darrell Wallace Jr. 495, 2. Sergio Pena 469, 3. Alex Bowman 462, 4. Coleman Pressley 460, 5. Matt DiBenedetto 459, 6. Brett Moffitt 456, 7. Max Gresham 435, 8. Andrew Smith 397, 9. Brandon Haley 383, 10. Cody Hodgson 358. Eddie MacDonald is 14th (348) and DJ Shaw is 16th with 338 points.
Until Next Week
Tape that TV racing and get out and support a short track. But remember: “If you’re not having fun stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”