Tag:Charlotte Motor Speedway
Posted on: May 25, 2011 11:18 am

Video of the Day: 1983 World 600

Posted by Pete Pistone

Before it was known as the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest race at Charlotte Motor Speedway carried the name of the World 600. This video of the 1983 edition is a good example of just how much the race and track as well as the cars have changed over the years:

Posted on: May 24, 2011 11:24 am

Charlotte fans break Guinness record

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Once the sun set and just before the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21, the raceway's house lights dimmed and fans "flashed their brights," breaking the Guinness World Records achievement for most flashlights lit simultaneously. Energizer outfitted the 65,000 fans with LED headlights as they entered the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mike Janela, a Guinness World Records representative, was in attendance to officially record the feat. "To see the previous record - 1,000 flashlights being lit - broken by such a wide margin was quite impressive," said Janela. "We are always thrilled to see such a large and enthusiastic crowd of people get involved in setting a new record." The Guinness World Record attempt, dubbed "Light Up the Night," kicks off the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked closely together to bring excitement and innovation to the race circuit.

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 11:16 am

Video of the Day: 1998 World 600

Posted by Pete Pistone

Today's Coca-Cola 600 was known as the World 600 when it made its debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1961. It is still the longest race of the NASCAR season and has built a storied tradition over the years including the 1998:

Posted on: May 20, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 7:52 pm

Kyle Busch speeds to All-Star Race pole

By Pete Pistone

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Starting Line-up 

  Kyle Busch, Driver Of The #18 M&M's Toyota, Makes

Kyle Busch will try for his first career victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway from the pole position. Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew combined to lead Friday's unique qualifying session for the 27th edition of the All-Star Race.

Three laps and a full pit stop made up the session with the No. 18 M&M's crew topping the 17 other teams to earn the number one starting spot.

The top two finishers from Saturday's Sprint Showdown will transfer to the main event with one additional driver added through the Sprint Fan Vote.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 6:24 pm

France says "Boys Have at It" has limits

By Pete Pistone

NASCAR CEO Brian France Speaks
(NASCAR CEO Brian France at Charlotte Motor Speedway)

NASCAR CEO Brain France met the media Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to touch on a variety of subjects as the Sprint Cup Series heads into this weekend’s All-Star Race activities.

On the top of the list of issues France addressed was the ongoing “Boys Have at It” style of racing that has punctuated NASCAR since last season and the recent feud between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

“There are limits,” France said of the duo’s Darlington dust-up that boiled over to a pit road altercation after the race. “One of the limits is if you put anyone in danger like what happened with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch where it was after the race.

“We never said that there was no limits to that. You just can’t go around with a missile and a weapon out there.  If you’re having contact, that’s part of NASCAR. It’s tough for us, but that’s what we do. It’s tough for any sport to have certain areas of the game … that are subjective as to what is too much. We will figure that out. We’re going to remain, obviously a contact sport and we’re going to remain with the basic philosophy that we’re putting more of it in the driver’s hands and if they go over a line we think is there, we’ll deal with that.’’

Several drivers still seem to be confused by what the boundaries are regarding the policy but France said there’s no way that NASCAR can make the rule any clearer.

“We think not,” France said. “We think that there’s a 60-year history of how we officiate the events. Most of our top officials, certainly (NASCAR President) Mike Helton is in charge every weekend, have been at the helm for a decade or longer.

“This shouldn’t be a big surprise for anyone to try to read us and how we’re going to officiate the events. We’ve said late in the event if your car is faster than somebody else and there is some contact and somebody gets by, that’s NASCAR racing. We celebrate that.”

Both Harvick and Busch are on probation through the middle of June for their Darlington altercation. France explained just what that sometimes murky word means in regard to the drivers’ future behavior.

“What probation means is there’s a different set of eyes and expectations that are placed on a driver who has been placed on probation that they’re going to have a more limited flexibility in how we’re going to officiate them should they be in something similar … to the area they just violated,'' he explained.

France spoke on a number of other topics including the upcoming television contract negotiations saying he was hopeful current network partners ESPN and FOX would return as part of the next deal.

The CEO is not overly concerned with slumping attendance at some tracks pointing to the still downward trend in the economy and weather issues as reasons events like last Sunday’s race in Dover experienced more empty seats.

“Dover had tremendous bad weather forecast, it’s a miracle that that event, and I’m not making just total excuses here, but it’s a miracle on Saturday and Sunday that they got races off,” France said. “There were no-shows, there was certainly no walk-up. They didn’t get any help from the weather.”

“There’s not many sports that aren’t being affected in one way or another in attendance and they’re having to do a lot of things and so are we, so are the tracks. We’ve got higher gas prices that are upon us, that’s another factor for our fans to consider. We certainly don’t want to see empty seats.  We’ll be working with tracks to get the best dates possible and we’ll go from there.’’

Finally France answered a question about the possibility of shortening more races to fit into a better television window as well as appease some fans who claim many races are simply too long.

“We have shortened races over the last five or six years,” France said. “We’ve shortened several, including some in the Nationwide Series. We will be open to that if it works for the tracks and it works for our network partners and, obviously, if the fan base wants that, that will be something that will be case-by-case, but are we open to that? Yes. Have we don’t it before? Yes.”


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Posted on: May 20, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Kyle Busch tops All-Star practice

Posted by Pete Pistone

Go to fullsize image

Sprint All-Star Race Practice

Kyle Busch topped the speed charts in Friday's only All-Star Race practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Qualifying is set for 6 p.m. ET and will feature unique format that includes a pit stop as part of each driver's effort.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:13 am

Video of the Day: 1991 All-Star Race

Posted by Pete Pistone

The 1991 edition of NASCAR's annual All-Star Race was a slam bang event that ushered in night racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway and ended in one of the wildest finishes in the event's 27 year history:

Posted on: May 19, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 5:02 pm

All-Star Race preview

By Pete Pistone


There are no points and simply pride and money on the line in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Over the years that’s been a pretty good recipe for an entertaining night of racing. 

Since the annual All-Star event made its debut back in 1985 it’s undergone a variety of changes, modification and tweaks. But at the end of the day it’s still all about one thing and one thing only – winning. 

“Yeah, everybody amps it up so much saying there’s nothing on the line but money,” said former winner Tony Stewart. “Trust me, we all think of the trophy first and the money second. But it’s fun to know that you can take extra chances in that race and you know that everybody is going to do it so it just takes the whole level of racing and just takes it up a whole new level that we don’t get a chance to do when we’re racing (the normal schedule).” 

The change of pace from the weekly grind of points racing makes Saturday night’s race special enough that in addition to the drive to succeed there’s also a “fun factor” in play. 

“We’ve never been able to close the deal,” said Sprint Cup Series point leader Carl Edwards. “I’m excited to be able to go compete for a million dollars and not have points on the line. It’s just a fun weekend and I’m looking forward to it more than I have any other All Star race.” 

In a bit or a rarity considering the history of the event, this year’s All-Star Race will again feature the same format used last year when Kurt Busch went to victory lane. 

The Sprint Showdown preliminary event will see the first two finishers move into the main event along with one driver voted in by “Fan Vote” for an All-Star Race starting line-up of 22 cars. 

A fifty lap segment opens up the All-Star Race followed by a pair of 20-lappers with a no holds barred ten lap dash to the checkered flag set to cap the night off and the $1 million pot of gold. 

That all adds up to what some believe to be the best all-star event in professional sports. 

“Our series, the hits are actually probably worse, harder, stronger,” said Jimmie Johnson of what takes place in the NFL’s Pro Bowl or NHL’s All-Star Game. “The intensity and commitment for our All-Star event seems to be a lot higher than others. So that mindset is the difference to me. Not to take anything away from those athletes. I should then say we’re surrounded by a steel cage so it’s easier for us to dish some stuff out and take some hits.”


Charlotte Motor Speedway 

Track Size: 1.5-mile 

Banking/Straightaways: 5 degrees 

Banking/Corners: 24 degrees


Race Facts 

There have been 26 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races. 

The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985.        

25 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and won by Bill Elliott. That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown.        

84 drivers have run in at least one All-Star Race.        

There have been 18 different winners of the All-Star Race.        

Mark Martin has participated in 21 races, more than any other driver.        

The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002.        

Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.  
There have been seven different winners in the last seven NASCAR Sprint All-Star races.         

Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999), Mark Martin (1998 and 2005) and Jimmie Johnson (2003 and 2006) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the All-Star Race. Allison is the only driver to ever win consecutive All-Star events.        

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the All-Star Race in their rookie season.        

Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days (1995). Mark Martin is the oldest at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days (2005).        

Matt Kenseth has a 6.6 average finish in 10 appearances in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the best of any driver in this weekend’s field; followed by Jimmie Johnson with a 6.7 average finish in nine appearances. The best average finish by a driver with more than five starts is Ken Schrader, at 6.125.        

The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Davey Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole last season.        

The deepest in the field an All-Star Race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002.       

Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won six All-Star Races: Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (two) and Terry Labonte (one).        

Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2006).

The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is 10 in 2004. The most different leaders is nine in 2002.


Who’s Hot at the All-Star Race

Matt Kenseth – Fresh off his victory last Sunday in Dover Kenseth races to the All-Star Race with four straight Top 10 finishes in the event on his record. Kenseth is a winner of the 2004 race.

Tony Stewart – His recent rough streak could be cured with another win in the All-Star Race, where he’s run in the Top 5 four straight years including a victory lane-worthy performance back in 2009.

Kurt Busch  – A year ago Busch was the toast of Charlotte Motor Speedway with a win in the All-Star Race and a follow-up victory in The Coca-Cola 600. Things have not gone well for the Penske Racing team since Daytona but the ship would feel very righted with back-to-back $1 million paydays.


Who’s Not

Kyle Busch – You’d think the format of the All-Star Race would be perfect for Busch’s style of racing with the all-out dash to the checkered flag in the final ten-lap segment. But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has not enjoyed the annual event very much at all and has only one Top 10 finish in five career starts.

Jamie McMurray – Charlotte is the scene of McMurray’s first career Sprint Cup win but the All-Star Race has not been a favorite of the Earnhardt Ganassi racing driver. An average finish of 17.2 in four career starts is McMurray’s performance record in the race.

Jeff Burton – The veteran has a best finish of fourth in six career races for Burton adds up to a career average finish of 14.8.

2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

Entry List

  Bayne, Trevor

  Biffle, Greg

  Bowyer, Clint

  Busch, Kurt

  Busch, Kyle

  Edwards, Carl

  Gordon, Jeff

  Hamlin, Denny

  Harvick, Kevin

  Johnson, Jimmie

  Kahne, Kasey

  Kenseth, Matt

  Martin, Mark

  McMurray, Jamie

  Montoya, Juan Pablo

  Newman, Ryan

  Reutimann, David

  Smith, Regan

  Stewart, Tony

  Fan Vote Winner

  Winner Sprint Showdown

  Second Place Sprint Showdown


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