2013 All-Star race brings BIG BUCKS - NOTES by Lugnut - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

NASCAR NOTES: 2013 All-Star race brings BIG BUCKS

Photo Credit:283275Courtesy of Sprint Media Relations Photo Credit:283275Courtesy of Sprint Media Relations
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

To NASCAR fans, the third weekend of May always starts a time of great racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first event is the most popular of them all, the Nextel All Star Race.

The All-Star event came to Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1985 and it has grown into quite a fan-focused spectacle over the years.

The driving force behind the event is the Smith family, and their flair for the spectacular sets it apart from any other event in the season.

"We love putting on a show," said Marcus Smith, son of track owner Bruton Smith. "I like to say it's like putting on the biggest backyard party you can imagine and inviting all of your friends over to have fun."

The format has changed from time to time but the race strategy has virtually remained the same. The big $1 million payoff came to the driver that finished first in the last race segment.

This prompted many teams to take it easy in the early stages to save their equipment for that final dash for the cash. This year, however, changes are being made to make the racing action more competitive from start to finish.

"What we're going to do," explained NASCAR Director of Competition Robin Pemberton, "is take those four segments, average your finish and then that's what repositions you for that last mandatory pit stop when you come down pit road for the last 10-lap shootout."

NASCAR felt that putting a point system in place for your finish order in the preliminary segments will force teams to race hard in each segment so they can have a good starting finish for the last $1 million run.

As if that weren't enough to make drivers push hard, the Smith family sweetened the pot with a surprise of their own.

"We have always had something special, something bigger in mind when it comes to the All-Star Race," continued Smith. "This year, if you win the All-Star Race, you win a million bucks. If you win every segment, you win a second million."

"I'm just going to go out there and race as hard as I can, lead every lap and win every segment," said current Cup Champion Brad Keselowski on the addition of a second $ 1 million prize. "Now it looks like I've got a good reason to do so."

NASCAR is always making changes to keep the All-Star Race fresh and entertaining. This year, the addition of a second $1 million should make this the best All-Star event to date.

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