The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge
formerly THE WINSTON

UNOFFICIAL
Updated 5-22-2004
Rules below eligible drivers....


Rules for The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge
Eligibility rules for NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge:
1st criteria: Drivers and car owners who have won races in the current and preceding year. If a driver leaves a team with which he has won a race, he remains eligible and the car owner's new driver also is eligible(through the last race before The All-Star Race)
2nd criteria: Drivers who are past Cup champions
3rd criteria: Drivers who have won The All-Star Race in the past
4th criteria: The winning driver of the All-Star Open
5th criteria: Drivers who have won in previous years, not eligible by the above
(not owners, just drivers - if total is below 20)
(rules below table)

The Current UNOFFICIAL 2004 Field
 DriverEligibility
Race winners(owners) in 2003 and 2004
1 Michael Waltrip Feb 2003 Daytona
2 Dale Jarrett Feb 2003 Rockingham
3 Matt Kenseth March 2003 Las Vegas
4 Bobby Labonte March 2003 Atlanta
5 Ricky Craven March 2003 Darlington
6 Kurt Busch March 2003 Bristol
7 Ryan Newman April 2003 Texas
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. April 2003 Talladega
9 Jeff Gordon April 2003 Martinsville
10 Joe Nemechek May 2003 Richmond
11 Jimmie Johnson May 2003 Lowe's Motor Sppedway
12 Tony Stewart June 2003 Pocono
13 Robby Gordon June 2003 Sonoma
14 Greg Biffle July 2003 Daytona
15 Kevin Harvick Aug 2003 Indianapolis
16 Terry Labonte Sept 2003 Darlington
17 Bill Elliott Nov 2003 Rockingham
18 #25-Car Owner/Brian Vickers May 2003 Richmond
by Nemechek in the #25
19 #9-Car Owner/Kasey Kahne Nov 2003 Rockingham
won by Bill Elliott in the #9
20 #38-Elliott Sadler April 2004 Texas
21 Rusty Wallace April 2004 Martinsville

Previous NASCAR Cup champions
(not a 2003/2004 winner)
none

Previous Winners of The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge/The Winston
(not a 2003/2004 winner)
22 Mark Martin 1998
23 Geoffrey Bodine 1994

and....
24 2004 All-Star Race Open Winner #40-Sterling Marlin
25 2004 All-Star Race Open Fan Vote Winner #49-Ken Schrader

Winning drivers from previous seasons not otherwise eligible

drivers who won in 2002 are not eligible
as the field now has 20 drivers

If 20 drivers are not eligible, winners from previous seasons still active on the NASCAR Cup Series become eligible for The All-Star Race. All active drivers during that season become eligible, even if the field exceeds 20 competitors.

Active former Cup race winners not eligible (year last win):
Ward Burton (2002)
Sterling Marlin (2002)
Ricky Rudd (2002)
Jamie McMurray (2002)
Johnny Benson (2002)
Jeff Burton (2001)
Jeremy Mayfield (2000)
Jerry Nadeau (2000)
John Andretti (1999)
Kyle Petty (1995)
Jimmy Spencer (1994)
Morgan Shepherd (1993)
Ken Schrader (1991)
Derrike Cope (1990)


NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Event Schedule

Nextel Open Practice, May 21, 11:45am - 12:30pm/et

Nextel All-Star Challenge Practice, May 21, 12:35 - 1:10pm/et

Nextel Open Practice, May 21, 1:15 - 2:00pm/et

Nextel All-Star Challenge Pit Road Practice, May 21, 2:05 - 2:10pm/et

Nextel All-Star Challenge Practice, May 21, 2:15 - 3:00pm/et

Nextel Open Qualifying, May 21, 6:05pm/et (2 laps / all positions) SPEED Channel Live

Nextel All-Star Challenge Qualifying, May 21, 7:10pm/et, SPEED Channel Live

(3 laps with 4-tire change pit stop)

Nextel Open, May 22, 7:40pm/et
[30 total laps, 20 segment 1 / 10 segment 2]

Nextel All-Star Challenge, May 22, 9:00pm/et
[70 total laps, 40 segment 1 / 30 segment 2 / 20 segment 3]


  • Kenseth wins Nextel All-Star Challenge and over $1 million: #17-Matt Kenseth won the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kenseth slipped his #17 DeWalt Ford right to the rear bumper of #12-Ryan Newman's Dodge in Turn 4 on the 18th lap of the 20-lap final segment. The air of Kenseth's nose caused the rear end of Newman's to wiggle slightly, and Kenseth sped by on the inside. It was a classic move, done without contact, and it was worth $1 million for Kenseth and his team. Newman ran across the grass to Kenseth's car to congratulate the winner as he stopped for the victory celebration at the start-finish line. The three-segment, 90-lap event came down to a duel between those two. Kenseth made his first challenge of the fourth lap of the final segment, cutting to the low side off Turn 4 as #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. tried to go high. Newman, who had last pitted for tires on a mandatory stop during the first 40-lap segment, fought back with a strong run off Turn 2 and brought the lead back to the line. Kenseth tried again on Lap 13, but again Newman held on. Finally, with just more than two laps to go, Kenseth made the move work. "He made me work," Kenseth said of Newman. "I think that's as hard as either one of us has drove in a long time. I was shaking there at the end. I don't think I've ever been nervous in a race car since we got our first win here in the 600 (in 2000)." Newman, who won the all-star race in 2002, said his gamble to stay on old tires just didn't quite work out. It was Kenseth's first victory in four starts in the all-star race. His best previous finish was third two years ago. #2-Rusty Wallace was on the pole and got the jump on teammate Newman at the green. After #32-Ricky Craven slid up into the outside wall in turns 1-2 on Lap 4 to bring out the first yellow, but it would not be the last.
    On Lap 11, the second lap after the restart, #97-Kurt Busch got into the rear of teammate #16-Greg Biffle's Ford going into Turn 1. Busch bounced off and sideswiped #48-Jimmie Johnson's Chevrolet, and from that point the crash was on. Before it was over, 12 cars had been damaged - some far more seriously than others. The race was red-flagged while the track was cleaned up, the crews worked on their cars and tempers boiled.
    "Kurt Busch has his head up his...whatever," Biffle said of his fellow Roush Racing driver. "I just don't understand. He wrecked us on the straightaway. ...Kurt Busch took out the whole field. If I was (car owner) Jack Roush I don't know what I would do." Busch said he was trying to push Biffle's car down the straightaway, hoping to help him get past Matt Kenseth. "My car just lifted him instead of pushing him," Busch said. "I apologize for all of the wrecked race cars on pit road. I have to get myself in check, I guess."
    Newman and #20-Tony Stewart had passed Wallace just before the sheet-metal storm hit the track, so they steered clear of that bout of trouble and lined up side-by-side for the double-file restart on Lap 16 after a delay of 15 minutes. Stewart shot to the lead in Turn 1 on the restart while Gordon, Johnson and Brian Vickers chose that lap to make their green-flag pit stops required in the first segment. Stewart gave up the lead to make his stop on Lap 20, giving the lead back to Newman. He pitted on Lap 25, moving Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the point. He and Terry Labonte came in on Lap 28, completing the cycle. Stewart shot past Earnhardt Jr. as the No. 8 Chevrolet exited pit road, reclaiming the lead with Kenseth, Mark Martin and Wallace behind him. Kenseth began closing in as the end of the 40-lap segment neared, but Stewart held on to win it.
    The number eight was drawn to determine the number of cars to be inverted for the start of the second segment. That moved #15-Michael Waltrip and #5-Terry Labonte to the front row for the start of that 30-lap run, with Stewart lining up eighth as the green flew again. Labonte led the first lap of that segment, but in Turn 4 on the second Dale Jarrett got sideways and skidded toward the entrance to pit road. He didn't hit anything, and everyone else avoided him, but the yellow did come out. Newman and Earnhardt Jr. shot around Labonte on the outside in Turn 4 on Lap 48 once the race restarted, grabbing the top two spots. Stewart, meanwhile, had already clawed his way back up to fourth.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at:
    NASCAR.com.(5-22-2004)

  • Marlin wins Nextel Open; Schrader gets voted in: As the field came to the green flag to begin the Nextel Open, the transmission broke on the Dodge in which #41-Casey Mears was starting on the outside of the front row. #19-Jeremy Mayfield, lined up right behind him, rammed Mears' car and picked its rear wheels completely off the ground. Mears turned immediately into the outside wall and the pack behind his car begin piling up on the frontstretch. Eleven cars were involved in that chain reaction, which also led to a red flag in that heat [car #'s 41,19,21,89,4,99,10,77,33,30,72]. #40-Sterling Marling came back to win to the Open, passing #42-Jamie McMurray and Mayfield as they raced off Turn 4 coming to the white flag, moving Marlin into the main event for the 13th time in his career. Since #33-Kerry Earnhardt's car had eventually succumbed to the damage he suffered in the early crash, the free pass based on fans vote into what used to be a winner's only race passed down to #49-Ken Schrader, who'd finished ninth in the Open. That put him in the all-star race for the first time since 1995.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See results at:
    NASCAR.com.(5-22-2004)

  • Jayski's Nextel All-Star Challenge / Nextel Open Qualifying Results and Starting Lineups Page
    (includes Position, Car#, Driver, Manu, Time elapsed [seconds], Speed [mph], Pit Stop Time - and penalties)

  • THE VOTE: per the Friday Print Edition of the Charlotte Observer, the drivers unofficially leading the vote:
    #99-Jeff Burton
    #33-Kerry Earnhardt
    #40-Sterling Marlin
    #42-Jamie McMurray
    #49-Ken Scrader
    (Thru 12:00noon/et on Thurs, May 19th)
    Vote by using your Nextel phone or by logging on to NASCAR.COM!
    TO VOTE
    (1) visit www.nascar.com, click on the applicable voting link, and follow the voting procedures as instructed, or
    (2) from your NEXTEL phone, go to menu>net>what's new>All-Star Vote>Vote in a driver or text message "RACE" to 4444, and follow instructions in order to cast your vote; or
    (3) visit www.nextelracegear.com, www.nextel.com/allstarvote or www.foxsports.com, click on the applicable voting link, and follow the voting procedures as instructed. Voting ends at the conclusion of the first segment (i.e., first 20 laps) of the NEXTEL Open on May 22, 2004. Vote as often as you like for any driver listed.
    The driver who receives the most votes and finishes on the lead lap, but does not win the NEXTEL Open, will be entered into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

  • Rusty Wallace wins pole for the Nextel All-Star Challenge: #2-Rusty Wallace went fast enough on the race track and slow enough as he came to pit road for his mandatory four-tire stop to win the pole for Saturday night's Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It took Wallace 2 minutes, 3.998 seconds to complete three laps and his pit stop, allowing him to edge teammate #12-Ryan Newman for the top spot in the 20th annual running in stock-car racing's all-star event. #97-Kurt Busch would have been faster than either of the Penske South Dodges, with a time of 2:23.480 had it not been for a 20-second penalty he incurred for exceeding a 45 mph speed limit as he entered pit road.
    Busch, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #9-Kasey Kahne, #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Jarrett, #01-Joe Nemechek, #32-Ricky Craven and #31-Robby Gordon all found out, picking up the 20-second penalties. They'll start 14th through 21st, ahead of only #98-Geoffrey Bodine who had the evening's slowest time because of a disastrous. 31.3 second stop. #5-Terry Labonte also got a five-second penalty for driving through more than three pit stalls as he went to make his stop. He'll start 13th. It all sets the stage for Saturday's all-star race, with defending champion Jimmie Johnson starting 11th in an event with a history of wild finishes and grudge-building controversies that pays at least $1,003,500 to the winner.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For the lineups and lineup links, see Jayski's Nextel All-Star Challenge / Nextel Open Qualifying Results and Starting Lineups Page.(5-22-2004)

  • Dave Blaney wins pole for Nextel Open: #23-Dave Blaney, a part-time driver in the Nextel Cup Series this season for Bill Davis Racing, powered the #23 Finish Line Dodge to the pole for Saturday night's Nextel Open with a lap at 185.058mph. Dodges swept the top four spots, six of the top seven and eight of the top 10 for the Open. #41-Casey Mears and #42-Jamie McMurray will line up right behind Blaney. Mears ran 184.527 mph and McMurray 184.181 mph. #99-Jeremy Mayfield, in an Evernham Motorsports Dodge, was fourth, followed by #0-Ward Burton in a Chevrolet. The winner of the Open will earn a spot in the Challenge that will immediately follow it. Another driver will advance through a vote by fans - the top vote-getter that does not win the Open and does finish on the lead lap of that 30-lap event.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For the lineups and lineup links, see Jayski's Nextel All-Star Challenge / Nextel Open Qualifying Results and Starting Lineups Page.(5-22-2004)

  • Paint Schemes: while walking thru the garage area noticed a few paint schemes / Sponsorhips:
    #43-Jeff Green, Great American Bake Sale
    #45-Kyle Petty, Krazy Kritters
    #20-Tony Stewart, Shrek II
    #2-Rusty Wallace, President of Beers
    #38-Elliott Sadler, Pedigree Dog Food [what Jayski feeds his pooches]
    #24-Jeff gordon, the retro rainbow scheme
    #29-Kevin Harvick, Snap-On Tools
    #4-Jimmy Spencer, a Morgan-McClure scheme
    #50-Derrike Cope, GEICO Auto Insurance
    #02-Hermie Sadler, ETT/The FanZCar
    #94-Stanton Barrett, Husqvarna
    #23-Dave Blaney, Finish Line Dodge
    #72-Kirk Shelmerdine, Vote For Kirk
    #59-Andy Belmont, Dave Despain 4 President
    #46-Carl Long, RacingMetal.com /Thanks to the Fans
    Have some of these posted on the 2004 Nextel Cup Paint Schemes page.(5-22-2004)

  • Friday Practice Speed Links:
    Nextel Open, Practice One at NASCAR.com
    Nextel All-Star Challenge, Practice One at NASCAR.com
    Nextel Open, Practice Two at NASCAR.com
    (5-21-2004)

  • Cup Race-Preview Press Releases: many Nextel Cup team/driver pre-race press release links (and Marketing and Sponsorship links) at the Press Release Page, links posted on 5-21-2004: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kerry Earnhardt, Brendan Gaughan, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Ricky Rudd, Scott Riggs, Elliott Sadler, Johnny Sauter, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Scott Wimmer on the Press Release Page

    2004 All-Star Open / Challenge Entry Lists

  • Humpy Picks Jeff Gordon: H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, today predicted Jeff Gordon will win Saturday night's 20th running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Wheeler, known for his promotional flair and Karnac-type ability, has correctly picked the winner of NASCAR's all-star race nine times in the past 15 races, including last year when Jimmie Johnson took home the $1 million prize. If Wheeler's prediction holds true, Gordon would be the first driver to win the event four times. "If ever there was a race that was made for a specific driver, it is the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge and Jeff Gordon. He can drive a car smoothly with total reckless abandon," Wheeler said. "He can drive as deep or deeper into a corner than anybody out there." Wheeler also indicated several recent changes in Gordon's life away from the race track played into his decision to pick the four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion. "I don't think the fire ever went out in Jeff Gordon, but he's made some changes in his life and I see the old Jeff Gordon again," Wheeler said. "Since his stepfather, John Bickford, has gone back to work for him as his manager, Jeff's won half the races he's entered. Even though he may not fit the true definition, Wheeler tabbed defending race winner Johnson as his dark horse selection. "My dark, dark horse is Elliott Sadler. He did a great job winning at Texas and that's a very similar track," Wheeler concluded. NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge activities kick off Friday night with qualifying for both races. In addition to qualifying, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will compete in the Infineon 200. Tickets start at $20. Good seats, in various price ranges, are still available for Saturday's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Tickets start at $21 and may be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.

    "Humpy" Wheeler's Pick the Winner Results

    Year Selection (Finish) Dark Horse Winner
    1989 Rusty Wallace (1)   Rusty Wallace
    1990 Dale Earnhardt (1)   Dale Earnhardt
    1991 Davey Allison (1)   Davey Allison
    1992 Davey Allison (1) Alan Kulwicki Davey Allison
    1993 Dale Earnhardt (1)   Dale Earnhardt
    1994 Ernie Irvan (15) Geoffrey Bodine Geoffrey Bodine
    1995 Jeff Gordon (1) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon
    1996 Rusty Wallace (2) Jeff Gordon Michael Waltrip
    1997 Dale Earnhardt (4) Dale Jarrett Jeff Gordon
    1998 Rusty Wallace (5) Jeff Gordon Mark Martin
    1999 Jeff Gordon (3) Jeremy Mayfield Terry Labonte
    2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1) Terry Labonte Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    2001 Dale Jarrett (2) Steve Park Jeff Gordon
    2002 Jeff Gordon (11) Jimmie Johnson Ryan Newman
    2003 Jimmie Johnson (1) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson
    2004 Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson ?
    (LMS PR)(5-19-2004)


    Paint Schemes for the All-Star Event

    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Races Left
    Date
    Image?
    #2-Rusty Wallace President of Beers Nextel All-Star Challenge - Lowe's - May #2 Paint Scheme Page
    #20-Tony Stewart Shrek 2 Nextel All-Star Challenge - Lowe's - May #20 Paint Scheme Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon Dupont Retro Rainbow Nextel All-Star Challenge - Lowe's - May #24 Paint Scheme Page
    #29-Kevin Harvick Snap-On Nextel All-Star Challenge - Lowe's - May #29 Paint Scheme Page



    RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs

  • note: this is not to promote gambling but to offer readers odds and ideas on what the 'experts' think about the upcoming race and the Cup series season

  • Vegas Insider - Odds to Win the 2004 Nextel Cup Championship and
    All Kinds of Other NASCAR Odds and
    Vegas Insider - All-Star Challenge/Open and
    All-Star Challenge/Open preview by Micah Roberts

  • World Sports Exchange:NASCAR odds


  • Charlotte looking to keep All-Star race: In a bid to keep the NASCAR all-star race in Charlotte for years to come, Queen City business and political leaders offered a display of appreciation during a luncheon Monday. Wachovia Corp. Chief Executive Ken Thompson hosted the meeting, held at the bank's headquarters. Attendees included speedway executives Bruton Smith and Humpy Wheeler, retailer John Belk, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Mayor Pat McCrory and stock-car team owner Ray Evernham. On Friday, NASCAR announced that the all-star race would be held at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2005. No decisions have been made regarding future years, again fueling concerns the all-star event might move to another city.(Charlotte Business Journal)(5-18-2004)

    Radio Coverage:
    Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio - Channel 144
    including Internet coverage (NOTE: now a paid subsription thru NASCAR.com)

    NASCAR NEXTELOPEN/ ALL-STAR CHALLENGE - ADVANCE

    The NASCAR NEXTEL Open
    Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    When: May 22, 2004
    Time: 7:30 p.m. (approximately)
    Purse: $900,000
    Field: Eligibility for participation is restricted to those drivers and car owners who have been approved by NASCAR for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, competing in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship event during the 2003 or 2004 seasons, through May 17, 2004.The following drivers are eligible as of May 15, 2004:
    Andretti, John
    Atwood, Casey
    Barrett, Stanton
    Belmont, Andy
    Benson, Johnny
    Blaney, Dave
    Bliss, Mike
    Bodine, Brett
    Bodine, Todd
    Burton, Jeff
    Burton, Ward
    Busch, Kyle
    Compton, Stacy
    Cope, Derrike
    Earnhardt, Kerry
    Fellows, Ron
    Fittipaldi, Christian
    Foyt, Larry
    Fukuyama, Hideo
    Gaughan, Brendan
    Green, David
    Green, Jeff
    Hamilton Jr., Bobby
    Hillenburg, Andy
    Hornaday, Ron
    Jarrett, Jason
    Jones, Buckshot
    Jones, P.J.
    Kahne, Kasey
    Kenseth, Matt
    LaJoie, Randy
    Leffler, Jason
    Lepage, Kevin
    Long, Carl
    Marlin, Sterling
    Mayfield, Jeremy
    McClure, Eric
    McMurray, Jamie
    Mears, Casey
    Menard, Paul
    Miller, Johnny
    Musgrave, Ted
    Nadeau, Jerry
    Park, Steve
    Petty, Kyle
    Pruett, Scott
    Raines, Tony
    Riggs, Scott
    Rudd, Ricky
    Ruttman, Joe
    Sadler, Hermie
    Said, Boris
    Sauter, Johnny
    Schrader, Ken
    Shelmerdine, Kirk
    Shepherd, Morgan
    Skinner, Mike
    Spencer, Jimmy
    Sprague, Jack
    Wallace, Kenny
    Wallace, Mike
    Wimmer, Scott
    The Format The NEXTEL Open Qualifying
    Qualifying procedures for The NASCAR NEXTEL Open will be two laps, with the better of the two representing the team's qualifying effort. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the car after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one car engage in qualifying runs at the same time.

    The NASCAR NEXTEL Open
    This 30-lap event will be run in two segments. The first segment will be 20 laps with all laps - including caution laps - counting The second segment will be 10 laps and only green-flag laps will count to ensure a green-flag finish. During a caution period, all four tires may be changed. In the event of an extended caution period, the race may be red flagged. Crews will be permitted to work on cars if the race is stopped due to red flag. However, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only.
    NOTE: When the race director is ready to resume the event, all cars must immediately be ready to return to competition.
    All re-starts will be double file re-starts. Lapped cars will start at the rear of the field (EIRI). Green Flag and yellow flag laps will be counted during segment one. Only green flag laps will be counted during the second segment.
    Between segment 1 and segment 2, there will be a yellow flag at which time teams can pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chas sis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform those pit crew functions that they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship event. However, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted. Teams pitting will not retain their position on the racetrack and will start the second segment at the rear of the field in the order they left pit road.

    The winner of The NASCAR NEXTEL Open will advance to The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. In addition, one other driver from the NASCAR NEXTEL Open will transfer to the main event. This driver will be selected by a fan vote held prior to the event. In the event that the winner of the fan vote is also the winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL Open, the driver with the next highest vote total will transfer.

    The Awards
    1st $48,200
    2nd $38,200
    3rd $34,200
    4th $32,100
    5th $31,100
    6th $29,100
    7th $28,100
    8th $27,500
    9th $27,000
    10th $26,750
    11th $26,500
    12th $26,250
    13th $26,000
    14th $25,900
    15th $25,800
    16th $25,700
    17th $25,600
    18th $25,500
    19th $25,400
    20th $25,300
    21st $25,200
    22nd $25,100
    23rd $25,000
    24th $24,900
    25th $24,800
    26th $24,700
    27th $24,600
    28th $24,500
    29th $24,400
    30th $24,300
    31st $24,200
    32nd $24,100
    33rd $24,000
    $900,000 Note: In the event any of these awards are not paid, the remaining money will be distributed evenly among the eligible drivers for these awards.

    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
    Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    When: May 22, 2004 Time: 9:00p.m. (approximately)
    Purse: $ 3,195,000
    Field: The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will consist of:
    Drivers and Car Owners who have won races in the preceding and current years.
    Any active driver who has won The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    The Winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL Open and one additional driver selected by a fan vote.

    The Format
    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Qualifying Qualifying for The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will consist of three laps with a mandatory four-tire pit stop included. The total elapsed time of the pit stop and laps will make up each team's qualifying effort. Drivers must adhere to the pit-road speed limit when entering pit road, but there is no speed limit when exiting.

    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge:
    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will be 90 laps total and consists of three segments totaling 40, 30 and 20 laps. The field will be inverted following the first segment with no fewer than six and no more than 12 positions being inverted. During a caution period, all four tires may be changed. In the event of an extended caution period, the race may be red flagged. Crews will be permitted to work on cars if the race is stopped due to red flag. However, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only.
    NOTE: When the race director is ready to resume the event, all cars must immediately be ready to return to competition.
    All re-starts will be double file re-starts. Lapped cars will start at the rear of the field (EIRI). Green flag and yellow flag laps will be counted during segment 1 and segment 2. Only green flag laps will be counted during the third segment.
    During the first segment, a mandatory "Green Flag" four-tire pit stop is required. This pit stop must be made after the completion of lap 10 and before the completion lap 35. Pit stops made during caution laps will not count toward this pit stop requirement. To be considered a green flag pit stop, the driver must receive the green flag on the racetrack not pit road. Drivers must complete the first segment (40 laps) on the racetrack (EIRI).
    Between segment 1 and segment 2, there will be a 10-minute pit stop at which time a random drawing will be held to determine if as few as six (6) or as many as twelve (12) cars will be inverted. If necessary after the random drawing, drivers who finished behind those who were inverted from the first segment will start the second segment in the order in which they finished the first segment. Teams will pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform those pit crew functions that they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship event. However, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted.
    Between segment 2 and segment 3 there will be a yellow flag at which time teams can pit and may elect to pit for fuel, tires and normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform those pit crew functions that they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship event. However, all work must be performed on pit road or Garage Area only. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted. Teams pitting will not retain their position on the racetrack and will restart at the rear of the field in the order they left pit road.

    The Awards:
    1st $1,003,500
    2nd $216,000
    3rd $115,800
    4th $85,000
    5th $81,000
    6th $77,000
    7th $73,000
    8th $72,000
    9th $71,000
    10th $70,000
    11th $69,000
    12th $68,000
    13th $67,000
    14th $66,500
    15th $66,000
    16th $65,900
    17th $65,800
    18th $65,700
    19th $65,600
    20th $65,500
    21st $65,400
    22nd $65,300
    23rd $65,200
    24th $65,100
    25th $65,000
    26th $64,700
    Note: In the event any of these awards are not paid, the remaining money will be distributed evenly among the eligible drivers for these awards.

    Additional Awards: Qualifying
    First, $50,000 ($25,000 to team, $25,000 to driver)
    Second, $10,000
    Third $5,000

    Additional Awards: Segment No. 1
    First, $75,000
    Second $20,000
    Third, $10,000

    Additional Awards: Segment No. 2
    First, $75,000
    Second $20,000
    Third, $10,000

    Total Posted Awards: $3,195,000

    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge - History
    The All-Star Event of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, has been held since 1985. Previously known as "The Winston" the name changed to the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge with the change in Series sponsorship in 2004. Each running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge has been held at Lowe's (Charlotte) Motor Speedway except the 1986 edition, which was run at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In excess of $22 million has been awarded to the competitors in the previous 19 events.
    The first events were run in a single segment. The segmented format started in 1987. The original running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in 1985 was 70 laps. The race was 83 laps in 1986 at Atlanta and 135 laps from 1987-89. The 70-lap format began in 1990 with a two-segment race. The three-segment format began in 1992 with the first running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge under the lights. The three-segment, 90-lap format began in 2002.

    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge - Tidbits
    * Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip are the only drivers who competed in the first 16 runnings of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * Terry Labonte has competed in 18 all-star events, missing the 1991 event when he finished ninth in the Winston Open and failed to transfer.
    * Bill Elliott, the 1986 winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, was absent in 1996 due to injuries sustained at Talladega that year. He has competed in 17 all-star events.
    * Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) and Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * Davey Allison (1991 and 1992) and Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * Dale Earnhardt, Jr., (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in their rookie season.
    * Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch both have a 3.00 average finish in two appearances in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * Ken Schrader leads all drivers with four or more appearances in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, with a 5.14 finishing average in seven starts.
    * The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge has been won from the pole position three times. Eleven events have been won from the top-five starting spots.
    * The winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge has started from a starting position outside the top 10 only four times:
    * 1999 Terry Labonte (13th)
    * 1997 Jeff Gordon (19th)
    * 1996 Michael Waltrip (20th)
    * 2002 Ryan Newman (27th)
    * Michael Waltrip (1996) became the first driver to win the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge from a transfer position. Waltrip, who finished in the final transfer spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Open and therefore started from the rear of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, came from last (20th) to post his first victory in this prestigious event. Ryan Newman won the No Bull Sprint - an extension of the NASCAR NEXTEL Open, secured the final transfer spot (27th) and went on to win the 2002 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * Darrell Waltrip (1985) and Michael (1996) are the only brothers to win the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    * The winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge has carried the momentum through the season to win the NASCAR Winston Cup championship eight times: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993) Rusty Wallace (1989) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001).
    * The 27-car field for the 2002 the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge was the largest field since the inception of the program.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-16-2004)

  • Driver to be voted into the All-Star Race UPDATE: Race fans will take an active role in adding another entry to the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway, 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 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."(ThatsRacin.com)(5-10-2004)
    UPDATE: Starting Friday [May 14th] at 12noon/et, fans for the first time will be allowed to vote in a driver to the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The fans' favorite will join the winner of the Nextel Open in the field for the $1 million winner's purse. Vote by using your Nextel phone or by logging on to NASCAR.COM!(5-13-2004)
    AND Fans will select one driver from the list of NASCAR drivers who are registered for the NEXTEL Open as of 5/13/04. The driver who receives the most votes and finishes on the lead lap, but does not win the NEXTEL Open, will be entered into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. NOTE: some folks have told me they are having problems voting, please contact NASCAR.com, I do not run that site or have any control over it.(5-16-2004)

  • NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Fast Facts
    Location: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    Date: Saturday, May 22, 2004
    Time: 9:00 p.m. (EDT)
    Sanctioning Body: NASCAR, Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series - Special Event
    Companion Races: NASCAR NEXTEL Open - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and
    IPOWER DASH Series 75 - IPOWER DASH Series
    Distance: 90 laps, 135 miles (run in three segments of 40 laps, 30 laps and 20 laps).
    Teams must make a mandatory green-flag, four-tire pit stop between the completion of lap 10 and through the completion of lap 35. Between segment 1 and segment 2, there will be a 10-minute break during which a random drawing will be held to determine the starting order of the second segment. Teams will pit and teams may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted. Between segment 2 and segment 3 there will be a yellow flag during which teams may elect to pit. They may add fuel, change tires and make normal chassis adjustments. Teams pitting will not retain their position and will restart at the rear of the field in the order they leave pit road. Only green flag laps count during the third segment. All restarts will be double file and lapped cars will start at the rear.
    Purse: $3,195,000 (event record)
    NEXTEL All-Star Challenge winner's purse: $1,003,500
    Segment 1 & 2 Bonuses: 1st - $50,000; 2nd - $15,000; 3rd - $7,500
    Radio/Television: Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast the race live to its affiliate stations beginning at 6:40 p.m. (EDT). MRN's broadcast can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio channel 144. Cable channel FX will televise the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge live. Pre-race coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) and will also include coverage of the NASCAR NEXTEL Open.

    2003 Winner: Jimmie Johnson, Lowe's Chevrolet

    Qualifying: One round of qualifying will be held Friday, May 21, at 7:10 p.m. (EDT). Each driver will run three laps with a mandatory four-tire, pit stop. The total elapsed time will comprise each team's qualifying effort and the pole-winning team will earn $50,000.

    2003 Pole Sitter: Bill Elliott, Dodge/UAW Dodge, 123.192 seconds, 131.502 mph
    Total elapsed time of three laps, including a four-tire pit stop

    Eligibility List: with one more race to go at Richmond, a driver could be added
    Michael Waltrip, 2003 Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Dale Jarrett, 2003 Subway 400, Rockingham, N.C.
    Matt Kenseth, 2003 UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, Las Vegas, Nev.
    Bobby Labonte, 2003 Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500, Hampton, Ga.
    Ricky Craven, 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, Darlington, S.C.
    Kurt Busch, 2003 Food City 500, Bristol, Tenn.
    Ryan Newman, 2003 Samsung/Radio Shack 500, Ft. Worth, Texas
    Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2003 Aaron's 499, Talladega, Ala.
    Jeff Gordon, 2003 Virginia 500, Martinsville, Va.
    Joe Nemechek, 2003 Pontiac Excitement 400, Richmond, Va.
    Jimmie Johnson, 2003 Coca-Cola 600, Concord, N.C.
    Tony Stewart, 2003 Pocono 500, Long Pond, Pa.
    Robby Gordon, 2003 Dodge/Save Mart 350, Sonoma, Calif.
    Greg Biffle, 2003 Pepsi 400, Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Kevin Harvick, 2003 Brickyard 400, Indianapolis, Ind.
    Terry Labonte, 2003 Mountain Dew Southern 500, Darlington, S.C.
    Bill Elliott, 2003 Pop Secret Popcorn 400, Rockingham, N.C.
    Elliott Sadler, 2004 Samsung/Radio Shack 500, Ft. Worth, Texas
    Rusty Wallace, 2004 Advance Auto Parts 500, Martinsville, Va.
    Geoffrey Bodine, 1994 Winner NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
    Mark Martin, 1998 Winner NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
    Kasey Kahne, 2003 Pop Secret Popcorn 400 (Car Owner)
    Brian Vickers, 2003 Pontiac Excitement 400 (Car Owner)
    TBD, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Open
    Tickets: Tickets for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, the most spectacular all-star event in professional sports, start at $21 and be obtained by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.(LMS PR)(5-7-2004)

  • NASCAR NEXTEL Open Fast Facts:
    Location: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
    Date: Saturday, May 22, 2004
    Time: 7:40 p.m. (EDT)
    Sanctioning Body: NASCAR, Daytona Beach, Fla.
    Series: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series - Special Event
    Eligibility: All NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams that competed in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in 2003 or 2004, and are not already eligible for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, may compete.
    Length: The NASCAR NEXTEL Open will consist of 30 laps, 45 miles, and will be run in two segments-20 laps and 10 laps. Between segment 1 and segment 2, there will be a yellow flag during which teams can pit and change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Teams pitting will not retain their position on the track and will start the second segment at the rear of the field in the order they leave pit road.
    Purse: $900,000 (event record)
    Winner's share: $48,200
    2003 Winner: Jeff Burton, Kraft Velveeta Ford
    Qualifying: The better of two qualifying laps will determine a driver's official qualifying speed for the NASCAR NEXTEL Open. Qualifying is scheduled for Friday, May 21, at 6:05 p.m. (EDT).
    2003 Pole Sitter: Steve Park, America Online Chevrolet
    29.309 seconds, 184.244 mph
    Radio/Television: Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast the NASCAR NEXTEL Open live to its affiliate radio stations beginning at 6:45 p.m. (EDT). MRN's broadcast can also be heard on XM Satellite Radio channel 144. Cable channel FX will televise the race live with coverage set to begin with a pre-race show at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).(5-7-2004)

  • Changes in the Nextel All-Star Challenge: Some significant changes were announced today for the 20th annual NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, set for Saturday evening, May 22, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. NASCAR’s always-anticipated all-star event – formerly known as The Winston – is primarily for race winners from the previous and current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series seasons. It also includes the winner of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Open, a preliminary event for teams that have not qualified for the showcase event. One of the changes instituted this year involves eligibility of past all-star champions. This year, two other past champions – who are also still active drivers – are eligible; previously, there was a five-year retroactive cut-off for past champions. This change makes 1998 event champion Mark Martin (#6 Viagra Ford) and 1994 champion Geoffrey Bodine eligible.
    Another change involves the actual race format. While the 90-lap/135-mile overall distance is again divided into 40-, 30- and 20-lap segments, no longer will each segment result in some drivers being eliminated. This will ensure a full field of cars racing for the winner’s purse of approximately $1 million. “It’s an all-star event and all the stars should participate,” said Lowe’s Motor Speedway President H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler. “That’s what the fans come to see – their favorite drivers.”
    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. Changing the inversion to the second segment will “encourage great racing and no sandbagging in the first 40-lap segment,” Wheeler said. “Drivers in the back will want to race themselves into that 12-car inversion while the front guys still have to race hard not knowing how many will be inverted.”
    Going into the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, a total of 23 drivers and car owners [see my 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge page] have qualified for the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. In instances where a driver has qualified by winning a race but has since changed teams, both the driver and the driver’s former team qualify for an entry. For NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge ticket information, contact the Lowe’s Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS.(LMS PR)(4-27-2004)

  • All-Star Panel Says One Hot Night is No. 1 Moment:

    As the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge prepares for the celebration of its 20th anniversary, the previous 19 editions have evoked everlasting memories of many of the sport’s greatest stars providing the fans with brilliant racing, stunning finishes and occasionally a touch of controversy.

    It is these types of memories that have built the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, formerly known as The Winston, into the most thrilling and unpredictable all-star event found in any sport. And what better time than the eve of the event’s 20th anniversary than to have members of an expert panel vote for their favorite moments in the history of the race.

    The panel consisted of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte, who have participated in 18 of the 19 all-star races; drivers Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd, who have competed in 17 of the events; Lowe’s Motor Speedway President H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, who has hosted and promoted 18 of the races; NASCAR President Mike Helton, who hosted and promoted the only all-star race not held at Charlotte (Atlanta, 1986); and former Charlotte Observer motorsports writer Tom Higgins, who has witnessed every one either in person or on television.

    By virtue of the panel’s order of preference of the top moments on their respective choices, the following earned the highest voting totals. The top-three moments in descending order are:

    No. 3 – “The Tide Slide” (1989): Darrell Waltrip, driving his Tide-sponsored Chevrolet, was leading the race as he was approaching the white-flag lap when hard-charging Rusty Wallace nudged Waltrip, sent him spinning and created the “Tide Slide.” Wallace went on to capture the victory while a displeased Waltrip wound up seventh.

    “It was an ugly, ugly win,” Waltrip said at the time. “I hope he chokes on the $200,000, that’s all I can tell him. He knocked the hell out of me. … A lot of guys let greed overcome speed, and that’s what happened today. I got spun out. A guy drove down underneath me and drove up into me and spun me out.

    "It was blatant. I had him pretty well covered. I just didn’t want to make a mistake but I guess I made one, letting him get up there.” En route to Victory Lane, Wallace’s car was hit by Waltrip’s and it ignited a scuffle between the two teams.

    “I’ll never forget the aftermath of that race, with Darrell telling me to choke on the 200 grand, Todd Parrott and some of my team punching it out with Darrell’s team on pit road and getting suspended and all hell just about breaking out,” Wallace said. “It was something they talked about for years to come and [radio personalities] John Boy and Billy even made a song about that day.” Recalled Wheeler: “We had to hide Rusty to get him to and from the press box.”

    In Waltrip’s eyes it may have been an “ugly win,” but in Wallace’s it was a defining moment in his career.

    “It was the turning point of my career – and Darrell’s, too. I don’t think there has ever been in the history of our sport a situation where in a split second the roles are reversed like that – totally reversed,” Wallace said. “Darrell became the hero there in that race and I became the villain. D.W. didn’t have the greatest fan appeal back then – he was a driver who the fans either loved or hated – it was just that simple. Well, that day he became the good guy and that image lasted with him all the way until he hung the helmet up.

    “Man, it really did fireworks for my career. I was still a young guy on the way up. I’d finished second to (Bill) Elliott in the points in ’88 and hadn’t really stirred up any big buzz until that day. It definitely put my name and face on the map and I got booed for years to come after that one. I’m just so grateful that I was finally able to get back in the good graces with all the fans and have them all know that I really am a good guy.” Wallace also built off the momentum of the win and went on to his only series championship.

    “That whole season was so special for me and that team,” Wallace said. “We won the big all-star race at Charlotte and went on to win the championship that same year. Like I said, that day and that race was a very big part of the sport’s history I think. I know how huge it was as far as the big picture goes for me; that’s for sure.”

    No. 2 – “Pass In The Grass” (1987): Many dubbed this all-star moment the catchy “Pass in the Grass,” but Helton called this “the defining moment for Earnhardt.”

    Whatever you want to call it, it was classic Earnhardt.

    As the final 10-lap sprint got underway, Earnhardt exhibited his aggressive nature that earned him the nickname “The Intimidator” as he made contact with his fellow leaders at that time, Geoffrey Bodine and Bill Elliott. Elliott retaliated by making contact with Earnhardt and sent him through the grass on the frontstretch. However, Earnhardt continued to mash the gas, regained control of the car and somehow miraculously maintained the lead and captured the dramatic win. Both Bodine and Elliott bumped Earnhardt’s car following the checkered flag and tempers flared.

    “A lot of things were going on when the green flag dropped,” Elliott said of a restart with a few laps remaining at the time. “He hit me several times. If a man has to run over you to beat you, it’s time for this stuff to stop. What he did wasn’t right. When a man pulls over and lets you by and then tries to run you into the wall, I’d say that was done deliberately. I’ve been beat on at Watkins Glen, Talladega and here by one car, Earnhardt’s. If somebody doesn’t do something about this, we’re coming back next week and we’ll see what happens.”

    “This whole deal is between me and Bill and it has nothing to do with our teams,” Earnhardt retaliated. “We knocked each other around, but it’s all over now as far as I am concerned. But if Bill still wants to do something about it, then I’ll stand flat-footed with him any day.”

    Rumor had it that when Elliott returned home he threw out any jeans he had by Wrangler, which was Earnhardt’s sponsor at the time, and vowed never to wear a pair again. Elliott was livid about Earnhardt’s antics, but it sure made for a great show.

    “That’s about the nearest you could get to good old grassroots racing,” Wallace said. “The only thing better would have been if it were at night. Earnhardt was like a man possessed and he drove like an absolute madman. He was always aggressive, even in the points-paying races, but the fact that Humpy promoted this thing as a ‘no-holds-barred, winner-take-all’ shootout I think only worked to make Dale stand even more on the gas.”

    Added Wheeler: “It’s still one of the most talked about moments in racing history.”

    No. 1 – “One Hot Night” (1992): Little did Wheeler know at the time of conceiving a promotional tagline for the 1992 event – “One Hot Night” – that it would deliver more than anyone could imagine on its billing. Before the cars even turned a wheel, this event already had a special place in not only all-star annals but motorsports history overall as Lowe’s Motor Speedway became the first superspeedway to run at night under the lights. “We shocked the world by lighting a superspeedway,” Wheeler said.

    The night racing and the ambiance it created was a spectacle in itself, but then the main event put this one over the top as the No. 1 moment in all-star history.

    “This was such a unique event because it was under the lights for the first time,” Helton said. “Plus, it was great racing all through the field all night long and culminated with an exciting finish. It possessed all the elements for a great all-star moment.”

    Three of the sport’s stars – Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison and Kyle Petty – were involved in the frenzied last-lap finish that crystallized this moment. On the final lap, Petty tangled with race leader Earnhardt, spun him out of the way and appeared on his way to a victory. However, Allison charged up to Petty for a checkered-finish duel that was decided by mere inches at the line. To add to the dramatic finish, Allison and Petty made contact and Allison crashed after the checkered fell and did not get an opportunity to celebrate the win in Victory Lane as he was transported to the hospital with a concussion.

    “The wreck at the end was just as much my fault as it was his,” Petty said afterward. “We were leaning on each other. I tried to chop him off, but if I had cut across in front of him, I would have ended up in the infield. At the end, he cut on me as I would have on him. We clipped when we came across the line.”

    Although Wallace was not part of the mix, he still enjoyed the theater the moment provided.

    “That was one where the finish should be on the highlight reels forever,” he said. “Crashing sideways into the wall there at the checkers – we were all glad that Davey wasn’t hurt and it was a special memory personally about him. He’s one of the guys that I’d jokingly told about the way I’d like to be remembered in winning them – flipping upside down and skidding on the roof sideways across the finish line with sparks flying and the thing ablazin’ with the crowd going ape crap. Well, he pretty damned near did just that there on that night.”(LMS PR)(5-12-2004)

  • Nextel hooking RJR up with all-star tickets: Nextel Communications, which took over sponsorship this season of what was known as NASCAR's Winston Cup Series, is providing 1,500 tickets to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. employees for the May 22 Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. RJR's Winston brand had not only sponsored the Cup series, but also the annual all-star race, which has been held at the Concord track every year but one since 1985. Nextel officials will present the tickets at RJR headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., in the coming weeks.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-17-2004)

  • Richmond for the All-Star Challenge? NASCAR announced yesterday [see story below] the format of its all-star race likely won't be overhauled, but its location could change. In a news conference to promote the May 22 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne said the future of the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge will be considered on a year-to-year basis. "There are a lot of tracks and a lot of cities that want this race," Pyne said. A prime candidate would seem to be Richmond International Raceway because of NASCAR's new title sponsor, Nextel. When the all-star event was known as The Winston, Lowe's was a natural host because the Concord, N.C., track is located 60 miles from previous title sponsor R.J. Reynolds' headquarters in Winston-Salem. RIR is the closest Cup track to Nextel's headquarters in Reston, Va., about 100 miles north of Richmond. Michael Robichaud, Nextel's director of sports marketing, said the wireless communications company would be interested in considering other locations for the showcase race. RIR spokesman Keith Green said his track would be very interested in the event, which has been held at the 1.5-mile oval north of Charlotte for 18 of the past 19 years. "If the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge is moved and Richmond is considered, it would be an incredible event here," Green said. "Drivers have long considered Richmond to be the ideal racetrack, and we would love nothing more than to bring this event here. It would be an electric atmosphere with no-holds-barred, short-track racing on a Saturday night under the lights." Pyne praised Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler yesterday for promoting the event, which drew a record crowd of more than 140,000 last year. But Pyne also said the continued support of the Charlotte, N.C., area would be a major factor in its future. "Other sports have facilities that were funded by taxpayers," Pyne said. "Our sport has never been treated the same way. What Humpy and NASCAR would like to see is our sport treated in an equivalent fashion when we place an all-star event in a community, the same way it would if Charlotte had an opportunity to host an NBA All-Star Game or an NCAA Final Four."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-25-2004)

  • Tuesday News Conference to Detail the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge UPDATE: Officials of NASCAR, Nextel and Lowe's Motor Speedway will unveil the format and other details concerning the 20th running of the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 24, in The Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, the most exciting all-star event in professional sports, will be contested under the lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night, May 22.(LMS PR)(2-21-2004)
    UPDATE: Since its inception in 1985, NASCAR’s version of an “all-star game” has evolved from a novelty to a showcase, a spring ritual of speed and daring resulting in yearly additions to the book of NASCAR lore. This year, the event (formerly known as The Winston) has a new name for its 20th running: The “NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.” On May 22, it returns to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. for the 18th consecutive year, once again featuring an exclusive field of 2003-04 race winners and past champions of the event, which will be televised live on FX (7:00pm/et). The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge events will have a total purse of $4,095,000, an increase of $225,000 from the previous year. The winner will receive $1 million.
    A total of 18 drivers already have qualified, and the talent-laden group is led by defending champion #48-Jimmie Johnson.
    Also involved, for the first time: Nextel Communications: "The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is a marquee event for Nextel," said Michael Robichaud, senior director of sports and entertainment marketing for Nextel, the title sponsor of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. "It has been one of the most exciting events on the schedule since its inception because drivers aren’t competing for points – they race for pride and a check for $1 million. That format has created some of the sport’s greatest moments, which has made it a favorite for both drivers and fans. Our focus is to create an atmosphere that makes fans feel more connected to this all-star event than ever before."
    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge has been held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway every year since its inception – except for 1986, when it was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “No other all-star event in professional sports has produced the drama and excitement this event has for nearly two decades,” Lowe’s Motor Speedway President H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler said. “Serving as the home venue for this event, we have worked hard to build equity and making the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge a real fan favorite. We have some things up our sleeve to make the 20th edition bigger and better than ever.”
    “Through the years, this has become one of the obvious highlights of our season,” NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne said. “It is invariably exciting, and provides a perfect lead-in to one of our key NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points events, the Coca-Cola 600, which is held in Concord the following week (May 30).”
    The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge format’s specifics follow. The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will have a minimum of 20 cars and drivers who meet one (or in some cases more) of the following criteria:
    • Drivers and car owners who have won races in either 2003 or 2004.
    • Active drivers who have won the championship of NASCAR’s premier series.
    • Active NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers who have won the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
    • The winner of the NEXTEL Open, a two-segment (20 laps/10 laps) preliminary event for teams who have competed, but not won, during 2003 or 2004.

    As for the racing itself, the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge will consist of three segments totaling 90 laps/135 miles around the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway track. An initial 40-lap segment advances the top-20 finishers to the second segment. From that 30-lap sprint, the top 14 advance to the final segment, which is 20 laps. There also is the “x” factor to consider: A vote by fans will determine a random inversion (anywhere from three to 10 cars) of the starting order for the 20-lap finale.
    Two races into the 2004 season, the following drivers have qualified:
    • Race winners: Michael Waltrip (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet), Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford), Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Ford), Bobby Labonte (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet), Ricky Craven (No. 32 Tide Chevrolet), Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie IRWIN Ford), Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), Joe Nemechek (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet), Robby Gordon (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet), Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford), Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), Terry Labonte (No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet) and Bill Elliott (No. 91 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge).
    • Past series champion: Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge).
    • Past event champion: Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford).
    • Car owners: Joe/Rick Hendrick (No. 25 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet) and Ray Evernham (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge).

    Fast Facts
    What: NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
    Where: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, NC
    When: Saturday, May 22, 7:30pm/et
    Who: Race winners in 2003 and ’04; past series champions; past champions of the event; NEXTEL Open winner.
    TV: FX, 7:00pm/et.
    Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
    Posted awards: $4,095,000.
    Race length: 90 laps/135 miles.
    Track layout: 1.5-mile tri-oval.
    2003 winner: Jimmie Johnson.
    Qualified drivers (as of Feb. 22): Race winners—Michael Waltrip, Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Ricky Craven, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Joe Nemechek, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott; Past event champion: Mark Martin. Past series champion: Rusty Wallace. Qualified owners: Joe/Rick Hendrick (No. 25 entry), Ray Evernham (No. 9 entry).(NASCAR PR)(2-24-2004)



  • Changes in the All-Star Race? Unknown: Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler said he doesn't know if next season's NASCAR all-star race, held at LMS every year but one since 1985, will change in format with the departure of series sponsor R.J. Reynolds. RJR's Winston brand played a large role in developing the all-star race and sponsored it. Nextel Communications is taking over sponsorship of what is now known as the Winston Cup series beginning in 2004, and will co-sponsor the event with NASCAR. NASCAR recently announced the race would remain at the Concord track at least one more season. "No one has had a conversation about it with me yet. I met with Tim Donahue (Nextel's CEO and president) last week and we didn't even talk about the all-star race. We're probably going to have a meeting up in New York," Wheeler said. "I don't think there will be any substantial changes. Nextel is probably going to say, 'NASCAR, speedway work it out. If it's not broke, don't fix it.' "(ThatsRacin.com)(9-24-2003)

  • 2004 All Star Race to stay at Lowe's Motor Speedway: NASCAR's annual all-star race will return to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., next season, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The race, called The Winston since its inception in 1985, will be run on May 22, 2004 - the traditional Saturday night spot on the schedule prior to the track's first Winston Cup race of the season, the May 30 Coca-Cola 600, sources confirmed Thursday. A formal announcement of the race date will likely come in the next few weeks. The name of the race remains unclear. Track officials would not confirm the race date Thursday. "Nothing can officially be said until NASCAR releases its 2004 schedule," said track spokesman Jerry Gappens. "Obviously, we feel very positive it will return to its rightful place in 2004." Lowe's signed a one-year extension to host the all-star race this [2003] season. Last year, NASCAR suggested it might rotate The Winston to other cities, news that did not go over well with community leaders across the Charlotte region. The race generates $75 million for the track area's economy, a 1999 UNC Charlotte study found. Since then, The Winston has grown even more popular, and this year attracted a record crowd of 150,000. A nonprofit group organized to promote the race this year raised $650,000 and used the theme, "There's No Place Like Home." Most drivers and race teams live in the region, and the track has hosted the race every year since 1987. The departure of series sponsor Winston - announced in June - ensured the race would at least change in name, and possibly in location. Nextel Communications, based in Reston, Va., signed a 10-year agreement to begin sponsoring what is now known at the Winston Cup Series, beginning in 2004. At the time of their announcement, Nextel officials said they would be involved in the all-star race, but said they would leave the location up to NASCAR. There had been a lot of speculation in recent months that the race could end up at some point at Richmond International Raceway, since it is the closest Cup track to Nextel's headquarters. Last month, Lowe's officials confirmed they had signed a sanctioning agreement with NASCAR to host a Truck series race on May 21, an indicator that the all-star race would return next season. The track hosted its first Truck race this season on the night before The Winston and it was a success with more than 40,000 in attendance. Speedway officials said then they did not plan to hold a Truck race as a stand-alone event and planned it to once again coincide with the all-star race.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-4-2003)

    NOTE: Since Winston / RJR will NOT be back in 2004, Nextel will sponsor the Cup series and plans to sponsor the All-Star race. No word on rules changes yet or if they will have an 'Open' race. More as it is announced.(6-19-2003)

  • Humpy Expects to Keep All Star Race..at least another year UPDATE to Richmond?: Humpy Wheeler is fairly confident NASCAR's annual all-star race, known since 1985 as The Winston, will return to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., next season. Beyond that, he said, it's anyone's guess. "I don't see how it could possibly be anywhere else next season," said Wheeler, president of the speedway and of its parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc. "Logistically, you need at least a year of lead time to do it right. "We have had two very successful Winstons the past two years that would be hard for anyone to match." NASCAR introduced Nextel on Thursday in New York as the new sponsor of what is now known as the Winston Cup Series. Wheeler did not attend the announcement, instead traveling to California for the Cup race SMI's Infineon Raceway hosts on Sunday. The existence of The Winston, held every year but one at Lowe's since its inception in 1985, was written into NASCAR's contract with current series sponsor, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. Thursday, NASCAR said the sanctioning body and Nextel would co-sponsor the event beginning next season, but left its location unresolved. At least in the short-term, Wheeler said Nextel, too, might prefer the all-star race remain where it is. "I don't think Nextel, in its very first season sponsoring the series, would want to take the negative reaction that would be incurred by moving the race from Charlotte," Wheeler said. "Nobody wants to start a new relationship off on a bad note." Wheeler also believes NASCAR's all-star event can't easily be compared with similiar events in other professional sports, which often rotate locations for their all-star events. "Our all-star event isn't like baseball and the NBA, because we have over 100,000 seats to fill," Wheeler said. "You just can't pick it up and move it around like just another game. Certainly, Nextel is going to want anything they associate with or pay to sponsor to be a success. We haven proven we could make The Winston a success."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2003)

    UPDATE: NASCAR's Nextel deal raises another major issue - the fate of The Winston all-star race, which NASCAR sources say almost certainly will be moved to Richmond, Va., closer to Nextel's home office in Reston, Va. The date of the all-star race hasn't been set.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-21-2002)

    Eligible drivers for the 2004 All-Star Race Open

    What makes a driver eligible for the All-Star Race Open?
    Any driver that qualifies for a Nextel Cup field in 2003/2004 are eligible for the 2004 All-Star Race Open.

    1. ) John Andretti - in the #1?
    2. ) Casey Atwood - no Cup ride
    3. ) Stanton Barrett, #94
    4. ) Andy Belmont, #02?
    5. ) Dave Blaney, #23?
    6. ) Mike Bliss - no Cup ride
    7. ) Brett Bodine - not active
    8. ) Geoffrey Bodine - no Cup ride
    9. ) Todd Bodine, #98
    10. ) Jeff Burton, #99
    11. ) Kyle Busch, #84
    12. ) Stacy Compton - no Cup ride
    13. ) Derrike Cope, #50
    14. ) Ron Fellows - no Cup ride
    15. ) Christian Fittipaldi, #44?
    16. ) Larry Foyt, #14
    17. ) Hideo Fukuyama - no Cup ride
    18. ) Brendan Gaughan, #77
    19. ) David Green - no Cup ride
    20. ) Jeff Green, #43
    21. ) Bobby Hamilton Jr. - no Cup ride
    22. ) Jason Hedlesky - no Cup ride
    23. ) Andy Hillenburg,#80
    24. ) Jason Jarrett - no Cup ride
    25. ) Buckshot Jones - no Cup ride
    26. ) P.J. Jones - no Cup ride
    27. ) Kasey Kahne, #9
    28. ) Jason Keller - no Cup ride
    29. ) Jason Leffler - no Cup ride
    30. ) Kevin Lepage - no Cup ride
    31. ) Carl Long,#46?
    32. ) Jeremy Mayfield, #19
    33. ) Eric McClure, #04?
    34. ) Casey Mears, #41
    35. ) Paul Menard - no Cup ride
    36. ) Johnny Miller - no Cup ride
    37. ) Ted Musgrave - no Cup ride
    38. ) Jerry Nadeau - injured
    39. ) Steve Park - no Cup ride
    40. ) Kyle Petty, #45
    41. ) Scott Pruett - no Cup ride
    42. ) Tony Raines - no Cup ride
    43. ) Scott Riggs, #10
    44. ) Joe Ruttman, #09?
    45. ) Hermie Sadler, #02?
    46. ) Boris Said - no Cup ride
    47. ) Johnny Sauter, #30
    48. ) Ken Schrader, #49
    49. ) Kirk Shelmerdine, #72
    50. ) Morgan Shepherd, #89
    51. ) Mike Skinner - no Cup ride
    52. ) Jack Sprague - no Cup ride
    53. ) Jimmy Spencer, #4
    54. ) Brian Vickers, #25
    55. ) Kenny Wallace - #00?
    56. ) Mike Wallace - no Cup ride
    57. ) Scott Wimmer, #22


    PAST WINNERS OF THE WINSTON

    Year Driver
    2003 Jimmie Johnson
    Kurt Busch (seg 2)
    Tony Stewart (seg 1)
    2002 Ryan Newman
    2001 Jeff Gordon(3)
    2000 Dale Earnhardt Jr
    1999 Terry Labonte(2)
    1998 Mark Martin
    1997 Jeff Gordon(2)
    1996 Michael Waltrip
    1995 Jeff Gordon
    1994 Geoffrey Bodine
    1993 Dale Earnhardt(3)
    1992 Davey Allison(2)
    1991 Davey Allison
    1990 Dale Earnhardt(2)
    1989 Rusty Wallace
    1988 Terry Labonte
    1987 Dale Earnhardt
    1986 Bill Elliott
    1985 Darrell Waltrip
    All but 1986 have been held at Lowes Motor Speedway, in 1986 it was at Atlanta

    PAST WINNERS OF THE WINSTON OPEN

    Year Driver
    2003 Jeff Burton
    2002 Jeremy Mayfield(2)
    Ryan Newman
    (No Bull 5 Sprint)
    2001 Johnny Benson
    Todd Bodine
    (No Bull 5 Sprint)
    2000 Steve Park
    Jerry Nadeau
    (No Bull 5 Sprint)
    1999 Tony Stewart
    1998 Jeremy Mayfield
    1997 Ricky Craven
    1996 Jimmy Spencer
    1995 Todd Bodine
    1994 Jeff Gordon
    1993 Sterling Marlin(3)
    1992 Michael Waltrip(2)
    1991 Michael Waltrip
    1990 Dick Trickle
    1989 Sterling Marlin(2)
    1988 Sterling Marlin
    1987 Buddy Baker
    1986 Benny Parsons
    1985 none
    All but 1986 have been held at Lowes Motor Speedway, in 1986 it was at Atlanta. The Winston Open was known as the Atlanta Invitational in 1986


  • 2008 Nextel All-Star Challenge
    2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge
    2006 Nextel All-Star Challenge
    2005 Nextel All-Star Challenge
    2003 Winston
    2002 Winston
    2001 Winston
    2000 Winston
    1999 Winston

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