The rules for automatic eligibility for NASCAR's All-Star Race are fairly simple considering the ever-changing rules of the race itself. If you won a Sprint Cup race in 2009 or in the first 12 races of 2010, you're in. Currently, that's 14 drivers.
If you're a past champion who didn't win a race during that time frame, Bobby Labonte, you're in, too. And if you've won the All-Star race in the last 10 years but didn't qualify under the first two provisions, you're eligible, too. That's Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Can you hear the collective exhale from Junior Nation?)
Most years, those provisions cover most every star driver in the Cup Series. This year? Not so much. Drivers such as Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya are currently on the outside looking in.
And if neither of them win a race over the course of the next six races, at least two of them will miss the All-Star race entirely. The top two finishers in the Sprint Showdown advance to the All-Star race, along with the winner of the fan vote. It is possible — but not likely — that all five will miss the race.
So if you're a fan of Martin Truex Jr. or any of the drivers mentioned who aren't eligible, you may want to vote as many times as possible, because otherwise, you may be left without a driver to cheer for on May 22.