NASCAR: Sprint Showdown – Everything You Need To Know Before You Watch

Tom Baker Carolinas Racing, Featured, MidSouth, Midwest, NASCAR, Northeast, Southeast, West 0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. – Story by RaceChaser Senior Editor Tom Baker – Photo Courtesy Jamie Squire/Getty Images –

Today is the start of something big at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series N.C. Education Lottery 200 and the Sprint Showdown will be contested later this evening.

Want to know what you need to know about the Showdown?  Read on…

The Sprint Showdown is a “qualifying race” for tomorrow night’s NASCAR All Star Race.  The Showdown will be 40 laps (60 miles) total but will be run in two 20-lap segments this year.  New this year is that the winners of both segments will qualify into tomorrow night’s Million Dollar to-win show.

After the Showdown is over and the two segment winners determined, a final addition to tomorrow night’s All Star Race will come from the fan vote.

Segment one’s winner will not race in segment two.  After segment one, a yellow flag will be displayed and the teams competing in the second segment have a choice of whether or not to pit for tires, fuel or chassis adjustments.  If you pit between segments you will lose your track position, so it will be very interesting to see how each team plays the “strategy game” tonight.

Caution laps in segment two will not count.  We will see 20 green flag laps to the finish.

This weekend is not about points.  It’s about winning a whole lot of money.  NASCAR has made some changes this year to include more cars in the All Star Race and to put the emphasis on winning the Showdown segments.

Showdown qualifying will be done in two sessions.  Round one will be 20 minutes and set positions 13 on back for the Showdown.  Round two will be only five minutes and will set positions one through twelve for the Showdown.

Austin Dillon was the polesitter for last year’s Showdown.  Clint Bowyer won the race, with A.J. Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five.  Allmendinger is already qualified for Saturday night’s All Star Race via his win last season at Watkins Glen.

Ambrose has been replaced in the Petty Motorsports No. 9 this year by Sam Hornish, who is competing tonight in the Showdown.  Bowyer, Mears and Almirola are also in tonight’s field.

29 drivers have taken track time today in preparation for the Showdown.  Here is how the Final Practice order shaped up, courtesy of NASCAR statistics.

1 – Austin Dillon
2 – Greg Biffle
3 – Martin Truex, Jr.
4 – Paul Menard
5 – Danica Patrick
6 – David Ragan
7- Clint Bowyer
8 – Kyle Larson
9 – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
10 – Chase Elliott
11 – Casey Mears
12 – Justin Allgaier
13 – Sam Hornish
14 – Mike Bliss
15 – Michael McDowell
16 – Trevor Bayne
17 – Alex Bowman
18 – David Gilliland
19 – Cole Whitt
20 – Landon Cassill
21 – Josh Wise
22 – Michael Annett
23 – Matt DiBenedetto
24 – Jeb Burton
25- Jeff Green
26- J.J. Yeley
27 – Tanner Berryhill
28- Brendan Gaughan
29 – Alex Kennedy

Fox Sports 1 will televise the Showdown tonight at 7 pm (EDT) with the N.C. Education Lottery 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series being televised shortly after the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown at approximately 8:30 pm (EDT).

If you cannot watch the broadcast, RaceChaser Online will have live Twitter updates throughout the weekend @RaceChaserNews or you can keep up with RaceChaser Online on Facebook and our website at

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