NASCAR Cup Series teams had a big decision to make this week - which car to bring to the All-Star Challenge this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

There are two different thought processes when it comes to making that decision. One train of thought is to bring the best car in the shop, the one which has the best performance history. After all, this is our All-Star game and winning brings a big payday and all the prestige that goes along with it. But, when people think about the history of the race what tends to pop up in everyone’s mind are the wrecks. When there is a lot of money on the line and no points to consider, there’s no guessing what can happen.

Those wrecks are what lead to the second line of reasoning. Sometimes you make a conscious decision to bring a car that is disposable and the team can stand to lose.

For Team Cingular, we pretty much took the middle road. We brought chassis No. 132, which is a car we tested in February at Las Vegas but we haven’t raced it yet this season. We’ve been running one particular car on all the intermediate tracks this season and, since it has performed so well, it makes it difficult to veer away from it. Our Open car has made the rounds as our back up at all the intermediate tracks, so we’re now giving the nod and seeing if it can make the cut.

NASCAR has a new testing policy in place for 2006 which limits the number of sessions and tracks where we can test. So anytime we can use actual track time to gain some additional information on another car I think we need to take advantage of it. That was a big factor in the decision to bring chassis No. 132.

We are not currently in the All-Star Challenge. If we win the Open we will transfer into the All-Star race and our chance at the big check. I know we have a car and team up to the task, now we just need to prove it.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jeff Burton is providing a daily diary through May 27. Check out what the Jeff has to say!

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