The annual NASCAR All-Star Race takes place on Sunday, May 22, as the Cup Series drivers battle for $1 million. There are several excited about the upcoming battle, but many have called for some significant changes in location and advertising style.
Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Austin Dillon all spoke about the All-Star Race, its changing format, and its location prior to the Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. They all explained that they would prefer to see the All-Star Race move to different tracks each year. Briscoe said that it would be cool to give different tracks an opportunity while Dillon noted that Texas Motor Speedway hasn’t presented the best racing in recent years.
“We should rotate,” Elliott told Bob Pockrass and other media members at Kansas. “I think that’s what that race was initially designed to do, to move around and give fans in the different regions a special event like an All-Star Race. Which I think is really cool. It’s, you know, what other All-Star games do in other forms of sports.
“And to get away from Texas would be a major win for me,” Elliott continued. “Any… The lesser amount of times that we visit Texas, the better. And I would love that. So that would be great.”
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Texas Landed the All-Star Race After Another Schedule Change
The annual All-Star Race, which first took place in 1985, has primarily taken place in North Carolina. 34 of the first 35 took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the second-ever All-Star Race headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
NASCAR moved the 2020 All-Star Race to Bristol Motor Speedway during the COVID-altered season. The top drivers in the sport battled at the historic short track for the $1 million prize while also debuting undercarriage lights.
The track moved to Texas Motor Speedway in 2021 in a move that coincided with a big schedule change. NASCAR added Circuit of the Americas to the schedule and took away one of Texas Motor Speedway’s points-paying races. The sanctioning body made up for the loss by giving the Fort Worth track the All-Star Race.
Circuit of the Americas returned to the Cup Series schedule for the 2022 season, which meant that Texas Motor Speedway only had one points-paying race for the second consecutive year. In response, the All-Star Race returned to the track.
“I would like to see it move, in general,” Hamlin said ahead of the Kansas Speedway race. “I felt the year we did it in Bristol brought some electricity, brought some interest. It was different from the norm, but there’s contracts, right? SMI owns the date, and they can take it to whatever track they would like to see it.”
Texas Motor Speedway Remains a Mystery
There are several drivers that would prefer to see the All-Star Race move to a different location, especially based on the recent races at the track. However, no one knows if there will be better action in 2022.
The Next Gen car has seemingly revitalized tracks that previously split the fanbase. Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway all topped 90% approval in the weekly Good Race poll from The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck. Kurt Busch’s win at Kansas, in particular, became the highest-rated race at the track in the history of Gluck’s poll.
Texas Motor Speedway is another intermediate track with concerns about the product on display. however, there is a chance that the new cars will lead to a more exciting style of racing as the top drivers battle for $1 million.