NASCAR: Adding Stars To All-Star Race Would Be A Game-Changer

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Coming out of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the talk was about how NASCAR needs to fix the format of the race. While that might be true, changing the race format isn’t all that NASCAR needs to do.

NASCAR is not like other sports, it’s a fact that we all know but also one that many need to be reminded of from time to time. Since NASCAR is different, their all-star weekend is different as well. One of the draws of all-star games in other sports is the fact that it puts together athletes that normally would not have the chance to play together. There is a lot to be said for a game that features Tom Brady passing to Antonio Brown, an outfield that features Mike Trout and Jose Bautista and players like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant on the same team.

NASCAR is different because it gives fans this every weekend. Every race all of the big names in NASCAR are on the track competing against each other. While this is what makes NASCAR great, it’s also what hurts NASCAR’s all-star weekend. Essentially all-star weekend is just a shorter race with a smaller field of drivers. NASCAR has added wrinkles to the format to make it more but in the end the race is a smaller version of that fans are already getting.

It’s for this reason that NASCAR needs to do something more with their all-star weekend aside from tweaking the race format. NASCAR needs to capitalize on the all-star name and bring in some stars that NASCAR fans don’t get to see on a regular basis.

How cool would it have been if Jeff Gordon ran in the 2016 NASCAR All-Star Race? Wouldn’t it be great to see Tony Stewart come back in 2017 and run in the event? What if NASCAR put a driver like Rusty Wallace or Mark Martin behind the wheel? If NASCAR wanted to they could even go outside of the stock car world and bring in drivers from IndyCar or Formula One.

NASCAR’s all-star weekend should be filled with things that fans can only see once a year. The $1 million dollar prize is great but the event needs more than that. The huge monetary prize combined with a more streamlined format and the addition of stars of the past, future or from other series is the perfect recipe for a great all-star race.

As far as brining in other drivers, it could be as simple as one per season. Gordon in 2016 and Stewart in 2017 would make sense and be fairly simple to pull off. Obviously older drivers or drivers from other series could be tricky but NASCAR would have a year between races to work out the logistics. Maybe each manufacturer takes turns bringing a driver in, maybe the bigger teams take turns bringing a driver in, maybe each season the three manufacturers each bring a driver in to add to the field.

The possibilities truly are endless and adding more star power to an all-star race is never a bad idea. It also never hurts to add stars from another series to your all-star race as that could bring in new viewers that NASCAR might not have had previously.

More racing: NASCAR: Five Things That All-Star Weekend Taught Us

What drivers would you like to see run in the 2017 NASCAR All-Star Race? Be sure to comment below and let us know what you think. You can also reach out to us via our various social media platforms.