Thursday, May 17, 7 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena – Kicking off the festivities, the eighth edition of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will take place Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena (SPEED to televise on delayed basis beginning at 8 p.m.). This competition between 24 of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews features the “unsung heroes” of the sport in a popular tournament-style battle. The event’s finishing order determines pit selection for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The No. 11 Toyota team is the two-time defending champion.
Those eligible for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge; No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet; No. 9 Stanley Ford; No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota; No. 14 Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevrolet; No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota; No. 16 3M Ford; No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford; No. 18 M&M’s Toyota; No. 20 Home Depot Toyota; No. 21 Good Sam / Camping World Ford; No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet; No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet; No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet; No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet; No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford; No. 39 US Army / Quicken Loans Chevrolet; No. 48 My Lowes Chevrolet; No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet; No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota; No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota; No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet; No. 99 Fastenal Ford.
Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling the Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 745-3000.
Friday, May 18, NASCAR Day – The ninth celebration of NASCAR Day on Friday, May 18, encourages fans to join The NASCAR Foundation’s initiative in the “Pin It Forward” campaign. Fans are invited to connect and share their pride for NASCAR by posting stories and uploading pictures on the Foundation’s Facebook page. To continue raising awareness, fans can visit The NASCAR Foundation’s Facebook page between now and NASCAR Day to “Pin It Forward” with their $20 donation for a pair of commemorative pins – one for yourself, one for a friend. In addition to helping the cause online, fans may post pictures displaying their spirit – and their pins – and share the story of what it means to “Pin It Forward.” Accounts to engage with this promotion are The NASCAR Foundation’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NASCARFoundation, and @NASCAR_FDN on Twitter. The associated Twitter hashtag for this initiative is #NASCARDay.
Friday, May 18, 5 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Coors Light Pole Qualifying. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or log onto www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – SPEED to televise.
Friday, May 18, 8 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – SPEED to televise.
Saturday, May 19, 7:30 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – Sprint Showdown (top two finishers qualify for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race). For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – SPEED to televise.
One final option remains for those not already locked in after the Sprint Showdown, and it’s all in the hands of the fans. The Sprint Fan Vote gives the most loyal fans in all of sports the opportunity to lock in their favorite driver. To vote, click here: http://nas.cr/a32m
Saturday, May 19, 9 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – SPEED to televise.
Those drivers already locked into the main event: Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Regan Smith and Tony Stewart.
Saturday night’s all-star race consists of a unique – and lucrative – format. The race will be run in five segments. The first four segments will be 20 laps each. The fifth and final segment will be a 10-lap dash to the finish, where only green flag laps count. The winners of the first four segments will move to the front of the field and line up in positions 1-4 prior to the field coming to pit road for the final mandatory pit stop prior to Segment 5 (if there is a repeat segment winner, the second-place finisher will start in his place). The winner gets a $1 million payout, and likely more.
Those fans in attendance get an extra treat – a pre-race concert by one of the biggest names in country music, Blake Shelton. Shelton, a three-time GRAMMY nominee and CMA’s reigning Male Vocalist of the Year, will perform prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in the infield between Turns 1 and 2. Admission to the show is free with the purchase of a ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
You can also keep up to date with all the week’s events by following @NASCAR on Twitter (Hashtag: #SprintAllStar) and logging onto www.nascar.com/allstar.
Further major events follow the all-star extravaganza, both taking place in the Charlotte area. Here’s a run of show for next week:
Wednesday, May 23, 6 p.m., NASCAR Hall of Fame – The fourth annual NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day is set for next Wednesday, May 23. Following voting procedures, NASCAR will announce the five inductees who will make up the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee and others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, will meet in a closed session to deliberate and vote on the 25 candidates eligible for this fourth class.
Once again, fans will help decide who earns entry into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To cast your vote, click here: http://nas.cr/bgac
Wednesday’s announcement is once again open to fans who purchase a ticket to the NASCAR Hall of Fame that day. Adult tickets cost $18.95 and the Hall will offer extended hours (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Wednesday.
Thursday, May 24, 7:10 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – SPEED to televise.
Saturday, May 26, 2:45 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – ABC to televise.
Sunday, May 27, 6 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. One of the sport’s crown jewels, NASCAR’s longest race is scheduled for 400 laps and 600 miles. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS or go to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com – FOX to televise.
Country music star Darius Rucker will perform prior to the Coca-Cola 600, immediately following the speedway’s signature military-themed pre-race show.
The Memorial Day Weekend festivities kick off the at-track activation of “NASCAR Unites – An American Salute,” a patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. The initiative, which launched at the White House on April 9, will run through the next six weeks, continuing until the Independence Day race weekend at Daytona International Speedway. To participate in “NASCAR Unites – An American Salutes,” visit www.NASCAR.com/Unites.