Charlotte is now considered the NASCAR capital/headquarters, so their annual All-Star race is held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, built in 1959. Most drivers are positive about this 1.5 mile quad-oval track, although NASCAR’s new ‘low downforce’ package has turned each track into a new experience this season, so questions always remain.
It’s been raining on & off all weekend and the track is slick, so “if you’re tight, you’re gonna be tighter and if you’re loose, you’re gonna be looser.”
Fifteen past champions and top-winning drivers are automatically entered into the All-Star race, which fields only 20 cars– half the normal field. Here are their practice results for starting position:
This All-Star race has no ‘Cup points’ attached, but rewards $1,000,000 to the winner. NASCAR gets back to its ‘Chase for the Cup’ next weekend with the Coca-Cola 600, which runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway every Memorial Day weekend. This week is supposed to be the ‘relaxed’ weekend, although it’s filled with plenty of NASCAR promotional work for its top drivers.
The rest of the regular NASCAR field must qualify for the 5 remaining spots in a ‘shoot-out’ race, which this year is formatted as a 3-segmented race. Each segment winner earns a spot in the All-Star race. Also, the top two ‘fan vote’ winners get in. Danica Patrick’s clout assures her a spot, as the top vote-getter. Still, the fan vote winners aren’t announced by NASCAR until after the shoot-out qualifier, so Patrick must participate, even though everyone knows she’s easily an All-Star.
Chase Elliott narrowly loses the final shoot-out segment to Kyle Larsen. Then it is announced he (along with Patrick) have received a ‘fan vote’ spot. In fact, NASCAR announces that Chase Elliott was the ‘fan vote’ winner, with Danica Patrick (evidentially deducted several million votes) as the runner-up. Note that no actual vote totals are released. 
Above were the shoot-out results, with Trevor Bayne & Greg Biffle (listed at the bottom) winning the first two segments, rounding out the 20-car field. I’m in favor of reducing the grid size, so I wish NASCAR would use this exact same format every week, as it would keep much of the trash off the track.
Danica Patrick (stunned, thankful & amazed that she was selected again [!] by the fans), has a video thanking everybody up on her Facebook page within an hour.
Update 5-22-16: The All-Star Race was rain-delayed, and had a crazy new format which no one really understood, so I skipped it. It turns out I was quite correct, as “dumbest format ever” and “no one knew what was going on” were the most-common post-race complaints from drivers. While it is an All-Star showcase, certain drivers still have to be more careful than others, otherwise they risk being heavily fined by NASCAR elite. Note the nifty driving by #10 Danica Patrick who came through clean when leading vote-getter (according to NASCAR) #24 Chase Elliott ‘checked-up’ suddenly, causing a crash. It’s all discussed & shown in this link .
There were 19 NASCAR All-Stars, and one rock-star on the track in Charlotte last night.
She’ll be on display again @ CMS next weekend for the gruelling 400-lap (600 mile!) contest. How about a ‘hats off’ to a true American hero for Memorial Day weekend?