April 23, 2010
2001 Race Earns No. 5 Spot in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race History
During the next five weeks, Sprint (NYSE:S) will count down the top-five “Most Memorable NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races,” as chosen by members of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).
The top vote recipient will be revealed during NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week leading up to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 22, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The No. 5 “Most Memorable NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race,” from 2001, is remembered as much for what happened on the first lap as for being Jeff Gordon’s third NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race victory.
Scattered showers were forecast for the area around Charlotte Motor Speedway on the evening of May 19, and lightning flashed as the drivers completed their pace laps. Just as the green flag waved to start the race, the skies opened up and doused the racing surface.
The field of cars entered Turn 1, but that was as far as many drivers got. Wet track conditions resulted in multiple incidents on the first lap, and many of the sport’s top competitors found themselves with heavily damaged cars.
“We started the race on a wet track,” Michael Waltrip told reporters at the time. “I mean, we got to Turn 1 and 20 of the best race car drivers in the world all about wiped out.”
Given the uniqueness of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race format and the fact that it is a non-points event, NASCAR allowed the teams to bring out their backup cars.
“The rules are a lot different in that race and allowed us to get the backup cars out, since there were so many torn-up race cars,” Gordon recently told SPEED. “There was a lot of rain, so we had time to change the engine out of the primary car and into the backup car because that was a great engine... We miraculously came from the back and ended up winning the All-Star event that year.”
Tune in at 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 22, to SPEED for coverage of this year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Sprint customers can enjoy coverage on their Sprint phones via NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile. To download the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, which is free with any data plan, Sprint customers should text “NASCAR” to 7777 (standard text messaging and data rates apply). Tickets for the event start at $39 and are available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 800-455-FANS. Fans can also listen to live race coverage on the Performance Racing Network (PRN). A complete listing of PRN-affiliated stations is available at www.goprn.com.
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