posted on May, 10 2004 @ 08:31 PM
nextel has more changes slated for this months all star race at lowes motor speedway, wish the would just back off a bit, this was already one of the
most exciting races of the year
Another change for all-star event
Fans will vote second driver from Nextel Open into All-Star Challenge
By JIM UTTER
Race fans will take an active role in adding another entry to the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.,
ThatsRacin.com has learned.
Following the Nextel Open - a 30-lap, two segment race held prior to the all-star event for drivers not already eligible - fans will be allowed to
vote on the Internet and by phone to add another driver to the all-star field in addition to the winner of The Open, sources said.
An official annoucement of the change is expected by the end of the week, sources said.
Barring a new race winner this weekend at Richmond, Va., that will give the three segment, 90-lap all-star race that pays $1 million to the winner at
least 25 entries.
The bulk of the entries (23) come from race winners from the previous and current Cup seasons, as well as former winners of the all-star event, if
they are not otherwise eligible. Now, two drivers will advance through The Nextel Open, the winner and the highest vote getter.
Nextel, which took over sponsorship this season of what was previously called The Winston Cup Series, was the proponent of the latest alteration to
the all-star format, sources said.
Nextel officials, reached Monday, said it was premature to comment on any further changes to the all-star race.
Officials with NASCAR and Lowe's Motor Speedway, which has hosted the all-star race every year but one since its inception in 1985, all declined to
comment on the change.
Lowe's is hosting a news conference Tuesday to promote the race and unveil the all-star race's "most memorable moments."
The 90-lap/135-mile all-star race is again divided into 40-, 30- and 20-lap segments. However, in a change announced last month, no longer will each
segment result in some drivers being eliminated. This will ensure a full field of cars eligible for the $1 million prize.
Also, after the first segment, there will be a random drawing to determine an inversion of the starting order for the second segment; between six and
12 cars will be inverted. The previous format called for an inversion prior to the final segment.
Fan voting was used in the past to determine the number of cars inverted, however in every instance fans voted for the largest number possible to be