The early portion of the NASCAR season is officially over.  This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series won't be racing for points and instead showcase its top drivers in the All-Star Race.

While the series is still two short of being halfway to the Chase, this event serves as a mid-point in the regular season.  Coming out of the All-Star weekend, the races will count off faster than desired for drivers still looking to secure a spot in the postseason.  The temperatures will warm up and so will the competition for a berth in the Chase.

For the top contenders, it kicks off this weekend.  Sure, they won't be accumulating points, but they will be battling for a $1-million prize.

Here's are three drivers to keep an eye on in this showcasing event:

Green Flag - Jimmie Johnson

Last week's win at Kansas gives Johnson five consecutive finishes of third or better with two wins in that stretch.  He's the all-time winningest driver in the All-Star Race with four, so he certainly knows how to get up front in this unique format.  He's a clear favorite.

Yellow Flag - Jeff Gordon

He's won the All-Star Race on three separate occasions, but hasn't finished in the top-10 in the event since 2006 (an eight-race drought).  He seems to struggle with this format, but should bring a fast car to the track.  He's finished in the top-10 in seven of the last eight races this season and would love to show off in what will be the final All-Star Race of his illustrious career.

Red Flag - Martin Truex Jr.

Despite his strong run with 10 top-10s in 11 starts so far this season, Truex did not qualify for the All-Star Race. because he hasn't won a race in the past year.  He'll need to rely on the Fan Vote or race his way in by winning the Sprint Showdown on Friday.  Either way, his odds of making the All-Star Race are less than likely.