Risk vs. reward: Is Sprint All-Star Race win worth destroying a car?
Drivers and teams are customarily willing to go closer to the edge than normal in the Sprint All-Star Race, which features no points but pays a bucketload of cash. They sometimes pay the price, however.
Davey Allison (28) and Rusty Wallace (2) lead the field in the 1992 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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By Larry McReynolds
I was very blessed over my career as a crew chief to not only participate in a number of but also win the Sprint All-Star Race back-to-back with Davey Allison in 1991 and 1992. I honestly can't say that we prepared any different than a normal race weekend, especially those two years we won it.
My philosophy, no matter where I was working as a crew chief was, "It's our next race, so that makes it our most important race." It's a race and we were in the business to win races. Now sure, in the grand scheme of things it didn't affect our standing in the points because. as we always remind you, the Sprint All-Star Race is no points and a cool $1 million to the winner. Trust me, no one cares or remembers who finishes second in this race.
So there are no points. It doesn't affect our team making or missing the Chase at the end of the season. It's still a race, though. Races are run to be won. Obviously, everyone treats this race a little different. Some teams don't risk it and donât take their Coca Cola 600 car, for fear of losing it in the all-star race.
I always did, though. I always took the car I planned on running that next week, to the all-star race. Darrell Waltrip will tell you that in 1997 after he finished running the all-star race, he actually liked his all-star car better than his Coca-Cola 600 car. He felt it had more speed and handled better, so they switched and brought the all-star car back the following week.
Obviously, if you remember back in 1992, we set out what we wanted to accomplish but paid the price for it. Davey won the race, but we destroyed the car doing it. So there is always a Risk vs. Reward when you adopt that philosophy.
The $1 million to the winner is one heck of prize; there is no denying that. You can't ignore though that this is the home track to 99.9 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. Not everyone gets to race in all-star race, so it's the best of the best and it's a race you want to win.
There's a lot of ego and bragging rights that a team gets to enjoy until next May by winning the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night.
WATCH! The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: 7 p.m. ET Saturday, FOX Sports 1