Evaluating the Chances for Advancing From The Sprint Showdown to All-Star Race

By Joseph Wolkin
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Every NASCAR fan looks forward to the Sprint All-Star Race. It’s an event where everyone comes together and throws everything out of the closet in an attempt to win a million bucks. Does it get better than that?

This year, there isn’t the traditional Sprint Pit Crew Challenge , which has taken place every year since 2004. However, due to a lack of funding, the event couldn’t go on this year. That’s all right though. The All-Star Race is still here and it isn’t going anywhere.

The Sprint Showdown is a preview of what’s to come for the All-Star Race. It’s a 40-lap dash broken down into two 20-lap segments. The race is an opportunity for some drivers and teams that haven’t made it to victory lane just yet this year. Each year, there’s some major teams in the race that have been so close to winning races, but they just haven’t been able to close the deal.

However, there are also plenty of teams trying to make names for themselves in a race that could put them into the All-Star Race. NASCAR’s seen some pretty intense racing in the Sprint Showdown. There have been some random winners, but there have also been some obvious victories. The only way drivers can make it into the All-Star Race from the Sprint Showdown is if they finish either first or second, or via the fan vote (as long as they’re on the lead lap).

This year’s Sprint Showdown has 23 entries. Two teams that participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule on a full-time basis won’t be running because they just don’t have the funding for it and they know they don’t have a shot at winning the race so there’s no point for them to pay the entry fee. There are some teams that have a very likely chance of making into the All-Star Race, but others are just going to use the Sprint Showdown as a test session for the Coca-Cola 600 on Labor Day weekend.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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