Open Race Thread: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Showdown - Charlotte Motorspeedway

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Dale Jr. Foundation/National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

You know, I've always had a love/hate relationship with the Showdown race. One one hand I liked the fact that there was a local track feel with having a qualifying race, but on the other hand I thought the addition of the Showdown was just another feed-the-hype-cash-grab. I might be right on both counts really, but let's look at it with an optimistic glass is half-full frame of mind and feel the excitement of a local track qualifying event.

So who do you think is going to qualify and make it into the show? My answer is simple, anyone who is funded by deep pockets (i.e., Hendrick).

That then leaves the fan vote. I don't like the fan vote really, I feel it is more of a popularity contest rather than an objective who deserves it more approach. But then again, this is supposed to be all about the fans so let them have their say.

I'd like to see the fan vote replaced by a qualifying round with pit stops with the highest non-qualified finisher getting the final spot in the All-Star race. It would certainly go a long way to promoting the 'team' concept NASCAR focuses on during these All-Star events.

Starting line-up is after the jump. See you on the other side.

Starting line-up for Sprint Showdown:

  1. AJ Allmendinger
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Jeff Burton
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Landon Cassill
  7. Juan Pablo Montoya
  8. Bobby Labonte
  9. Travis Kvapil
  10. David Stremme
  11. Casey Mears
  12. David Reutimann
  13. Joey Logano
  14. Stephen Leicht
  15. Scott Speed
  16. David Gilliland
  17. Mike Bliss
  18. JJ Yeley
  19. Jamie McMurray
  20. Joe Nemechek
  21. Josh Wise
  22. Tony Raines
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