It's NASCAR All-Star race night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and we've got the actual race start time, the starting lineup and some other facts about NASCAR's All-Star night for you below.
Start time: As you know, there are two races tonight – the last-chance qualifier race, called the Sprint Showdown, and the main event, which is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. There will be a lot of buildup to the races, including the burnout competition; but if you're just looking to tune in for the actual events, the Sprint Showdown will take the green flag at 7:36 p.m. Eastern time and the NASCAR All-Star Race is scheduled for a 9:20 p.m. start.
Race segments/distance: First up is the Sprint Showdown, which is a 40-lap race divided into two 20-lap segments. After the Showdown, from which three drivers will advance to the Sprint All-Star Race (the two top finishers plus the fan vote winner), all of the teams will participate in driver introductions. The All-Star drivers will be joined by their pit crews. Then comes the big race, which is a 100-lap race divided into four segments: 50 laps, then 20 laps, 20 laps again and the famous 10-lap shootout for a $1 million prize.
TV and radio: Though it's not available in as many households as ESPN, this is Speed's night to shine. Speed airs one NASCAR Sprint Cup event per season, and it's the All-Star Race. If you don't get Speed, we recommend finding your local sports bar or calling a friend. And if that doesn't work, try to find your local Performance Racing Network (PRN) affiliate. You can see a list of PRN stations here.
National anthem: Sprint or Charlotte Motor Speedway – whoever decides these things – made a good call on this one. The U.S. Army "Brass Brigade" is performing "God Bless America" prior to the Sprint Showdown and will stay on to perform the national anthem before the Sprint All-Star Race. You know they'll do it right.
Race officials: Actress Angie Harmon – a personal friend of Jimmie Johnson – will drive a pace car. The honorary starter (the person who waves the green flag) is a Sprint executive, and the grand marshal is a yet-to-be-determined Sprint customer. I'm actually on a three-judge panel today who will pick a lucky fan to be the grand marshal. Can you imagine coming to a race and ending up as the grand marshal? I'll try to help pick a good one.
Tickets: There are still tickets available for the All-Star Race if you're in the area and want to stop by.
Weather: Fans at Charlotte are in store for a very pleasant evening. After a hot day in the mid-80s, the temperature will be 78 degrees at the start of the All-Star Race.
Last year: Kurt Busch took advantage of a tangle between Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, then held off Martin Truex Jr. on a pair of late restarts to win his first All-Star Race. He went on to sweep Charlotte Speedweeks by winning the Coca-Cola 600.
Starting lineup for tonight's Sprint Showdown (scroll down further for NASCAR All-Star Race lineup):