Always one of the most keenly anticipated events of the season, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race takes place under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET).
Four-time all-star winner Jimmie Johnson, fresh off a late-race victory in the rain-delayed SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway, will be the favorite, along with Kevin Harvick. Those two have won the last seven races at 1.5-mile tracks, dating back to late last year.
But what about those drivers who haven’t won the all-star event yet? We take a look at the five best drivers to not win an all-star race over the last 10 years. You can bet each of them will be eager to get ‘er done on Saturday night and take home the $1 million that goes to the race winner.
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5. Denny Hamlin: Last year, Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited for the second time and his Duel at Daytona 150 Daytona 500 qualifying race. But he’s had no luck in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where he has never finished better than fourth. And he hasn’t finished in the top five since 2010.
4. Greg Biffle: Always tough on the fast, 1.5-mile tracks like Charlotte, Biffle has come close to winning the all-star race once in the last 10 years. That was in 2008, when he finished second to Kasey Kahne, who transferred in from the Sprint Showdown via the Sprint Fan Vote. Biffle hasn’t finished higher than 15th in the last three years.
3. Martin Truex Jr.: Actually, Truex has enjoyed great success on all-star weekends, winning the Sprint Showdown in 2007 and 2010 and finishing second in the Sprint All-Star Race in ’10. The way he’s been running this year, Truex and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet should be real threats to win.
2. Brad Keselowski: During his championship season of 2012, Keselowski was runner-up to â who else? â Jimmie Johnson in the all-star race. The following year, he made it just two of 90 laps before retiring with transmission woes. Team Penske has won this race only once.
1. Kyle Busch: Get this:Over the last 10 years, Busch has led 212 laps in the all-star race, a whopping 25.2 percent of the laps run in that period. By comparison, four-time all-star winner Jimmie Johnson has led 172 laps, or 18.5 percent. And no else has led more than 6.9 percent of the laps run.
But in the last nine all-star events, Busch has five DNFs â four from crashes and one from an engine failure. Most famously, Kyle and brother Kurt wrecked going for the lead in 2007, and in 2010, Kyle’s teammate, Denny Hamlin, put Busch into the wall with less than 10 laps to go.