All-Star: GM Racing preview

Team Chevy Monte Carlo Drivers Set to Make Fireworks Under the Lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway Jimmie Johnson and No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo Team Set to Put Exclamation Point on Dominance at Their House Concord, NC - There may not be precious...

Team Chevy Monte Carlo Drivers Set to Make Fireworks Under the Lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway

Jimmie Johnson and No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo Team Set to Put Exclamation Point on Dominance at Their House

Concord, NC - There may not be precious NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (NNCS) points on the line, but with a total purse of over $3.2 million up for grabs, fans will be treated to nonstop action in the 22nd running of the Nextel All-Star Challenge, May 20, 2006, at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS).

Chevy Monte Carlo drivers have taken the Bowtie to victory lane in the Challenge 11 of the 21 previous races.   The format of the event is designed strictly for the interaction and entertainment of the fans with three segments to the race, 40 laps, 30 laps and the final 20 laps.  The rules for each segment to the event.   The field for the Challenge includes race winning drivers and car owners from the 2005 and 2006 NNCS season, NNCS champions from the past 10 years (1995-2005) who are active drivers and have competed in at least one event during the 2005 or 2006 season, past winners of the Challenge and the winner of the Open held prior to the Challenge.  Fans vote in one driver among the top 50 in Cup series driver points who is not already in the Challenge field. The winning driver will be announced Saturday morning.   Qualifying for the Challenge is also unique. Eligible drivers and teams will run three laps with a pit stop and a four tire change.  The field is set by the fastest overall time. Time penalties are accessed for mistakes during the pit stop.   Any driver and team not qualified for the Challenge can run the Open in hopes of winning the event and scoring a coveted starting spot in the Challenge.  Qualifying for the Open is the usual format of two-laps.   On the heels of the announcement that the successful team of Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports and Lowe's will continue through the 2010 season, the current NNCS points leader has more than dollar signs in his eyes.   Johnson has won five of the last six points races at LMS as well as 2003 Challenge. His record behind the wheel of his No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo at "his" house speaks for itself.   But, 2005 NNCS Champion Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Monte Carlo and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo should not be counted out when the final charge for the big prize heads into turn one on the final lap.  Stewart with one points race victory at LMS is always a contender but has never won the Challenge. Earnhardt won the Challenge in his 2000 NNCS rookie season.   Practice for the All-Star event will be held on Friday, May 19, 2006, with qualifying for both the Open and the Challenge scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m. on Friday evening.  SPEED TV and PRN Radio will provide live coverage of the action.   The two-segment Open will start at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.  The Challenge will start at approximately 9:00 p.m.  Live television coverage will be provided by FX with PRN Radio broadcasting the radio coverage.   -gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Tony Stewart , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports