Gas 'N' Go: Moving the All-Star Race

NASCAR Sprint All-Star
Untitled Document

The pits are open again and the editorial staff answers this week’s featured question in "Gas 'N Go."

Do you think the All-Star Race should move to other tracks?

MRN Staff Answer
Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

The All-Star Race has lost its luster for me and the best way to put some mojo back in the event would be to move it around to different locations every season.  Charlotte Motor Speedway does a great job promoting the race and there's something to be said about allowing teams an opportunity to remain near home base for two weeks, with the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 on back-to-back weekends.  But there's a much better opportunity to grow the sport by moving it into a different market every year, just like all the other major leagues do with their All-Star games.  Plus, with all due respect to 1.5-mile tracks, it's high time the race that's billed as a no-holds-barred "checkers or wreckers" event has a chance to be just that on a short track or even a road course.  Putting all the money in the world up for grabs won't make the race any better in its current format and location.  Spice it up by showcasing NASCAR in other cities and letting it all hang out at places like Bristol, Richmond, Martinsville or even Iowa Speedway.

Pete Pistone
Dustin Long

No.  No.  No.  No.  Unlike other sports fans, NASCAR fans see all the athletes compete every weekend.  It’s like an All-Star race every weekend, so why is there a need to debate this?  The only way I would consider moving it to another track is if it went to a speedway that doesn't host a Sprint Cup Series race.  But let’s be honest.  With all the backroom politics in the sport, that will never take place.  So you’re left with moving it to a track that already hosts at least one Cup race.  There’s no need for such a move.

Pete Pistone
John Singler

NASCAR’s annual Sprint All-Star Race has become a fixture at Charlotte Motor Speedway and that’s where it should remain.  It’s well-promoted, comes at a good time in the season and there’s always a spare $1 or $2 million in walking-around money that Bruton Smith has available to throw into the purse.  Just as the season-opening Sprint Unlimited is paired with the Daytona 500, the All-Star Race is a perfect complement to the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly … gin and tonic … penalties and appeals.  NASCAR moved it to Atlanta for one year in 1986 and it didn’t work out so well.  If I recall, the race was run on Mother’s Day Weekend.  But the event itself was a snooze and it’s been staged in Charlotte every year since.  When the cars are lined up along the frontstretch under the lights, just moments before the start, there’s electricity in the air you sense nowhere else at any point of the season.  Keep it in Charlotte, and keep it as a night race … but maybe we can work on simplifying the format in the years to come?

Jeff Wackerlin
Jeff Wackerlin

With a majority of the race shops and the NASCAR Hall of Fame nearby, Charlotte Motor Speedway is the perfect place to host the All-Star Race.  In other sports when it comes to an All-Star event, it usually means a short break.  And while all the drivers still compete in the Sprint Showdown or the All-Star Race, the non-points event keeps the teams home for two consecutive weeks leading up to the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600.

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