News & Media

Head2Head: Is it time to rotate the All-Star Race?

May 16, 2011, ,

Eleven races are in the books and after an exciting first four months of the season that saw eight different winners -- including two that no one saw coming in Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith -- it's time to take a break, re-assess the teams ... and oh yeah, race for $1 million.

The All-Star Race has been around since 1985 when Darrell Waltrip won the 70-lap event featuring 12 drivers. The All-Star Race has seen different variations and rules throughout the years, but aside from one event in 1986, the race has always been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. So as the 27th annual event takes place Saturday, Bill Kimm and David Caraviello debate moving NASCAR's mid-season exhibition around the country. Read their arguments and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote for who you agree with more in the poll at the right.

Should the All-Star Race be rotated?


We're in the month of May which means one thing ... fans get to see the same racing on the same track for back-to-back weeks. Don't get me wrong, I like Charlotte Motor Speedway, but I've seen enough All-Star races to know it's time to move that thing around the country.

Sure, most of the drivers live around Charlotte and it's nice for them to spend a little time at home. And sure, it's cost-effective to keep things in Charlotte for half a month. But All-Star attendance is mediocre at best, and let's be honest, the racing isn't jaw-dropping.

Can you imagine 100 laps at the Bullring of Bristol Motor Speedway? Two-wide racing on the world's fastest half-mile for $1 million ... now that's what I call exciting. But don't just stop there. Dover, Atlanta, Richmond, Darlington ... all tracks east of the Mississippi that would host spectacular all-star events.

But don't count out our friends out west ... Las Vegas and Phoenix would be a very suitable home for an All-Star weekend as well. Now, there are some tracks that don't fit the all-star style: Daytona, Talladega, Watkins Glen, Infineon, Indianapolis -- these are special places that aren't conducive to no-holds-barred affairs. But there are plenty of tracks that are.

The All-Star Race is an exciting event that comes once a year. It's the one time points don't matter and the best of the best go all out. It's time to let those outside of North Carolina enjoy it in person.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

The temptation is understandable. You watch all these other all-star events on television, see the prestige they bring to a new city every year, begin to warm to the idea of a different facility each season dressed up for the big show. It's only natural. And for a while in the 1990s NASCAR seemed to consider the notion as well, and toy with the concept of uprooting its annual all-star exhibition race and running it somewhere other than Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It never happened, of course. Sensible minds prevailed. And this weekend the Sprint All-Star Race will be run right where it should be, between the yellow walls of Bruton Smith's 1.5-mile facility, where it's been since 1987.

Sure, it might seem fun to see the event at Bristol or Phoenix. But let's be honest ? this race exists today in large part because the folks at Charlotte gave it a home, and nurtured it, and helped it grow from a sideshow into a major event. NASCAR sanctions the race and Sprint bankrolls it, but Charlotte Motor Speedway has as much right to lay claim to this as anyone else.

They tried it somewhere else, one time, shifting it to Atlanta in 1986. Nobody showed up. OK, maybe the Mother's Day scheduling wasn't ideal. But Charlotte took ownership of the thing, built it up until Sprint came along and added a huge shot of pizzazz. Sure, some other all-star events move around, with good reason: they don't have a home. This one does.

David Caraviello, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

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