The One About the All-Star Race

May 21, 2022 | Blog

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I’m gonna be honest here. The All-Star Race needs to go.

I’ve thought this for a number of years but 2022 is the final straw for me. I know that in no way will this blog take the race off the schedule, but it’s my outlet and you’re here reading this so…. here goes.

The NASCAR All-Star Race used to be special. It was truly the best of the best going at it on a Saturday night in NASCAR’s backyard for a lot of money. It was a spectacle. It was a showplace for the sport’s best to shine.

2022 NASCAR All-Star Race Starting Lineup

Now, it feels like a debacle.

I miss the days of lining up and running three segments with an inversion in the middle and a 10-lap final shootout to determine a winner. It was simple. It was easy to understand. It didn’t require a degree to understand.

Now, let me see if I can figure this out…. we’ll run five segments and if there’s no caution within a certain lap range we’re gonna throw one for fun and the pole sitter for the final segment is determined by the Pythagorean theorem and the square root of four tires and fuel. Or something like that.

Seriously though, why is everything so complicated anymore? When did it become “boring” to invert the fastest cars to the back and see if they could find their way back to the front before the checkered flag flew?

Back In The Day…

The All-Star Race was special because it was different than anything else we did. Back in the day, we didn’t have stages (or segments) in points paying races. That was something we only did in the All-Star Race. Same goes for double file restarts. Same goes for pit crews getting to bring their families to the racetrack with no points to worry about and special one-off paint schemes that led to an increase in diecasts, t-shirts and hat sales.

What happened to “One Hot Night” and T-Rex (pictured above) and Rusty Wallace choking on that $200,000? What happened to QuickSilver and TNN Motorsports broadcasts and inverting the field after the first segment?

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but when we say back in the day the All-Star Race was better than it is now, it’s actually true. A review of statistics from the 1990s shows that racing today is far more competitive than it was then. Lord knows it’s more competitive now than in decades prior to that.

The All-Star Race has always been an outlier. And in this case, it’s still an outlier. I used to get so excited for NASCAR’s All-Star night. Now, it’s just another race where I have to get out an abacus to figure out what’s going on.

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