All-Star Weekend: Who’s in, who’s out?
Photo by Ben Palmer / TheRacingExperts.com
Danica Patrick is among the notable drivers not locked into this year's All-Star Race.
While 19 drivers are locked into Saturday’s NASCAR’s All-Star Race, 23 competitors will be vying for three transfer spots in Friday’s Sprint Showdown.
This year’s Sprint Showdown field features multiple NASCAR notables not in the weekend’s premiere event.
2008 Showdown winner A.J. Allmendinger, who currently sits 17th in points, will have to either finish second or better to transfer to the All-Star race, or win the fan vote.
Allmendinger has transferred into the event via his finish in the Showdown twice, but if he earns the fan vote, the driver of the No. 47 car will show his gratitude—in front of national TV.
“I already stated to Miss Sprint Cup … I will come out and do the worm on stage for the fans,” Allmendinger said. “Who doesn’t want to see a driver come out and do the worm across the stage and have a good time?”
Danica Patrick, one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers, will also take the green flag on Friday.
Patrick comes into the race weekend after a 7th place showing at Kansas Speedway, her best career finish. She would like a strong performance in the Showdown to transfer her into Saturday’s race.
“I would rather race my way in but, if I have to get in by fan vote, what other way is better than that,” said Patrick, who earned the fan vote last year.
Clint Bowyer, an eight-time Sprint Cup winner and 2012 runner-up in points, also finds himself on the outside.
Bowyer’s best finish in the Showdown was sixth in 2007, and has never finished top-10 in the All-Star Race. But he hopes he and his team can earn a transfer spot.
“We’re working hard to make sure we race our way into Saturday’s show in our Charter Toyota,” Bowyer said.
The Kansas native currently sits 20th in points, and remains winless in 2013. But with points being irrelevant this weekend, Bowyer is looking forward to the race weekend.
“[It’s] always a great one,” Bowyer said. “There’s a lot for the fans to do. A lot of the drivers have different schemes that look cool under the lights. There’s always a concert, and oh yeah, there’s a million dollars on the line. It’s a recipe for a good time.”