As anticipation builds for this year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, it's time again for fans to help vote one eligible driver into the annual event, which airs live on SPEED, Saturday, May 21, from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Sprint Fan Vote kicks off at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 23 and continues until 5 p.m. ET May 21, marking the only time each season when fans help set the starting lineup for a NASCAR event. Race fans can vote multiple times, and votes cast on Sprint and Nextel handsets will again count double toward a driver's vote total.
The driver accumulating the most votes, who also finishes the Sprint Showdown qualifying race on the lead lap and with a car in "raceable" condition (as determined by NASCAR competition), will earn a spot in the prestigious all-star field.
"The positive response we've received around the Sprint Fan Vote has been overwhelming," said Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint. "Passionate NASCAR fans cast a record 1.5 million votes last year, making the Sprint Fan Vote a crucial element of what we feel is the most fan-friendly all-star event in all of sports."
Sprint customers can vote using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on their Sprint or Nextel devices. To download the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile app, available at no additional cost with any data plan, Sprint customers should text "NASCAR" to 7777. Customers can also vote by texting "VOTE" to 7777 on their Sprint or Nextel devices (standard text messaging and data rates apply).
Fans also may cast votes by logging on to www.nascar.com or visiting the Sprint Experience display, located in the midway at all Cup Series races.
In 2008, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to win the All-Star Race after being voted into the event via the Sprint Fan Vote.
Other winners of the Fan Vote include: Ken Schrader (2004), Martin Truex Jr. (2005), Kyle Petty (2006), Kenny Wallace (2007), Kahne (2008), Joey Logano (2009) and Carl Edwards (2010).
"It was a real honor to win the Sprint Fan Vote last year," Edwards said. "You look up at that grandstand and see all the people who helped get you in the race and it's very humbling. It definitely motivated me to do a better job for them in the race."
Eligibility for participation is restricted to those drivers who have been approved by NASCAR for Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, finishing in the top 50 of the final 2010 Cup Series points standings or attempting to qualify for the 2011 Daytona 500.
Tune in May 21 on SPEED to see who will win the Sprint Fan Vote and a chance at the $1 million prize offered to the victor of the All-Star Race. Sprint customers can watch the announcement, as well as SPEED'S coverage of the All-Star Race, on their Sprint phones via NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.