In NASCAR there really is no such thing as a home track. But for many drivers, Charlotte Motor Speedway is a home of sorts for the simple fact that most of the teams in NASCAR have their main shop located in North Carolina.
If you look at the week of the All-Star race as a break similar to that of baseball or basketball, then it makes total sense to have the All-Star race hosted by the track closest to the largest concentration of team shops. Since the Coca-Cola 600 and the Sprint All-Star race are on back-to-back weekends, the drivers and teams can use the 2 week span to truly take a break from the road and use that time to prepare for the rest of the season.
Team Shops In North Carolina
Hall of Fame Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing
Michael Waltrip Racing
Richard Childress Racing
Richard Petty Motorsports
Roush Fenway Racing
Wood Brothers Racing
Since the inaugural All-Star race in 1985, the event has been under constant change. The format for the All-Star race has changed 10 times total with the last change occurring in 2009. The format configured in 2009 is the one currently used and this 4 year run is the longest the format has gone unchanged since a stretch from '98-'01.
*Last year's winner was second place Cup finisher Carl Edwards
Memorial Day Extravaganza:
For decades Memorial Day weekend has featured 2 of the biggest races in North American auto-racing. Both major racing (NASCAR, IRL) leagues have immensely popular races that now both occur on Sunday. The Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 headline the Memorial day weekend and this tradition is something we have come to expect for several years. Some drivers even pull of the amazing feat of competing in both races. It has been a while but Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart used to attempt to race both in one day. Just imagine racing for 1,100 miles in roughly 12 hours.
Winning the Indy 500 might come with more prestige but winning the "600" is a test of endurance. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the NASCAR circuit by 100 miles. It may not seem like that much more than a 500 mile race but just think they are competing in an event that is 20% longer than a race like the Daytona 500. Another thing to think about it Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile track so it takes 400 laps to complete the race. This winner of any race always needs to have a great car but in the Cocal-Cola 600 you need mental and physical stamina just as much as a great race car.
Sprint All-Star Race - May 19, 2012
Coca-Cola 600 - May 27, 2012
Written by: Craig Kibler