What a night of racing last night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway! 40 nail biting laps to determine who made the All-Star race. And to top it, the fan vote went to a driver who has went out of his way to be a fan favorite when they get interviewed every week. Wait, what’s that? Oh I was watching a past All-Star Race. Oh well. The 2014 edition of The Sprint Showdown lacked any real drama, as the top-two ran off and hid in both segments. Going into the race, Clint Bowyer and A.J. Allmendinger were favorites to race Saturday night. The only real surprise was how no one else was really even close. But for an early race spin, Marcos Ambrose showed enough strength to keep it close, but Bowyer and Allmendinger had the field covered.
However the fan vote was a different story. Don’t get me wrong, Josh Wise is a good race car driver. You don’t make it to the top without skill, talent, and someone’s money. But to say he is more popular than Danica, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Ambrose, Casey Mears and even Paul Menard who actually won a Brickyard 400, is laughable at best. I dare the Fox Cameras to show me anyone with a Josh Wise shirt on tonight. But this is what we have. I wish the boy luck as I have a bet with the fiancee. She says he won’t make it three laps, I say he’ll make it three segments…maybe not on the lead lap, but he will be running at the end of segment three. Surely that’s worth a few dogecoins. (What is wrong with people?)
The All-Star Race was at its best when you had guys racing in. I have never been a fan of the Fan Vote. Also, the segments in these races are nothing more than glorified competition cautions, which gimmick the strategy so much that everyone almost always has to do the same thing on pit road. A true All-Star race would feature 100 laps, or whatever the total distance you want is, where there are no extended cautions, no mid-race breaks, no re-starting in a backup car, no limits on what the teams can do on pit stops, but no waiting around for them. Just like an actual race. Make it long enough where they will have to pit at least once, but probably twice. No guaranteed cautions, just let the flag fly when needed. If you have a veteran running on fumes at the end of one of these, racing a young gun with four new tires and a two second gap with ten to go, give me some popcorn and keep quiet.
Now for the fun part of this story. I am logging off all social media once this is posted. There is a big event at the Salem Speedway in Salem Indiana. It’s the Casey’s General Store Spring Speed Fest. As track announcer, I will be seeing some of the best short track racing anywhere. As a result, I will be watching the All-Star race sometime tomorrow. I also will be tracking pole day qualifying for the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing”. It may be Sunday night before I watch the truck race from Friday. I’m going for the upset in the All-Star race. There is this driver who has shown some flashes of potential success in his career. Although he hasn’t won a race since sometime last year, I just think he has what it takes to win in NASCAR’s biggest night. I pick the guy trying to win this race for the third consecutive time; Jimmie Johnson. Let me know who you are picking by joining our FB group. For The Love Of Racing. As always, tune into your official Sprint Cup Station, www.korncountry.com