By admin | May 20, 2011
By Richard Allen
There are several ways to qualify for the Sprint All Star Challenge. Winning a race within the current or preceding seasons is the first and foremost way of getting into the race. Drivers who in the past ten years are former winners of the event and/or former Sprint Cup champions are also eligible. Finishing 1st or 2nd in the preliminary All Star Showdown race will get a driver in as well. And lastly, one driver not eligible by other means can be voted in by the fans.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has not won a Sprint Cup race in the appointed time period. He is not a former champion and his win in the All Star Challenge was more than ten years ago. So, that leaves Junior needing a top-2 finish in the Showdown or the fan vote to get into the main event on Saturday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While the prediction of the Christian Rapture occurring on Saturday may be a bit out on the limb, the prediction of Junior winning the fan vote should he place poorly in the Showdown is one of the safest prognostications that anyone could possibly make.
However, the sportâ€™s most popular driver made it perfectly clear during a Friday morning press conference that his intentions are not to rely on the fan vote. â€œMy fans would like to see me win outright,â€ Junior said of the Showdown race. â€œThatâ€™s what I want to do.â€
While Earnhardtâ€™s last few years have been a disappointment to the driver himself, fans and many others with a vested interest in the sportâ€™s success, he has shown in 2011 that winning again is a possibility. Junior is currently 4th in the Sprint Cup standings with two top-5s and five top-10s in eleven starts so far this season.
There is virtually no doubt that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will be in the All Star Challenge Saturday evening. The only real question is just how he will make that race. The driver of car #88 certainly knows how he wants to get in and his team is willing to do what it takes. â€œWeâ€™re going in and running hard and taking all the risks,â€ Junior said on Friday.
I will be doing live updates from the Southern All Stars dirt late model race from the Cleveland(TN) Speedway Saturday night on TennesseeRacer.com.Â http://tennesseeracer.com/
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