By Davey Segal
This weekend I went to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to see the Sprint All Star race. I won the tickets on twitter from a retweet to win contest from my favorite driver, Kevin Harvick. His manager, @Mother_Function, DM’d me and sent me the tickets. I also won a signed jacket!
First was the burnout competition, which Clint Bowyer won with the last vote from the celebrity judges. He did a really awesome 30 seconds of burning rubber and beat out Kasey Kahne by one vote!
Second on the All Star festivities list for Saturday was the Sprint All Star Showdown. AJ Allmendinger started from the pole, but had some issues even before the start of the race. He had a flat tire and had to come into pit. After fighting to stay on the lead lap all of segment 1, Allmendinger eventually fought his way all the way back and passed Jamie McMurray with 2 laps to go to advance to the All Star Race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the showdown. The crowd was going absolutely crazy when Jr. crossed the finish line in 1st place. Bobby Labonte won the fan vote and transferred as well.
Now onto the big show: The All Star Race. Kyle Busch started from the pole and led about 12 laps before being overtaken by 5-time, Jimmie Johnson and he ended up winning the segment. Segment 2 was won by Matt Kenseth, segment 3 was won by Brad Keselowski JUST over Kasey Kahne, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 4th segment.
In the grandstands around me, there was lots of chatter on who was going to take 4 tires, who was going to take 2 and who was going to do a stop and go. I was listening to Kevin Harvick on my scanner, so I knew he was taking 4. But I was surprised at how many people did a stop and go. All 4 segment winners did this strategy while the rest of the pack was mixed. Harvick restarted 16th and made up 10 positions in 10 laps to finish 6th, showing you what 4 tires and a good car can do for you. The leaders, who didn’t take any tires, had clean air and that’s probably what allowed them to stay ahead of the pack.
Jimmie Johnson ended up winning the $1,000,000 and the crowd mostly booed because everyone hates a winner, especially someone who wins as often as Jimmie. I also wanted to say that I, as well as the other fans, disliked the fact that the segment winners just ran around in the back and didn’t even race for more than half of the race! That’s not racing, that’s mind games to a certain extent.
Overall, the racing I saw at Charlotte didn’t disappoint. The fans were amazing, the atmosphere was amazing, and everything about this weekend was amazing. I would love to go there again and see another race. I’m so thankful that I got the opportunity to see a spectacle such as this one. I highly recommend you to this event if at all possible in your lifetime.