When Marcus Smith unveiled a second $1 million bonus for the driver that can win all five segments of tonight’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, he passed along a notion from his father.
“My dad, [Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO] Bruton Smith, says that three things motivate people – love, fear and money,” he said back in February.
Rest assured, the drivers in tonight’s exhibition event at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be motivated with $2 million up for grabs; the race winner will earn a $1 million prize from Sprint regardless of how many segments he or she may win. And with no points on the line, drivers will be fully focused on a furious dash for the cash.
“If I were a sports bookie, I’d put a 300-to-1 on it,” Kyle Busch (pictured) told NASCAR.com’s George Winkler. “You have to run each segment as hard as you can. You have to stay out front to keep your average finish as high as you can. There’s going to be a lot of things playing out in between the segments with pit stops, tire strategy…It’s certainly going to make it a lot more fun, not only for the fans but for the crew chiefs as well.”
Money isn’t the only reason why drivers may feel an increased need to go all-out from the drop of the green flag. As mentioned yesterday, the running order at the end of the fourth segment will be reshuffled based on drivers’ average finish over the first four segments. A four-tire stop will then take place and the race off pit road will determine the starting order for the final, 10-lap segment that will settle the race.
Busch has never needed an excuse to go fast and considering the nature of tonight’s race, he would appear to be a threat to walk away with a good bit of money. His strategy is simple enough.
“Stay up front, win every segment and get two million bucks and go home,” he said. “Sounds easy — we’ll see what happens.”