Top vote-getters revealed for Saturday’s NASCAR All-Star Race

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Only two avenues are open for drivers that did not win a Sprint Cup race in 2013 or so far in 2014 to make Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

One is winning or finishing second in the Sprint Showdown preliminary on Friday night (CLICK HERE for both events’ entry lists).

The other is winning the Sprint Fan Vote, which will be open through that particular time (7 p.m. ET).

And earlier today, the Twitter account for Miss Sprint Cup revealed the current Top 10 drivers in that Fan Vote.

They are: AJ Allmendinger (JTG Daugherty Racing), Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports), Marcos Ambrose (Petty), Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing), Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing), Casey Mears (Germain Racing), Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing) and Josh Wise (Phil Parsons Racing).

But what made the Twitter unveiling unique was that each of these ten drivers were represented by a stylized portrait of themselves. Seriously, if the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte decides to open up an art exhibit on the sport, you’d figure these would be part of the display.

Barring that, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them end up on posters or T-shirts sometime soon. You can check out the portraits for yourselves here.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).