If you watched anything on SpeedTV during the weeks leading up to the Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway it was impossible to avoid the hype. Every commercial break, it seemed, contained a promo for the upcoming broadcast showing wrecks, sparks flying, and fights in the pits.
Then during the three hour pre-race show that was the lead-up to the actual race we saw even more. And in defense of SpeedTV this is somewhat understandable. After all, a race that pays over a million dollars to win, only two hundred thousand for second, and awards no points towards the season championship, is almost guaranteed to produce some excitement.
Repeatedly we saw the highlights of past races. The famous ?Pass in the Grass? that wasn?t really a pass but just Dale Earnhardt fending off a block from Bill Elliot. Kyle Petty and Davey Allison crashing into each other after the checkered flag sending Allison to the hospital while his crew celebrated in victory lane. The Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt, taking each other out starting a family feud that lasted until the following Thanksgiving when their grandmother finally had to intervene. Kyle Busch, again, threatening bodily harm to teammate Denny Hamlin after Hamlin crowded him into the wall destroying his potentially race winning car. Rusty Wallace intentionally bumping Darrell Waltrip out of the way triggering a mob scene as the two teams tried to settle things in the pits.
And you can be sure that you will see all of these highlights and more next year too. What you won?t see however are any highlights from this year?s All Star Race.
Simply because there weren?t any!
The old adage that goes with this race is ?Checkers or Wreckers?. Meaning that winning is the only thing that matters and with no points and lots of money on the line, the object is to win the race or destroy the car trying. So I guess after dominating most of the later stages of the race and taking the win without getting so much as a scratch on his car, Carl Edwards decided that if nobody else was going to try to wreck his car, he?d do it himself. As he threw his car into a wide celebratory slide through the grass, the car hooked a drain, and did so much damage to the front end that a tow truck was required to get it into victory lane.
It?s okay though, the $1.2 million on the big check Edwards received will buy a lot of repairs.
The way over the top hype that NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway presented in the WWF-like driver introductions would lead one who has never watched a NASCAR race before to think he or she was about to witness something really special. It?s a shame that the steak didn?t live up to the promise of the sizzle.
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