Fourth All-Star Win for Jimmie Johnson
While Kyle and Kurt Busch dominated the first four segments of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night, Jimmie Johnson crossed the finish line in first place, adding another victory to his impressive record which now includes four All-Star victories. Fans turned out in their thousands to watch the race, with millions watching on live television, but although supporting the NASCAR event, there’s a growing consensus that something needs to be done to liven up what has become a predictable race. Even Johnson conceded that some changes need to be made to the race, noting that in the first four segments of the race drivers were using different strategies which made the race exciting, adding that on the last segment options are limited to make the multiple passes needed to win. Johnson also gave credit to his pit crew for their speedy work on a mandatory four-tire pit stop prior to the final segment which put him beside Kasey Kahne for the last green flag.
With the Coca-Cola 600 up ahead, it has been noted that the recent resurfacing of the track at Charlotte changes the handling of the cars. Johnson revealed that the previous track was so familiar to him and his team that they knew what adjustments needed to be made to the car at each stage of the race and time of day, all of which has changed now. Johnson is being cited as the favorite to win the Coca-Cola 600, with other top contenders including Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards.
Among the strategies being put forward to liven up the competition for future All-Star events, has been to move the race to Bristol Motor Speedway – quite a drastic step when considering that 28 of the 29 editions of the event have been held at Charlotte. The suggestion to move the race came as a result of a Twitter survey conducted by Clint Bowyer on Sunday. Johnson’s crew chief Chad Kraus offered another possible solution, which he admitted would not likely be seen as viable by Goodyear, and that is to make a softer tire compound to wear more quickly on the track surface at Charlotte, thereby compensating for the track being less abrasive than others.