CONCORD, N.C. — Clint Bowyer, a usual Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship participant, had to earn a spot in the $1 million Sprint Cup All-Star Race.
It wasn't a surprise when he won Friday night's Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway to earn an automatic transfer into today's All-Star Race.
Bowyer found himself in the Showdown because he failed to win a race last season, when he was ranked second most of the year. He wasn't all that pleased to be racing for the right to be in the All-Star Race.
"I wasn't very thrilled about being in this race," he said.
"We haven't run well, haven't run where we're capable of running, and it's been frustrating. It's a humbling sport. It always has been. I'm a big boy. If this is where we are, we've got to go out there and race hard and qualify into that race and become an all-star."
Josh Wise upset Danica Patrick to win the fan vote and a spot in the All-Star Race. Wise was supported by the online community at reddit.com which partly sponsors his Phil Parsons Racing team, and the digital currency Dogecoin.
Wise finished 18th in the Showdown. Patrick finished 10th. Wise will have a tough time pulling off another big surprise in a field of 19 race winners, Bowyer and A.J. Allmendinger, who finished second in the Showdown to earn the other transfer spot.
TRUCKS: Kyle Busch continued his dominance at Charlotte in the truck series, winning at the 1.5-mile track for the fourth time in the past five years. Busch has won all three truck races he has entered this season, taking the opener at Daytona and last week's race at Kansas. Busch led 130 of 134 laps with an average speed of 183.773 mph. There were nine cautions — including one as the white flag dropped — in the wreck-filled race. Series leader Matt Crafton was second, followed by Brad Keselowski, John Wes Townley and Timothy Peters.
INDIANAPOLIS 500: Ed Carpenter had the fastest speed on Fast Friday of the Indianapolis 500. Last year's Indy 500 pole-sitter reached 230.522 mph in just eight laps before practice concluded due to inclement weather. Helio Castroneves was second at 229.843, and Marco Andretti was third at 229.419. Rain delayed the start for almost three hours. Qualifying begins today in a new two-day format.
NHRA: Alexis DeJoria topped Funny Car qualifying (4.012 seconds, 313.95 mph) and Erica Enders-Stevens led Pro Stock (6.530, 212.59) in the Summer Nationals at Commerce, Ga. Steve Torrence took the Top Fuel lead (3.765, 321.50), and Eddie Krawiec led Pro Stock Motorcycle (6.852, 195.17).