NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Betting News and Notes

Odds & Ends - All-Star Race
VegasInsider.com

Driver Ratings for Winners

Driver/Year (Driver Rating-Series Driver Rating Rank)
Carl Edwards/2011 (79.2-14th)
Kurt Busch/2010 (85.0-12th)
Tony Stewart/2009 (84.4-13th)
Kasey Kahne/2008 (81.7-16th)
Kevin Harvick/2007 (72.5-24th)
Jimmie Johnson/2006 (114.4-1st)

Pre-Race Driver Ratings of the year the driver won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star (last six races).

2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Entry List

Marcos Ambrose Fan Vote Winner
Trevor Bayne Winner Sprint Showdown
Greg Biffle Second Place Sprint Showdown
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Carl Edwards
Jeff Gordon
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth
Brad Keselowski
Mark Martin
Paul Menard
Ryan Newman
David Ragan
Regan Smith
Tony Stewart

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 12 Driver Rating at Charlotte

List consists of drivers with more than one NASCAR Sprint All-Star race start

Jimmie Johnson 108.9
Kyle Busch 106.8
Matt Kenseth 94.0
Carl Edwards 89.6
Mark Martin 86.1
Kurt Busch 85.2
Jeff Gordon 85.1
Tony Stewart 83.9
Greg Biffle 82.7
Ryan Newman 81.9
Joey Logano 80.5
Brian Vickers 79.6

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star races (seven total).

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Driver Highlights - All-Star Race
VegasInsider.com

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/ American Red Cross Ford)

Two top fives, three top 10s
Average finish of 12.3
Average Running Position of 10.1, 12th-best
Driver Rating of 82.7, 11th-best
34 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
174 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.272 mph, ninth-fastest
452 Laps in the Top 15 (68.5%), 11th-most
146 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 10th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet)

One win, four top fives, five top 10s
Average finish of 11.1
Average Running Position of 8.8, seventh-best
Driver Rating of 85.2, eighth-best
30 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
198 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 177.969 mph, 13th-fastest
539 Laps in the Top 15 (81.7%), fifth-most
178 Quality Passes, sixth-most
   
Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)

One top five, two top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 13.8
Average Running Position of 6.8, third-best
Driver Rating of 106.8, third-best
63 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 179.322 mph, second-fastest
459 Laps in the Top 15 (80.5%), ninth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)

One win, three top fives, four top 10s
Average finish of 9.3
Average Running Position of 9.3, 11th-best
Driver Rating of 89.6, sixth-best
57 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
167 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.047 mph, 11th-fastest
473 Laps in the Top 15 (81.6%), eighth-most
146 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

Three wins, six top fives, nine top 10s
Average finish of 9.3
Average Running Position of 8.3, fifth-best
Driver Rating of 85.1, ninth-best
52 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
196 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.563 mph, sixth-fastest
606 Laps in the Top 15 (91.8%), second-most
180 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet)

Two wins, six top fives, six top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 7.2
Average Running Position of 5.9, second-best
Driver Rating of 108.9, second-best
Series-high 126 Fastest Laps Run
218 Green Flag Passes, second-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 179.237 mph, third-fastest
Series-high 628 Laps in the Top 15 (95.2%)
Series-high 200 Quality Passes

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

One win, four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 6.5
Average Running Position of 7.6, fourth-best
Driver Rating of 94.0, fourth-best
36 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
209 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.286 mph, eighth-fastest
577 Laps in the Top 15 (87.4%), third-most
186 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)

Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s
Average finish of 10.9
Average Running Position of 8.6, sixth-best
Driver Rating of 86.1, seventh-best
35 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
169 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.586 mph, fifth-fastest
516 Laps in the Top 15 (78.2%), sixth-most
142 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Ryan Newman (No. 39 Tornados Chevrolet)

One win, three top fives, six top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 9.2
Average Running Position of 9.2, eighth-best
Driver Rating of 81.9, 13th-best
20 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
217 Green Flag Passes, third-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.035 mph, 12th-fastest
550 Laps in the Top 15 (83.3%), fourth-most
187 Quality Passes, third-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)

One win, eight top fives, nine top 10s
Average finish of 7.1
Average Running Position of 11.1, 13th-best
Driver Rating of 83.9, 10th-best
12 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
213 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 178.225 mph, 10th-fastest
458 Laps in the Top 15 (69.4%), 10th-most
169 Quality Passes, eighth-most

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NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Storylines
NASCAR.com

Fitting, isn’t it, that Jimmie Johnson collected Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th victory on Saturday night, seven short days before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Johnson sent a message, loud and clear, to his colleagues and to fans. That message: “Hey, remember us? Despite a mini-drought, we’re still the juggernaut you have feared for the past two decades.”

Johnson delivered that message, post-marked perfectly, a week before the lights shine on the best NASCAR has to offer at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coincidence? Doubtful.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race festivities kick off on Thursday night with the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge at Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte at 7 p.m. ET. SPEED will broadcast the event on tape delay at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the Sprint Showdown starts at 7 p.m. on SPEED, with the top-two finishers advancing into the main event. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race starts at 9 p.m. on SPEED.

This weekend’s action begins Friday night with the return of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing, with the N.C. Education Lottery 200 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on SPEED.

NASCAR Nationwide Series wraps up the weekend with always-anticipated short-track racing at Iowa Speedway. The Pioneer hi-Bred 250 will run Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

Storylines for this week…

No Points Means No Holds Barred

Saturday night’s absence of championship points is replaced with an abundance of action and daring driving. With no championship harm done, a no holds barred attitude settles upon NASCAR’s best.

Saturday night’s race will be run in five segments. The first four segments will be 20 laps each. The final segment will be the ultimate dash to the finish: 10 laps, only green flag laps count.

The winner gets a cool million.

Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race wins, with three. Carl Edwards is the defending winner.

Sprint Showdown: A Last Chance

Some big names have yet to lock up a spot in the main event field, namely Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya.

There’s two more chances for those drivers (and others) to land a spot in the field: race their way in, or hammer the polls.

The top-two finishers in the Sprint Showdown advance to the all-star race. The all-star race’s table setter is scheduled for 40 laps – two segments of 20 laps each.  Finally, a driver can earn entry into the all-star race by winning the Sprint Fan Vote. Fans can vote here:

Spotlight Shines On The Men On Pit Road

Kicking off the festivities, the eighth edition of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will take place Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena (SPEED to televise on delayed basis beginning at 8 p.m.).

This competition between 24 of top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews features the “unsung heroes” of the sport in a popular tournament-style battle. The event’s finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 11 Toyota team is the two-time defending champion.

Johnson Aims For 1-2 Punch

Jimmie Johnson’s 16-race drought vanished on Saturday, and with it a renewed optimism within the No. 48 camp.

Can its winning ways continue in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race? Johnson has two wins in the all-star race (2003 and 2006), but comes into the annual non-points extravaganza with three finishes outside the top 10. Johnson led in all three of those starts.

Edwards Looks To Add Name To Short List
Carl Edwards’ 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race win might be more remembered for the post-race celebration than his actual on-track performance.

After his win, Edwards attempted to spin out in Charlotte’s large grassy football field, but instead tore up the front of his No. 99 Ford and left a massive divot in the infield.

It was Edwards’ victory in the annual event. A second, this weekend, would put Edwards in rare company. Only one driver has won consecutive NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races, and it happened two decades ago – Davey Allison in 1991-92.

Newbies Out To Prove There’s No First-Time Jitters

First-timers usually don’t fare too well in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The last driver to win in his first appearance was Ryan Newman in 2002.

Those attempting to accomplish a feat that hasn’t occurred in a decade: Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne and Marcos Ambrose.

Other drivers could join those three as first timers, depending on the results of the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint Fan Vote.

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Driver Notes & Quotes for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
NASCAR.com

KEVIN HARVICK ON ALL-STAR RACE: “Our All-Star race is a lot different than other sports. With the All-Star race they put a million dollars in front of you. Anytime they put that much money in front of anybody it’s going to cause things to rise to another level. Take the points away from that and you really have some unique scenarios that come up. It’s always fun when you know there is really nothing on the line but to win. If you do, then usually there is a big check waiting for you at the end so that gives you some bragging rights and a lot of money.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 391 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was built new for competition in 2012, and was driven by Harvick earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway where he finished 11th and ninth, respectively.

PAUL MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Menard will pilot Chassis No. 328 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. This No. 27 Chevrolet was last seen on track at Phoenix International Raceway in March where Menard finished 31st after he was spun from behind. This chassis was also used in competition in 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Darlington Raceway and the November event at Phoenix.

JEFF BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Burton will race chassis No. 355 from the Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized three times last season at Darlington Raceway (start-24th, finish-33rd), Kansas Speedway (start-16th, finish-25th) and Chicagoland Speedway (start-22nd, finish-15th) and will make its first appearance of 2012 this weekend.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON THE ALL-STAR BEING A TEST FOR THE COCA-COLA 600: “Yes, for sure. Not only for the 600, but we’ve been there some years where we needed to improve our mile-and-a-half stuff and just came with just a totally different concept. It is a great testing weekend with practice and qualifying and all of that stuff. It’s a good time to try stuff, and all teams do.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis No. 720 serves as the primary for Johnson for the Sprint All-Star Race. Chassis No. 669 serves as the backup. (Editor's note: In their press release last week they said Chassis No. 681 won at Kansas, this week they're saying chassis No. 720 won at Kansas last year in it's only run. When referring back to last seasons notes, it was chassis No. 681 that won at Kansas last season as they started last week. Chassis No. 720 ran in this years Kansas race and Johnson finished third.)

RYAN NEWMAN CHASSIS SELECTIONS: Chassis No. 39-686 will make its fifth start this weekend in the non-points-paying NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and its second start at the 1.5-mile oval that most of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team’s call home. The chassis already has two starts to its credit this season at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At Kansas, Newman ran in the top-15 for most of the race but, with less than 70 laps to go, he was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop with what he thought was a deflating tire. He exited the pits one lap down to the leaders, ending his shot at a top-10 finish and relegating him to 20th place.

At Las Vegas, Newman qualified a disappointing 18th but made a strong drive into the top-10, where he ran for most of the race. He drove from eighth to fourth in the final four laps to earn a fourth-place finish at the 1.5-mile oval. Last year, chassis 39-686 made two starts at intermediate racetracks during the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, which resulted in one top-10 finish. The chassis made its debut in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte in October, where Newman started sixth, led six laps and finished a solid 10th. In the second start for the chassis, at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Newman recovered from a loose wheel and being two laps down to finish a respectable 16th.

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops®/AllState team will bring Chassis #1106 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.  Last season, this chassis competed in both races at Kansas Speedway (finishing 29th and 22nd) as well as Atlanta Motor Speedway (finishing 16th).

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE:  Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1119 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.  This chassis saw track-time last year at Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedway finishing 14th and 18th, respectively.  This season, this chassis finished 17th at Fontana and 16th at Texas.

CARL EDWARDS ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “We need the All-Star race right now.  It’s a race where we can just go, let it all hang out, have some fun and not worry about any points.  We’re just going for the win in each segment and hopefully get to victory lane like we did last year.  That was a blast and one of the neatest nights of my career, so I’m excited to just go out there and have some fun.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 99 Fastenal Blue Team will be unloading chassis RK-782 for this weekend’s event. Edwards raced this Ford Fusion at California in March of this year where he finished fifth.

GREG BIFFLE ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “I’m super excited for the All-Star race Saturday night.  No points, I don’t have to worry about anything, it’s kind of like having a week off and getting to drive the car how I want to.  The team is pumped up about the Pit Crew Challenge Thursday night and we are excited about trying to win the million dollars Saturday night.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-803 Last ran California – finished sixth; Backup: RK-786 Last ran Homestead – finished 35th.

MATT KENSETH ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “It seems that teams are always willing to take more risks and try new things when it comes to the All-Star race simply because there aren’t any points associated with this race.  The All-Star race is just a lot of fun because there are a bunch of neat events that lead into the weekend including the Pit Crew Challenge and then having to qualify with a pit stop on Friday.  Everyone is chasing the big check at the end of the race and I’m looking forward to having Fifth Third Bank on our car for this weekend for their first Cup race.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-787 (Last run at Fontana)

RYAN TRUEX JR. ON THE SPRINT SHOWDOWN: “Obviously, what is nice about this weekend’s Sprint Showdown is it gives us track time to see where we stand for the bigger picture — the Coca-Cola 600. If we can duplicate our 2010 efforts, I think we can not only win the Sprint Showdown, but we can also close the deal and take home all the cash in the Sprint All-Star race. My crew chief Chad Johnston believes we have a race package capable of turning in our strongest performance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I can’t wait to get out on the track. Right now this team is having a lot of fun and I love driving this NAPA Toyota.”

MARK MARTIN ON THE ALL-STAR RACE: “The All-Star race is just a great race. I really love it. It’s going to be a lot of fun – it’s just a great time. Any time you get to race in Charlotte it’s good. It’s really a break from counting points plus it’s a lot of fun and excitement. You race for a big trophy and a big check. It’s also special because it is in Charlotte. It wouldn’t be what it is anywhere else. Charlotte is home for almost all these teams and it’s the place for this race.”

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Martin will drive Chassis 722 on Saturday in the All Star Race. It finished fifth with Brian Vickers behind the wheel at Bristol on March 18. Chassis 708 will serve as the backup and has not raced in 2012.

KYLE BUSCH ON HIS STYLE OF RACING IN THE ALL-STAR RACE: “I’ve been aggressive and I’ve been maybe too aggressive at points and not aggressive enough at other points. Last year, we just ran a clean race and didn’t really do much aggressive driving or anything and we ended up second. Maybe there was a little bit more that needed to be done but, overall, it was a good week there for us with our M&M’s Camry.”

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Re: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

After traveling back and forth across the country since February, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams get to sleep in their own beds for the next three weeks at home in Charlotte where most of the teams are headquartered. However, It doesn’t mean they get the next three weeks off from racing because they have two important races held at Charlotte Motor Speedway before heading to Dover in June.

This Saturday night is the NASCAR All-Star race, a night filled with two races that have races within each race with the winner getting over $1 million. Then on Memorial day weekend the drivers will race in the Coca-Cola 600.

The difference in the type racing between the two weekends are about as extreme as Talladega is to Martinsville, even though they are both held on the same track. With the All-Star race you have drivers trying to win at all costs with total disregard for their cars and point standings because there are no points, it's basically an exhibition race. Whereas in the Coca-Cola, it’s all about the points and trying to finish well and stay out of trouble.

There’s also the big difference in the purse. Last years Coca-Cola 600 winner, Kevin Harvick, won $406,786 for taking the checkers which is in stark contrast to the $1.2 million Carl Edwards won for taking the All-Star race a week earlier. Needless to say, it pays to be reckless and let it all hang out this week and because of that mentality it is one of the most anticipated races of the season.

“Our All-Star race is a lot different than other sports," Harvick said earlier this week. "With the All-Star race they put a million dollars in front of you. Anytime they put that much money in front of anybody it’s going to cause things to rise to another level. Take the points away from that and you really have some unique scenarios that come up. It’s always fun when you know there is really nothing on the line but to win. If you do, then usually there is a big check waiting for you at the end so that gives you some bragging rights and a lot of money.”

Fans don’t care about points until the Chase comes around, and even then the points are secondary to rooting for their own driver to win that day. The All-Star race brings out the spirit in drivers that fans wish they saw in every race and a $1 million dangling carrot in front of each driver’s windshield is just enough to give them the show they want.

“It seems that teams are always willing to take more risks and try new things when it comes to the All-Star race simply because there aren’t any points associated with this race," said Matt Kenseth, winner of the 2004 All-Star race. "The All-Star race is just a lot of fun because there are a bunch of neat events that lead into the weekend including the Pit Crew Challenge and then having to qualify with a pit stop on Friday. Everyone is chasing the big check at the end of the race and I’m looking forward to having Fifth Third Bank on our car for this weekend for their first Cup race.”

The format of the race is broken down into two events: The Sprint Showdown is a 40-lap preliminary dash for all drivers that don’t meet the qualifications for the All-Star race. The first and second-place drivers from that race will get invited into the big event that has all the big names everyone wants to see without any jalopies getting in their way. Then the fans get to vote in one more driver who didn’t finish in the top-2, known as the Dale Earnhardt Jr rule to some, which gives us 23 total drivers to begin the All-Star race.

The criteria to automatically qualify for the All-Star race is drivers who have won in the current or preceding year, drivers who have won the Sprint Cup title in the last 10 years, or drivers who have won an All-Star race the last 10 years. The race itself consists of four 20-lap segments, concluding with a final 10-lap sprint. In that 10-lap sprint, the winners from each of the first four segments will be placed up front in starting positions 1-4. This is a new wrinkle in this years event to entice drivers to try and race even harder during each of the segments to get the prime position in the final dash, and more importantly, have a much better chance at winning $1 million.

It would be a shock if the one of the four first four drivers starting up front didn't win in that final 10-lap dash.

To get a better read on who might fare the best this week, we should take a look at what happened in Las Vegas and Texas which are both sister tracks of Charlotte. Texas and Charlotte are probably the most similar as far as similar set-ups go.

The driver at the top of the list begins with Greg Biffle who won at Texas and finished third in Las Vegas.

“I’m super excited for the All-Star race Saturday night," said Biffle who is running his sixth-place Fontana chassis. "No points, I don’t have to worry about anything, it’s kind of like having a week off and getting to drive the car how I want to. The team is pumped up about the Pit Crew Challenge Thursday night and we are excited about trying to win the million dollars Saturday night.”

Jimmie Johnson finished runner-up at both Texas and Las Vegas this season and comes in trying to reclaim his Charlotte dominance that saw him win five of six Charlotte races during one stretch from 2003-06, the final year in which Johnson won the All-Star race. Johnson also won the fall Charlotte race in 2009 and see's the All-Star race as kind of a tune-up for next week's Coca-Cola 600.

“Yes, for sure," Johnson said regarding to the importance of this week's notes translating to next week's Coca-Cola 600. "Not only for the 600, but we’ve been there some years where we needed to improve our mile-and-a-half stuff and just came with just a totally different concept. It is a great testing weekend with practice and qualifying and all of that stuff. It’s a good time to try stuff, and all teams do.”

Tony Stewart won at Las Vegas and then faded at Texas, but also has a 2009 All-Star trophy and check in his back pocket.

A couple of drivers I would be surprised not to see compete well this week are Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin from the Michael Waltrip stables. Martin and Truex Jr each had the look of winners in their Texas runs and both should find themselves with high odds making them too tempting to pass on. Truex Jr. will likely be in the field while Martin should be in the 30-to-1 range.

Another driver that might give reason to take a shot with is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Even though he’s not guaranteed to make the race, he’ll get in just because of the fan vote which makes the ‘Field’ bet an interesting one to analyze. He’s got a good enough to car to win with every week, and some day will. He also had his coming out party as a rookie in 2000 when he won the All-Star race.

While this isn’t a crap shoot like Talladega, and only 23 drivers participating with no restrictor-plates on, it is much different than a regular 1.5-mile race because the nature of the money at stake and no points making it extremely volatile. But it’s still a race and action must be had, so get get ‘em and enjoy the night.

Top-5 Sprint Showdown Finish Prediction:

1) #56 Martin Truex Jr (3/1)
2) #20 Joey Logano (6/1)
3) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr (4/1)
4) #22 AJ Allmendinger (7/1)
5) #1 Jamie McMurray (12/1)

Top-5 All-Star Race Finish Prediction:

1) #48 Jimmie Johnson (7/1)
2) #16 Greg Biffle (8/1)
3) #56 Martin Truex Jr (18/1)
4) #14 Tony Stewart (8/1)
5) #24 Jeff Gordon (10/1)

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Re: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Betting News and Notes

Sprint All-Star Race Preview and Picks
By Greg Engle
Covers.com

Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star race promises to be unlike any other race the entire season. With no championship points on the line, an all-or-nothing attitude settles upon NASCAR’s best, making for one wild night.

Saturday night’s race will be run in five segments. The first four segments will be 20 laps each. The final segment will be the ultimate dash to the finish - 10 laps, only green flag laps count.

The winner gets a check for $1 million.

Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Sprint All-Star Race wins with three. Carl Edwards is the defending winner, but it’s Jimmie Johnson who emerges as the favorite. Johnson’s 16-race winless drought vanished last Saturday, replaced by a renewed optimism within the No. 48 camp.

Johnson has two wins in the All-Star Race (2003 and 2006), but also three finishes outside the Top 10. He did, however, lead in all three of those starts. He also has the highest driver rating among the starting field and will look to maintain his winning momentum Saturday. While there are no points on the line, Johnson says there is still pressure.

“It is a different type of pressure,” Johnson told reporters. “There is no doubt the Shootout and the All-Star Race are more relaxed. Sure we want to win. It’s just who and what we all are. Without having the points and the structure of a normal weekend, it does make it a lot more fun.”

Kyle Busch will look to score his first All-Star win Saturday night. The team is starting to slowly turn things around and, given the fact that Busch has the second-highest driver rating at Charlotte, he could be ready to step up and win his first $1 million All-Star check. For Busch it’s all or nothing.

“You’re giving it all you’ve got every single lap,” Busch said. “You’re definitely up on top of the wheel and your guys do the best they can to give you a good car and to make it as lightweight as possible and throw away the air conditioning unit and keep all the front fans away from you – no radiator fan. All that stuff, just try to lighten that baby up and make it fast.”

Like Busch, Greg Biffle heads to Charlotte without an All-Star win but brings a head of steam. He leads the points and hopes show the NASCAR world that he’s a legitimate contender by winning Saturday.

The All-Star field will be rounded out by the winner of the Sprint Showdown. The event features drivers who aren’t otherwise eligible for the All-Star race. In that event, look for A.J. Allmendinger or Martin Truex Jr. to take the checkered flag and advance to the big show.

Head-to-head

Although no points are on the line, there are still plenty of bragging rights to be had for a decent finish.

Kasey Kahne vs. Kevin Harvick: Both drivers have won the All-Star event and could certainly do so again Saturday night. Neither, however, has shown the strength in the first part of the season to be a favorite this time around. Kahne won in 2008, Harvick in 2007. With a higher driver rating, look for Kahne to finish ahead of Harvick.

Carl Edwards vs. Jeff Gordon: Edwards is the defending winner while Gordon has three ASR wins - the most of any driver in the field. Edwards’ focus is on the big picture and trying to break a losing streak, so expect him to use the All-Star Race as a tuneup for next week’s Coca-Cola 600. Gordon’s last All-Star Race victory came in 2001 and his bad luck has kept him out of contention the entire 2012 season. Expect Edwards to finish ahead of Gordon Saturday night.

Bottom line

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 deepest in the field an All-Star Race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002.

Picks

All-Star


Jimmie Johnson (+600)
Kyle Busch (+700)
Greg Biffle (+900)

Showdown

A.J. Allmendinger(+600)
Martin Truex Jr. (+180)

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Re: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Practice Notes & Driver Ratings    
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

This Week's Race: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

Practice Notes - Charlotte
Rating     Driver     Odds     Practice 1     Qualified     Vegas 20011*     Texas 2011*
1     Greg Biffle     10/1     2nd     4th     3rd     1st
Notes: No one has been better collectively on the type of tracks that need major horse-power.

2     Jimmie Johnson     6/1     14th     6th     2nd     2nd
Notes: Two-time winner with an average finish of 7.2; using third-place chassis from Kansas.

3     Brad Keselowski     12/1     6th     19th     32nd     36th
Notes: Had best five and 10 consecutive lap average in only practice run before qualifying.

4     Tony Stewart     7/1     18th     9th     1st     24th
Notes: 2009 winner with an average finish of 7.1; using new chassis that spent hours in wind tunnel.

5     Mark Martin     25/1     7th     16th     18th     3rd
Notes: Two wins in all-time race high 22 starts; using fifth-place chassis Brian Vickers raced at Bristol.

6     Martin Truex Jr.     15/1     5th     DNP     17th     6th
Notes: Needs to finish in the top-2 of Sprint Showdown to advance; consistently good on fast tracks.

7     Carl Edwards     9/1     4th     13th     5th     8th
Notes: 2011 winner with an average finish of 9.3; using fifth-place Fontana chassis this week.

8     Dale Earnhardt Jr.     12/1     1st     DNP     10th     10th
Notes: 2000 winner, one of two rookies to win race; needs to advance from the Sprint Shootout.

9     Matt Kenseth     9/1     8th     15th     22nd     5th
Notes: 2004 winner, eight top-10s with a 6.5 average finish; using Fontana chassis this week.

10     Kasey Kahne     12/1     17th     20th     19th     7th
Notes: 2008 winner; former CMS president Humpy Wheeler's selection (picked 10 of 19 races correct).

Results from races run this season at Las Vegas and Texas, tracks that run similar to the high banking of Charlotte's 1.5-mile facility.

Note: The All-Star race consists of four 20-lap segments culminating with a final 10-lap dash. The winners from each of the first four segments will start 1-4 in the final dash.

Betting Notes; Kyle Busch looked good in practice and qualified on the pole, but those time don't really mean much to me like they do at a regular race. Busch will likely be fast, but might get a little too excited and find himself in trouble like he always seems to in the All-Star races. If anything, Busch might be a driver I look to bet against in match-ups with any of the 10 listed drivers above.

I would expect Martin Truex Jr to make to the All-Star race and contend for the win. The three drivers I think he'll be battling with are Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. And of course, you can't forget two-time All-Star race winner Jimmie Johnson.

I will also take a shot with Mark Martin who will be making his All-Star race record 23rd start. His high odds warrant a look and for the same reasons I like Truex Jr, I like Martin: these Waltrip cars are fast every week..

I can't say I'd be surprised if any one of the possible 23 drivers won the race. There will definitely be a little more excitement during the segments because winning a segment puts the driver into great position to win the $1 million by starting in the first two rows of the final 10-lap dash.

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