Clint Bowyer has his eyes squarely on the $1 million prize for winning Saturday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bowyer is one of 15 drivers already qualified for the annual non-points event. The 35th annual race will once again feature a format similar to what was run last season. There will be four stages with a five-lap increase in the final stage over last year’s race. The stages will last 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps.
When the checkered flag flies the winner receives both admiration and a sizeable check, one Bowyer hopes to be bringing home with him.
"One million dollars to the winner," Bowyer said. "Let that sink in. If you win this thing, you get a million dollars. That’s life-changing money and what I call a heck of an incentive."
There’s another benefit to running the All-Star Race in addition to the chance of winning a large sum of money. The following week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte is the longest race of the season. While there will be slight modifications to the package used in the All-Star Race as NASCAR weighs rules for the 2021 Cup car, Bowyer believes on track experience will be vital to running well in the 600.
"I think it’s helpful having that All-Star Race ahead of that big, long, grueling 600-mile race that’s a points race," Bowyer said. "The All-Star Race always has those kinds of stages and short runs, so it helps you kind of get ready for next weekend’s race that will have four stages. Plus, having that practice time on the racetrack is definitely going to be key to learning about the track and preparing for the 600."
So what would it mean for Bowyer to celebrate in Victory Lane Saturday night before leaving with the night’s big check?
"Same thing it means to you, buddy," Bowyer laughed. "I don’t know where you come from or how you would be any different, but a million dollars is a million dollars. That opportunity only comes around once a year but we will all be ready for it."