May 23 – It’s Race Night – the NASCAR All Star Race!!! Our seats were in the Diamond Tower, across the highway from our camp site, but too far to walk. The Camp Host sent a golf cart to take us to Gate 16. We took the elevator to our level and had really good seats. We could see the entire track, except Pit Road.
Here is Ken enjoying the Race. He's having so much fun!! Notice his red Scanner Headphones. We found two pair of “collectible” headphones previously used by one of the Pit Crews for only $5 a pair at a Racers’ Yard Sale!! We already had a Scanner but had borrowed the Headphones from Ken’s son, Mike. Not any more!!!
We wanted to go to the All Star Race because it is a different format than the other races. It consisted of only 100 Laps. First there was a shoot out of 20 Laps where drivers who were not qualified for the Race battled it out to get into the Race. Only the first and second places went into the All Star Race. A third driver was voted in by the fans and within minutes after the Shoot Out, it was announced that Carl Edwards had been voted into the race by the fans!!
The Shoot Out was followed by the All Star Race. First, a race of 30 Laps. Then, two races of 20 Laps each. That’s 90 Laps. And Jimmy Johnson dominated most of them. The other drivers could not even threaten him!! There was a 10 minute Pit Stop before the final 10 Laps when Pit Crews were able to work on the cars but were not allowed to change tires. After that Pit Stop they ran two Laps and made another Required Pit Stop to change tires. Pit Crew skill and speed were important during this pit stop because the way the drivers left Pit Road was the way they lined up for the balance of the race. Jimmy Johnson went into the pits in the lead, BUT our two guys – Denny Hamlin and Kyle Bush -- came out first and second!!!
Here they are behind the Pace Car after the final Pit Stop. (The two blue cars.)
And here they are again after the race had begun. Still one and two!!!
Unfortunately, the two of them raced each other too hard and had a little mishap during at about the middle of the race. That opened the way for Kyle’s brother, Kurt Bush to streak to the front with Jimmy Johnson on his bumper!! A few laps later Kyle blew a tire and ran into the wall. He was out of the race! After two more cautions during the last Laps of the race, Kurt Bush was still in the lead, but everybody thought Jimmy Johnson would win. But low and behold, in the final lap of the Race Jimmy Johnson wrecked!!! Kurt Bush won the NASCAR All Star Race for 2010 and Denny Hamlin came in second. It was a great evening at the races!! We are so glad we went.