Kevin Harvick's victory in last season's NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge meant more than a $1 million payoff and a nice trophy.
It also marked Richard Childress Racing's first trip to Victory Lane at Lowe's Motor Speedway since the 1993 season, when the late Dale Earnhardt won the all-star race and the Coca-Cola 600, his last victories at the track.
Harvick stopped the winless streak, but RCR is still approaching 15 years without a victory in a points race at its home track.
All three of RCR's drivers are entered in tonight's all-star race, and all for winning races. Harvick won the Daytona 500 and the all-star race last season; Clint Bowyer won two weeks ago at Richmond, Va.; and Jeff Burton won this season at Bristol, Tenn.
Any of the three could put together the necessary combination of speed, pit stops and hard racing to come away the winner. Scoring a victory in one of the track's two Cup points races might be another matter.
Neither Bowyer nor Harvick has won a Cup or Nationwide series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and, although Burton has two Cup wins and three Nationwide wins at the track, only one -- last October in the Nationwide race -- has come during his tenure with RCR.
"Charlotte has notoriously not been a place where we run very well, and we ran really well at the all-star race last year. We ran good at the 600 for the 75 laps we ran before the big accident," Harvick said.
"It's just been one of those places that's been harder for us to get a hold of. To win at Charlotte was a pretty big event for us. The all-star race is one of those races where we all want to win and have on our resume."
This season, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch have won most of the races, but RCR has all three drivers in the top nine in the standings.
While the organization has been a model of consistency, it has not been leading the way. In all, the three drivers have led 245 of the more than 3,600 laps raced this season.
"We're doing a good job. It's not like we're not fast enough to put ourselves in position to win races, but there are other teams that have been able to lead more laps," said Burton, who is second in points, 79 behind Busch.
"Carl (Edwards), the (Joe) Gibbs (Racing) cars, you know those teams have been able to lead more laps and put themselves into position to win more often. We're not in denial about that and I won't tell you that's not an issue for us.
"That's the area right now that we need the most improvement."
"I don't think we're where we need to be performance-wise as far as leading laps and having a race that was dominant. We went to our best race track (Richmond) and ran eighth," he said.
"We feel like we've taken that step from where we were four years ago and completely in the back of the pack and made that better to where we are in the front of the pack and making our cars better."
The changes necessary to join those who take turns leading the field each week are within reach, Bowyer said.
"Richard (Childress, team owner) moved a lot of people, spent a lot more money to make sure we had the right things to get the job done," Bowyer said. "It is no more `Richard, give us 30 more horsepower and we'll go out and win these races.'
"There is no more of that. We just need about five percent in every category right now and I think we will be where we need to be."