Forty years in and the All-Star race is still looking for its identity.   Currently, and maybe, mostly valuably for the sport, are the years it’s used as a live, nearly, full field test session for new ideas.

Since the early days of the event, it has been a victim of its own success.  Darrell Waltrip blowing his engine as he crossed the finish line in the first one.  Earnhardt’s Pass in the Grass.  Rusty Wallace taking our Waltrip and turning him from a villain to a hero.  The first night race and the wild finish with Davey Allison and Kyle Petty.

Those things didn’t happen every year, but they happened often enough that we began to expect something wild like that each year.  The problem is: you can’t make those things happen.  They just do.  And, for a long time, they just haven’t.

Maybe, we need to accept that it just is what it is. Let it be a test session for new ideas and quite trying to manufacture crazy outcomes.  A one million dollar pay day will always get the driver’s attention…even with a bracket challenge on the horizon.