WHERE HE STANDS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped one spot, from third to fourth, after Darlington. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 64 points, is 5 points behind third-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads fifth-ranked Clint Bowyer by 10 points.
ALL-STAR RECORD: 13 career starts, 1 win, 4 top-fives, 10 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: First in 2000. Finished fifth in last year's race.
LOOKING AHEAD: It's been 13 years since Earnhardt won the All-Star Race (then known as The Winston), in his first try at it, no less, in 2000. While he's done well since, with a total of 10 top-10 finishes in 13 career starts, he's never been able to repeat that win from 2000. Could Saturday finally be the year he does so? "The All-Star weekend is a great weekend," Earnhardt said. "It's just a lot of fun. It's just an awesome race. It's got a lot of great stories and a lot of history. We'd like to be a part of that this weekend and win the race, so we're going to work really hard. I'm looking forward to getting in the car and seeing what kind of speed we've got and what kind of race car we've got."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt had a strong car in last year's race and challenged for the win. Unfortunately, the triumph went to teammate Jimmie Johnson, while Earnhardt finished fifth.
ETC.: Earnhardt's average career start in the All-Star Race is 14.2 and his average finish is an excellent 8.4.
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Clint Bowyer remained in fifth place for the second straight week after Darlington (and after most of Matt Kenseth's points were returned to him on appeal). Bowyer is 74 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, trails fourth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10 points and leads sixth-ranked Brad Keselowski by 23 points.
ALL-STAR RECORD: 4 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-fives, 0 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: 12th in 2009. Was 14th in last year's race.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer has struggled in all four of his previous appearances in the All-Star Race, something he hopes to change this Saturday. Said Bowyer, "The Sprint All-Star race is such a great event for everyone involved - it normally brings out great racing, tempers and a mad dash to the finish. It's different than the races each weekend in about every way. You have to win a race to get invited. It's a pure money event - points don't mean a thing. The format changes a little each year, but the only thing you have to remember is the guy that finishes first in the last 10 laps segment is walking home with a lot of cash. And I love cash! And so do all the other guys and we'll do about anything we can to get to that finish line first. There is over $1 million on the line - and two million if you win every segment. It is going to be crazy from start to finish. It's going to be one heck of a show for the fans and I hope to be standing there with a mountain of cash at the end."
LOOKING BACK: Bowyer was 14th in last year's race and never was really much of a threat.
ETC.: Bowyer is ranked an ignominious 18th of the 19 drivers in the All-Star Race field (not including the two drivers that will transfer from the Sprint Showdown or the one driver that wins the fans' vote), just ahead of Talladega winner David Ragan. Bowyer's career average start in the All-Star Race is 10.0 and average finish is 15.0.
2 BRAD KESELOWSKI, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After Matt Kenseth's points were reinstated on appeal, Keselowski dropped one spot from fifth to sixth, which is where he remained after Darlington. Only now he's tied for sixth with Kasey Kahne, who moved up one spot and into a tie with Keselowski. Both drivers trail points leader Jimmie Johnson by 97 points, fifth-ranked Clint Bowyer by 23 points and lead eighth-ranked Kyle Busch by one point.
ALL-STAR RECORD: 4 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-fives, 2 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in 2012. Finished second in last year's race.
LOOKING AHEAD: While Keselowski has been competitive this season, he's not really had the kind of big splash that a defending Sprint Cup champion should have. He hasn't even won a race yet. That's why winning Saturday night's race is so important to him, with the potential of momentum that could carry over to the regular season points-paying races that are to follow. "The All-Star Race, to me, is one of the marquee races of the year, a chance to prove you're the best against the best. That race really sticks out and it pays a lot of money too. I think we have a good chance to win it."
LOOKING BACK: Keselowski came so close to winning last year's All-Star Race, finishing second to winner Jimmie Johnson. However, while he wound up runner-up, Keselowski can somewhat point to his finish in last year's All-Star Race as part of the linchpin that launched him towards eventually winning the Sprint Cup championship at season's end.
ETC.: Keselowski's career average start in the All-Star Race is 13.0 and his average finish is 11.0.
5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Kasey Kahne climbed one spot, from seventh to a tie for sixth in the standings with Brad Keselowski. Both drivers trail points leader Jimmie Johnson by 97 points, fifth-ranked Clint Bowyer by 23 points and lead eighth-ranked Kyle Busch by 1 point.
ALL-STAR RECORD: 9 career starts, 1 win, 1 top-five, 3 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: First in 2008. Finished ninth in last year's race.
LOOKING AHEAD: Even though he won in 2008, Kahne has not had an overall great record in the All-Star Race. He's looking forward to Saturday's race and had this to say: "One of my favorite (memories) was being voted into the All-Star Race by the fans in 2008 and going on to win the race. If it wasn't for the fans, I wouldn't have even made the race, so that victory was all about the fans."
LOOKING BACK: Kahne challenged for a while in last year's All-Star Race but faded near the end to an eventual ninth-place finish.