NASCAR Showdown and All Star Race Picks to Win – Betting Odds

Race: Showdown and All-Star Race
Date: Saturday May 21st, 2011
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: Starting at 7 pm ET for the Showdown and 9 pm ET for the All-Star
Channel: SPEED
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper

The Monster Mile proved to be a monster to quite a few drivers this past weekend. Where to start? Let’s see. Denny Hamlin finished 16th with Jeff Gordon right behind in 17th. Joey Logano was 27th and Tony Stewart finished 29th. Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, and David Ragan also had poor finishes in the 20s. This weekend, they are all hoping for better finishes as we head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a race created just for the fans. The Showdown and All-Star race are 2 individual sets for Saturday night where we often see some of the craziest, riskiest, and bravest moves of the season.

Now, the first of these two races, the Showdown, is a qualifier for the main event. First and second place winners will move on to the All-Star race along with the driver with the most fan votes. I really don’t think I have to tell you all, but I think Jr. is going to get a spot in the All-Star one way or the other. Regardless, your field for the Showdown is full of big names this year including the following drivers:

1. Brad Keselowski
2. David Ragan
3. Joey Logano
4. Jeff Burton
5. Paul Menard
6. AJ Allmendinger
7. Brian Vickers
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Marcos Ambrose

There are several other drivers trying to race their way in including Bobby Labonte and even Boris Said. The 10 listed above are probably the drivers with the greatest chance at a fan vote into the All-Star.

In my opinion, Truex Jr. and Allmendinger are going to take first and second in the Showdown. Both drivers have won before and both are fast. This race is about throwing it all on the table and managing to not screw up in a short period of time. These guys have at least that going for them, and both of them have the drive to win, especially in a race for the fans.

As far as the qualifiers for the All-Star race, here is the list of the current drivers:

1. Jamie McMurray
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kurt Busch
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Ryan Newman
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Kyle Busch
8. David Reutimann
9. Greg Biffle
10. Juan Pablo Montoya
11. Tony Stewart
12. Clint Bowyer
13. Carl Edwards
14. Trevor Bayne
15. Jeff Gordon
16. Matt Kenseth
17. Regan Smith
18. Kasey Kahne
19. Mark Martin

If you ask me, this is Kyle Busch’s race to lose. He loves to drive fast and drive hard, and with no points on the line, it can only get crazier than usual. Charlotte is a great track because the drivers can get a lot of speed without too much risk of causing huge wrecks. There’s plenty of room to get around without getting in too much trouble.

The format for this year’s race is finally remaining the same for once! The first segment is 50 laps with a mandatory 4-tire green flag stop at or around lap 25. The next 2 segments are 20 laps each with a break following segment 3. The last segment is a 10 lap green flag shootout.

Charlotte is an intermediate quad-oval standing at 1.5 miles. The turns are 24 degrees and the straights aren’t bad at a mere 5 degrees. The frontstretch is 1980 feet and the backstretch is 1500 feet. There’s just enough room to get some speed up going into the turns. Now while the track is big enough to stay out of trouble, that sure doesn’t mean there won’t be. With the race being purely for the fans and not affecting the points, watch these guys get crazy. There is going to be plenty of opportunity for the drivers to show what they have in a less reserved way that we usually see on the weekends. After all, the $1 million dollar prize isn’t anything to sneeze at!

Virginia’s Picks: Take Kyle Busch in all head to head matchups!