All-Star Colors Each year, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race features several deviations from standard team sponsors and promotions, colors and even car numbers. Several of the teams and drivers breaking from routine during this Saturday’s race include No. 14 Tony Stewart with blue-and-orange Burger King colors; Jimmie Johnson, sporting a new No. 5 with Lowe’s 5% Every Day special colors to go with its sponsor promotion; Mark Martin in new No. 25 Farmers Insurance Group red colors; the No. 42 of Juan Pablo Montoya with Energizer colors to go with a special promotion to be featured just before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race; Carl Edwards, with new black-and-orange Aflac colors; Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser with a new black-white-and-red paint scheme; the No. 24 of Jeff Gordon with its black-and-red DuPont colors; Dale Earnhardt Jr., with the No. 88 featuring a special AMP Energy AMP Up the Music black-and-silver scheme; and also the No. 47 of Bobby Labonte with a new sponsor of  Reese Towpower.

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was on hand in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Center to give an update on the state of the sport as the season enters the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend.

“We got off to a fast start at Daytona with a young dynamic winner,” said France. “This week, with today being NASCAR Day, we are proud of the money we have raised, mostly going to children’s charities, and not to mention the monies just granted to the tornado victims throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Of course, we are also celebrating the NASCAR Hall of Fame – the second class – here on Monday night. It’s a really great class. The community has really supported the events this week. It will be fun for a really and deserving night. I understand that attendance is up for tomorrow night as well as for the Coca-Cola 600 next week, so that is nice to see the track here is doing a good job.

“About competition, which obviously is the centerpiece of what we do, if we could go back to most of last year, we saw a rise in the competition level with lead changes and race winners,” said France. “That has carried on into this year. We have seen a resurgence by some of the drivers who mean the most to our fan base. Obviously, that is Dale Jr.  There has been a lot of excitement of some of the things going on on the track. Competition is tighter. The competition level is higher. Emotions are higher.” 

“A good part of that is exciting and great for the sport. But you have to think of how far that could go. You look at the Kevin Harvick incident with Kyle Busch.  We have had some discussions with Juan Pablo and Ryan Newman. You always look for limits and balance. The most important thing is how tight the competition is. Wins are going to matter as we go into July and August and through the season. Driver like Regan Smith, who may have been counted out before, have a chance at The Chase. I think if you talk to anybody about the competition, you can see how good it is.

“Finally, we had to engage in some reviews of what was going on in the industry,” said France. “We don’t want to put anyone in danger. I think it is important to note that if you look through NASCAR history, that is part of it. We could over-officiate during a 60-year period of time. But you can’t go around with a missile or a weapon. That is what we do. We have to look in areas that are subjective. Obviously, we look at the philosophy of putting it more in the drivers’ hands. If they go over the line we think is there, we’ll deal with that. We want to better serve our fans.”