Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week was All-Star week at Charlotte, NC. Wednesday was the Pit Crew Challenge, where pit crews compete against each other to be the best. Last year the #31 Team of Jeff Burton won the competition. This year the 31 Team came in second to winner, #11 Team of Denny Hamlin. The 11 Team gets the first pit for the All-Star race.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened in Charlotte. And on Sunday, five of NASCAR’s greats will be inducted. “Big” Bill H. G. France, his son, Bill C. France, Richard “The King” Petty, Junior Johnson and Dale Earnhardt.
Friday was NASCAR Day and I wore my pin. Friday was also to be qualifying for the All-Star race and the Sprint Showdown. But Mother Nature stepped in and canceled those events. They will start those races by the luck of the draw. Too bad, because qualifying for the All-Star race is supposed to be special with a pit stop being part of qualifying. (In my opinion, they should have finished with the last four cars for the Showdown and held qualifying with the pit stop during the day on Saturday.)
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced in their NC Education Lottery 200 after the rain stopped and the track dried. NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, Kyle Busch won the race well into the morning of Saturday.
NASCAR held it’s Penzoil Ultra Victory Challenge Saturday afternoon. Seven drivers competed with their burn-outs. Last year #29 Kevin Harvick won the challenge. This year it was #20 Joey Logano. #18 Kyle Busch was disqualified because he didn’t want to follow the rules of the Challenge. I’m not sure if they’ll let him compete next year. #39 Ryan Newman didn’t do much of anything. This was his first Challenge.
Then Saturday evening NASCAR held it’s All-Star Showdown. All the drivers who did not win this year or last compete together in a 40 lap race. The winner and second place move up to the All-Star race. There were a lot of stars in this race.
6 David Ragan and 13 Max Papis start on the front row, since they came out first and second for qualifying, which was not completed. 6 leads the race from the pole. 16 Greg Biffle and 43 A. J. Allmendinger get by 13. 13 and 33 Clint Bowyer get together. 78 Regan Smith races through the field into fifth. 16 catches leader 6 and they race for the lead.
The first caution comes out when 42 Juan Pablo Montoya and 78 get together and get into the wall on lap 18. Most of the cars pit, but 6, 16 and 38 David Gilliland stay out.31 Burton, 46 J. J. Yeley and 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. take two tires and are out of the pits first. 16 takes the lead on the restart.
The second caution comes out when 38 and 6 get into each other and the wall. 43, 38 and 6 were racing three wide and there was not enough room for all three. 99 Carl Edwards ran over debris and has to pit. 16 and 56 Martin Truex, Jr. are in front, followed by 31 and 6. 6 drifts high and 43 gets by. 43 and 31 race for third and 31 takes the spot. 33, 82 Scott Speed and 99 race three wide, with 33 coming out ahead. 56 and 16 battle for the lead and 56 takes the lead with six to go. Both move up to the All-Star Race.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
Next up: NASCAR All-Star Race.