The 30-year history of the Sprint All-Star Race has featured some thrilling finishes, underdog winners and downright strange moments. Who will prevail in Saturday night's 31st running of the popular exhibition? (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET) Here are the 10 best all-star races to date.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
No. 10 -- 2009
Crew members from Tony Stewart's No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team climbed the fence to celebrate their driver's first trip to Victory Lane as co-owner of SHR. The win was big because it helped validate Stewart's decision to leave Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of 2008 to join SHR -- an organization that had been non-competitive while competing under a different name prior to his arrival.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
9 -- 2008
Kasey Kahne made history at Charlotte Motor Speedway – partly by using clever pit strategy. Kahne failed to qualify for the race, but won the fan vote into it. He started at the rear, but worked his way up. He and crew chief Kenny Francis opted not to take tires entering the final segment, helping Kahne take the lead with 16 laps to go and hold on for the win. He's the only driver to win the race after being voted into it.
Getty Images for NASCARRusty Jarrett
8 -- 2000
Dale Earnhardt Jr. opted for a pit stop in the final segment to work on his car, restarting at the rear and moving his way to the front. He passed Dale Jarrett, whose car was smoking, with less than two laps to go and charged to the win. After the race, Dale Earnhardt spent the entire Victory Lane ceremony with his son.
HHP IMAGESHAROLD HINSON
7 -- 1996
Michael Waltrip carried a stretch of 309 Cup races without a win, but raced his way into the main event. A field inversion put him in contention, then he watched as frontrunners Terry Labonte and Dale Earnhardt almost wrecked vying for the lead – and then slipped past them. Driving for the Wood Brothers, he earned his first career victory and became the first driver to win the race after earning a bid through a qualifying race.
Getty ImagesDozier Mobley
6 -- 2001
Rain threatened to hamper the start of the race, with lightning flashing early in the event. As the drivers took the green flag, the rain started – and almost immediately wreaked havoc on the field. Several cars slipped and slid and piled up in Turn 1, including some of the race favorites. So NASCAR made the unusual call – considering this was a non-points race – to allow the drivers with damaged cars to switch to backups during the lengthy delay for the rain. When the race got underway, Jeff Gordon took his backup car to Victory Lane.
Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
5 -- 1985
In 1985, NASCAR debuted the all-star race the day before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The inaugural race featured 12 drivers competing over 70 laps with one pit stop. Darrell Waltrip powered to the win, then watched as his engine failed shortly after crossing the finish line.
ISC Archives via Getty ImagesRacingOne
4 - 1997
Ray Evernham, long known for pushing the boundaries of NASCAR’s rule book, brought the perfect car to the 1997 race. Legal by the rules and dubbed 'T-Rex' because of its 'Jurassic Park: The Ride' paint scheme, the car allowed Jeff Gordon to completely dominate the event. Despite the fact that the car fell within the rules, the team was told not to bring it back to the track and it led to some tweaks in the rules.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesRainier Ehrhardt
3 -- 1987
The race is known not for a crash, but for Dale Earnhardt’s fantastic save, dubbed the 'Pass in the Grass.' Earnhardt and Bill Elliott had been fighting for the lead when Earnhardt came down toward Elliott. He slid across in front of Elliott – and into the grass. He maintained his straight line, though, and moved back up on the track and kept the lead. He went on to win the race.
ISC Archives via Getty ImagesRacingOne
2 - 1989
Darrell Waltrip was leading Rusty Wallace to the checkered flag when Wallace tagged Waltrip coming off the final turn – and sent him sliding across the infield grass. Crews scuffled over the outcome. Wallace won the race, but an angry Waltrip won the day. He gained fan support and Wallace became viewed as the overly aggressive driver in the series.
1 - 1992
In the first night race at the track, a new generation with pedigrees in the sport battled to the finish. Davey Allison and Kyle Petty battled Dale Earnhardt into the final laps. Earnhardt spun, setting up the battle between Allison and Petty. Allison would win, but he and Petty made contact shortly after crossing the finish line, sending Allison hard into the outside wall. He was knocked unconscious and airlifted to a local hospital, but was thankfully not seriously injured in the crash.