Mar 15, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
While this will be a very crucial year politically at the ballot box for both Democrats and Republicans, there’s another party that will be courting your vote over the next two months.
Call it the NASCAR Sprint party, as Sunday marks the opening of two months of voting for your favorite driver to compete in the Sprint All-Star Race on May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Balloting for the Sprint Fan Vote opens at 8 a.m. ET Sunday and closes at 7 pm ET on Friday, May 16, one day before the green flag drops on the sport’s biggest non-points paying event.
There’s obviously a lot at stake for the drivers, with a $1 million prize to whoever survives the multiple segments and wins the All-Star event.
But this year there will also be a lot at stake – as well as a great deal of incentive – for fans that will be voting.
For the first time in the history of the Fan Vote, a sweepstakes will be held that will award one lucky voter a trip for two to any 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race of his or her choice, as well as other prizes.
Voting is not a one-and-done proposition. Fans can vote as often as they want to determine the starting lineup for the All-Star race.
Fans can cast their votes in three different ways:
1 Download the NASCAR Mobile application to your cell phone. Votes cast that way will count as double towards a driver’s total.
2 Vote online at NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote.
3 Visit and vote in person at The Sprint Experience, located in the midway of all NASCAR Sprint Cup events.
Danica Patrick won last year’s Sprint Fan Vote with nearly a half-million ballots cast in her favor.
The winning Sprint Fan Vote driver will be revealed after the Sprint Showdown on May 16. The winner must complete the Showdown to be eligible for the next day’s main event, the Sprint All-Star Race.
To be eligible for the Fan Vote, drivers must have attempted to qualify for last month’s Daytona 500 as well as race in the Sprint Showdown.
Drivers who win a Sprint Cup race this season automatically earn a berth in the All-Star race. As a result, Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick and Las Vegas winner Brad Keselowski are already in the All-Star race field.
Check out the video below that features Sprint Cup drivers AJ Allmendinger, rookies Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. campaigning for your vote (and, in a good way, imploring you not to vote for Patrick).
Or, in Allmendinger’s case, he’s begging for your vote.
“If you get tired of voting for Danica, you can cast your Sprint Fan vote for me for the All-Star race,” Allmendinger says in the promotional video below. “I’m charming, I’m funny, handsome. I know Danica’s everybody’s favorite, but I need some votes, too. So vote for me, please. I’m begging you.”
Also providing their endorsements are celebrities Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil (for Stenhouse), comedian Carrot Top (for Danica) and Swan Racing part-owner and rapper 50 Cent (who else but his driver, Parker Kligerman).
Austin Dillon also promises that if fans vote him in and he wins the All-Star race, he’ll donate the entire $1 million prize to the Armed Forces Foundation.
As they say in Chicago, “Vote early and vote often.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
The 30 drivers (as of March 15) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote are:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Video from NASCAR America
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