Everything you need to know for Saturday’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte

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Winning Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race won’t earn drivers a ticket to this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup or even any championship points.

But a $1 million winner’s prize and bragging rights at Charlotte Motor Speedway – the home track for many in the stock car industry – should ensure that they’ll be plenty motivated to go all-out.

19 drivers are already set for the All-Star Race, with three more coming through Friday’s Sprint Showdown (the top two finishers transfer to the All-Star) and a fan vote.

Qualifying consists of a three-lap run for each driver that must feature a four-tire stop; pit road speed limits will not be in effect. As for the main event, it will be made up of five segments – the first four running for 20 laps each, and the final one running for 10 laps.

Courtesy of NASCAR’s public relations and statistics teams, here’s all the notes and numbers to keep in mind going into the weekend.

NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
· Two top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 13.5
· Average Running Position of 10.5, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.4, 12th-best
· 34 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 211 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.280 mph, ninth-fastest
· 581 Laps in the Top 15 (69.2%), 10th-most
· 183 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 11th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
· One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 10.3
· Average Running Position of 8.7, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 86.4, fifth-best
· 48 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 267 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.310 mph, seventh-fastest
· 676 Laps in the Top 15 (80.5%), fifth-most
· 246 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
· Three top fives, four top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 11.3
· Series-best Average Running Position of 6.5
· Series-best Driver Rating of 110.3
· 80 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 180.575 mph
· 639 Laps in the Top 15 (85.2%), seventh-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)
· One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.1
· Average Running Position of 10.4, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 82.8, sixth-best
· 59 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.187 mph, 10th-fastest
· 586 Laps in the Top 15 (77.1%), eighth-most
· 178 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Three wins, six top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 9.7
· Average Running Position of 8.8, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 81.6, eighth-best
· 53 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 282 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.684 mph, fifth-fastest
· Series-high 776 Laps in the Top 15 (92.4%)
· 258 Quality Passes, third-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet)
· Four wins, eight top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 6.2
· Average Running Position of 6.9, second-best
· Driver Rating of 106.3, second-best
· Series-high 143 Fastest Laps Run
· 275 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 180.223 mph, second-fastest
· 735 Laps in the Top 15 (87.5%), second-most
· 248 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet)
· One win, two top fives, four top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.5
· Average Running Position of 10.9, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 79.7, ninth-best
· 43 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· 284 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.366 mph, sixth-fastest
· 586 Laps in the Top 15 (69.8%), eighth-most
· 243 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota)
· One win, five top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 6.5
· Average Running Position of 8.7, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 88.3, third-best
· 44 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 286 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.295 mph, eighth-fastest
· 692 Laps in the Top 15 (82.4%), fourth-most
· 253 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford)
· Two top fives, three top 10s
· Average finish of 4.3
· Average Running Position of 8.4, third-best
· Driver Rating of 87.3, fourth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 179.726 mph, fourth-fastest

Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Bass Pro Chevrolet)
· Average finish of 14.8
· Average Running Position of 12.7
· Driver Rating of 63.5, 23rd-best
· 211 Green Flag Passes
· 391 Laps in the Top 15 (67.4%)

Ryan Newman (No. 31 CAT-Quicken Loans Chevrolet)
· One win, three top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 9.6
· Average Running Position of 9.5, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 79.1, 11th-best
· 21 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 304 Green Flag Passes, second-most
· 710 Laps in the Top 15 (84.5%), third-most
· 266 Quality Passes, second-most

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet)
· Average finish of 12.5
· Average Running Position of 14.8
· Driver Rating of 64.6, 21st-best
· 128 Green Flag Passes
· 184 Laps in the Top 15 (49.7%)

Brian Vickers (No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota)
· One top five, one top 10
· Average finish of 9.3
· Driver Rating of 79.6, 10th-best
· 64 Green Flag Passes
· 113 Laps in the Top 15 (66.5%)

source:

Charlotte Motor Speedway Data
Track Size: 1.5 miles
· Banking Turns: 24 degrees
· Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
· Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
· Frontstretch: 1,980 feet
· Backstretch: 1,500 feet

Top 10 All-Star Driver Ratings
Kyle Busch…………………………. 110.3
Jimmie Johnson…………………… 106.3
Matt Kenseth………………………… 88.3
Joey Logano………………………… 87.3
Kurt Busch……………………………. 86.4
Carl Edwards………………………… 82.8
Joe Nemechek………………………. 82.4
Jeff Gordon………………………….. 81.6
Kasey Kahne………………………… 79.7
Brian Vickers………………………… 79.6
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star races (nine total).

2013 Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 90.672 mph, (01:29:20), 05-18-13
Margin of Victory: 1.722 seconds

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Wins List
1985 – Darrell Waltrip
1986 – Bill Elliott
1987 – Dale Earnhardt
1988 – Terry Labonte
1989 – Rusty Wallace
1990 – Dale Earnhardt
1991, 1992 – Davey Allison
1993 – Dale Earnhardt
1994 – Geoff Bodine
1995 – Jeff Gordon
1996 – Michael Waltrip
1997 – Jeff Gordon
1998 – Mark Martin
1999 – Terry Labonte
2000 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2001 – Jeff Gordon
2002 – Ryan Newman
2003 – Jimmie Johnson
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2005 – Mark Martin
2006 – Jimmie Johnson
2007 – Kevin Harvick
2008 – Kasey Kahne
2009 – Tony Stewart
2010 – Kurt Busch
2011 – Carl Edwards
2012 – Jimmie Johnson
2013 – Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Notebook
· There have been 29 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
· The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985.
· 28 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and won by Bill Elliott. That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown.
· 91 drivers have run in at least one NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, with 76 competing in more than one.
· Mark Martin has participated in 24 races, more than any other driver. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Sprint All-Star starts with 20, followed by Tony Stewart with 15.
· There have been 19 different winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
· Jimmie Johnson (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013) leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint All-Star race wins with four.
· Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) are three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in 1985 at 161.184 mph.
· The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002. This year’s field will have 22 participants.
· Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999) and Mark Martin (1998 and 2005) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
· Davey Allison (1991, 1992) and Jimmie Johnson (2012, 2013) are the only drivers to ever win consecutive Sprint All-Star events.
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in their rookie season.
· Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days (1995). Mark Martin is the oldest at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days (2005).
· Joey Logano (three starts) leads the series among active drivers with an average finish of 4.3 in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
· Eight drivers including Joey Logano, have an average finish in the top 10 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race: Jimmie Johnson (6.2), Matt Kenseth (6.5), Tony Stewart (8.2), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8.3), Brian Vickers (9.3), Ryan Newman (9.6) and Jeff Gordon (9.7).
· Terry Labonte won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in 1985.
· 16 drivers have won Coors Light poles for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, led by Bill Elliott with five. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with three. Carl Edwards won last season’s pole.
· Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race: Davey Allison (1991, 1992) Bill Elliott (1997, 1998) and Kyle Busch (2011, 2012).
· The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Davey Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole in 2010.
· The front row starting positions are the two most proficient starting positions in the field, producing more winners (four each) than any other starting positions in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
· Eight of the 29 (27.5%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from the front row: four from the pole and four from second-place.
· 21 of the 29 (72.4%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Two of the 29 (6.8%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002.
· Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won eight NASCAR Sprint All-Star races: Jimmie Johnson (four), Jeff Gordon (three) and Terry Labonte (one).
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race with nine; followed by Tony Stewart (eight) and Jimmie Johnson (eight).
· Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race with 13; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 11 each.
· Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013).
· In 2008, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to get into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race by the Sprint Fan Vote and go on to win the event.
· Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race gone on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following weekend: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).
· The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is 10 in 2004.
· The record for different leaders in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is nine in 2002.
· The series best Driver Rating performance by a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner was Carl Edwards posting a 141.7 in 2011.

Comedian Adam Carolla makes pro racing debut in Trans Am

Adam Carolla pilots the No. 33 GoShare Corvette at Willow Springs International Raceway. Photo: Burtin Racing
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As the host of such shows as CarCast, Ace on the House, and Adam Carolla and Friends Build Stuff Live, and with a massive classic car collection to boot, funnyman Adam Carolla is an unapologetic gearhead who is well-versed in the car industry. He even made a documentary honoring Paul Newman in recent years. However, he recently took his love of all things automotive one step further: he contested his first professional car race.

He joined the Burtin Racing team, which fields Corvette C7.Rs in the Trans Am presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship, at California’s Willow Springs International Raceway for the High Desert Challenge, the season opener for Trans Am’s 2017 season. He piloted their No. 33 GoShare entry as a teammate to Richard Wall, who signed as a last-minute entrant for team’s the No. 7 machine.

Carolla was not daunted by the challenge. He quickly came to grips with the 850-horsepower beast and qualified a solid fifth for the 100-mile feature. In the race itself, he worked his way up to third before facing a tough challenge from Trans Am veteran and former champion Greg Pickett, who previously ran the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing effort in the American Le Mans Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Photo: Burtin Racing

However, Carolla was unfazed by Pickett’s advance and he held off the former champion to claim third, not far behind teammate Wall, who crossed the line in second. Tomy Drissi won the event in the No. 8 Ghost in The Shell Chevrolet Corvette.

For Carolla, simply contesting the Trans Am event was an honor. “For me, Trans Am has always been huge,” said Carolla, who earned the COOLSHIRT Systems “Cool Move of the Race” award for his performance.

“I have old Trans Am cars from the 70’s and 80’s. I have some 2.5 (liter) Trans Am cars from the 70’s and I have Paul Newman cars that were raced in Trans Am. So just the idea of being asked to race in the modern Trans Am was a huge honor. Just being able to hold my own in modern Trans Am was exciting to me.”

Team owner Claudio Burtin was ecstatic with Carolla’s performance. “I think we all have to take our hat off to Adam Carolla on his debut in Trans Am,” he said of Carolla. “This is a fast and difficult track at Willow Springs, and the team is ecstatic with Adam’s podium finish. GoShare is thrilled with the results and we will work to improve one step higher on the podium next time.”

The Trans Am presented by Pirelli West Championships resume action on April 29-30 at Auto Club Speedway.

Preferred Freezer Services expands partnership with Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter Racing

Mike Finnegan/Ed Carpenter Racing
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Preferred Freezer Services, which has been a sponsor of Ed Carpenter Racing and driver J.R. Hildebrand since 2014, is set to expand its partnership with both driver and team. Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet with sport the white and blue Preferred Freezer Services livery at four races during the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the first being at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 7-9. The expansion also includes the entire month of May, which will see the brand on the No. 21 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. They will return as a primary sponsor for the Honda Indy Toronto in July and will be an associate sponsor throughout the season.

“Preferred Freezer Services was a big part of helping me get to running just the Indy 500 with ECR the first year in 2014. We’ve been fortunate to see the program grow and help it expand over the last few years,” Hildebrand said of the relationship. “I’m really excited to be able to continue that partnership and have them on board for a few more races this year! It is great to work with these guys again and I can’t wait to kick it off at such an awesome event as Long Beach.”

As Hildebrand explained, the partnership between sponsor, driver and team dates back to 2014, when Preferred Freezer Services adorned a then one-off No. 21 entry for Hildebrand, incidentally his first start for Ed Carpenter Racing. They expanded their partnership in 2015, adorning Hildebrand’s entry at that year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500. Their presence grew even more last year, when they appeared on the cars of Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden at both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hildebrand has finished in top ten in the last three Indianapolis 500 mile races. However, his best finish remains his infamous second place at the 2011 race, in which he crashed in the final corner while leading, which yielded victory to Dan Wheldon.

Pippa Mann returns to Dale Coyne Racing for fifth straight Indy 500

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Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed Pippa Mann will be back in the team’s third car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, which will mark her fifth consecutive year with the team and sixth start in the race overall.

She joins Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Ed Jones as Coyne’s three drivers in for the race, as the Coyne team is expected to focus just on these three after running four cars last year.

“I’m very happy to be rejoining Dale Coyne Racing for my fifth consecutive year with the team at the 101st Indy 500,” Mann said in a release.

“Dale has invested heavily in the team over the winter, and it’s an exciting time to be part of his organization. I’m looking forward to working with the same familiar faces from my 2016 campaign, like my race engineer Rob Ridgely, as well as working with the new members of the team, including my new teammates Sebastien (Bourdais) and Ed (Jones). I’m thrilled to be getting back on the race track this May for my sixth Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Mann continues her relationship with Susan G. Komen, the supporters of the pink No. 63 Honda for the last three years in an effort which first began in 2014.

As she’s done for the past four consecutive years, Mann will continue to raise awareness for the Get Involved Campaign alongside her racing program. This year, the campaign that raises money for Susan G. Komen® is partnering with Auction Cause, a premier cause marketing agency, that will run the auction on eBay for Charity. The campaign will launch May 1 and close the week following the Indy 500. The funds raised will be used to support Komen’s global breast cancer research, and community based programs throughout the U.S.

Komen continues as a key partner and Mann has announced another partnership with OrthoIndy, with further partnerships to be released soon.

“I’m also excited about the link up with Auction Cause and eBay for Charity this May,” she added. “They have so much experience running online campaigns, I feel like it’s a huge step for me, and for the Get Involved Campaign to partner with them. This new format has allowed me to reach out to more drivers, get them involved with more signed items, and I’m hoping we’re able to reach more race fans, and raise even more money for Susan G. Komen than we have ever done before.”

“It’s always a pleasure to have Pippa on board for the Indy 500 and to help promote the Get Involved Campaign, raising funds for Susan G. Komen,” Coyne said. “Pippa works hard every year to put together this program and to race in the Indy 500. With her perseverance and enthusiasm for our sport, it’s only fitting that we continue this relationship that started five years ago.”

Newgarden hails ‘spectacular’ Montoya after JPM’s first 2017 test

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At 26 years old, Josef Newgarden was watching Juan Pablo Montoya win races in CART, then Formula 1, then NASCAR as his own career was starting out.

When Montoya returned to IndyCar in 2014 at age 38, Newgarden was just 23, and the two had the chance to share a race track together for the first time.

After Newgarden’s subsequent rise over the years, he was scouted by Team Penske, and eventually signed to replace Montoya in the team’s No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

But Montoya remains part of the Team Penske landscape in 2017, driving the team’s fifth car during the month of May at both the IndyCar Grand Prix in Indianapolis and the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He’s also been mentioned as the leading candidate to drive with Penske’s highly likely but not officially confirmed future sports car program, which Penske discussed openly during a media roundtable at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season opener.

At last week’s test at Barber Motorsports Park, Newgarden and Montoya had the chance to work together as teammates and as Newgarden explained, having the chance to study his predecessor’s data was something he relished.

“Juan’s fun to be around. He’s an interesting guy,” Newgarden told NBC Sports. “He’s so competitive… and you can tell how competitive he is interacting with him. But it’s fun to look at his data, and have the privilege to look at that.

“I’m excited to see that at Indianapolis, because that’s the big race for all of us together at Team Penske.”

Montoya has mentioned his appreciation for Newgarden in the past, particularly after the two raced so closely for position at the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America last season.

Newgarden said he’s looked up to Montoya for years and seeing him in this element provided such a rare glimpse into his world.

“The level of respect I have for Juan is tremendous,” he said. “He’s been so spectacular, and is even more so on ovals. I’ll be so thankful to get the chance to look at his data.”

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Newgarden, who today is promoting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 9, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and has that sandwiched in-between two tests at the Indianapolis oval. Team Penske used a team test last Friday and will be back in action as part of a Chevrolet manufacturer test on Saturday.

“It’s a great couple days to get my feet wet,” he said. “I hadn’t been around there with Team Penske yet. It’s good to get that type of knowledge early on.”