NASCAR Sprint Showdown 2013 qualifying: Danica Patrick, Brian Keselowski try to earn spots in All-Star field

Rainier Ehrhardt

Plenty of drivers are still trying to win spots in Saturday's All-Star event. How they qualify for the Sprint Showdown on Friday could have a significant impact on their chances.

NASCAR's annual All-Star Race is set to take place this weekend in Charlotte, and it begins with the Sprint Showdown, which is for the drivers who have not yet qualified for the All-Star event. Many of the Sprint Cup Series' top drivers already have earned their way into the All-Star Race, but the rest will need to finish first or second in the Sprint Showdown in order to get in.

Qualifying for the 2013 Sprint Showdown begins at approximately 5:15 p.m. ET on Friday, and the Speed Channel will air the proceedings live. Danica Patrick, Brian Keselowski and Aric Almirola are just a few of of the competitors who will be in the Showdown field and qualifying on Friday.

The Sprint Showdown is a 40-lap race split into two 20-lap segments that will run before the All-Star Race on Saturday. Last year Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Showdown, and A.J. Allmendinger finished in second place.

The weekend's races have no impact on the Sprint Cup point standings.

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