Drivers run for $1 million payday at All-Star race

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm •  Published: May 16, 2014
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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — It's dash-for-cash, nothing on the line for NASCAR's top drivers but a big payday.

The Sprint All-Star race begs the question: What would a driver do for a cool $1 million?

"If you can reach out and grab somebody you will get pretty aggressive for a million dollars," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the race as a rookie in 2000. He drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team owned by his father, and doesn't believe he ever got his hands on the winning driver's $500,000 purse.

"I don't think I ever saw it," he said. "I was driving for Daddy back then. He got all that money."

The format for the annual All-Star race, held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, often changes. The twist this year is that qualifying will be on Saturday night, two hours before the race. It will consist of single-car runs of three laps with a mandatory four-tire pit stop.

The race is 90 laps, broken down over four 20-lap segments and one 10-lap sprint for the money.

But Matt Kenseth, winner of the 2004 race, doesn't think the big purse gives drivers any more incentive to race hard.

"I think it's about the same as every other week," he said. "I think if you have a chance to win that race and you're right down there to the end, you're going to do everything you can to win that race. If you wreck, you're not going to win. Everybody is going for it."

In present-day NASCAR, a $1 million payday isn't really enough incentive to make a driver go for broke.