All Star Saturday Preview: This Race Could Get Crazy!

Tom Baker Cup, Featured, Month of May 0 Comments

CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR made the decision on Friday to hold a special combined one-hour practice session for both the All-Star Open cars and those who are already in tonight’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race.  Kyle Larson the fastest time in his Credit One bank Chevy at 173.305 mph, but it’s hard to know how much being the fastest car matters because there was a ton of pack racing and passing and moving around but not everyone’s tires had the same amount of wear.

Thirty of the 38 cars who took laps in practice were at or above 170 mph, with the fastest eight on the speed charts averaging 172 mph or better.  Those cars included Larson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman.

What kind of racing will we see when the All-Star Open kicks things off today?  Nobody really knows for sure, but Wallace’s remarks on Twitter may give us a hint.  ” Dude, this race is gonna be insane tonight,” he said. “Real life Mario kart rainbow road type insane. Should be fun! Hope were in it for the cool million!”

Ty Dillon seemed to share Wallace’s opinion, remarking on his Twitter account that “This new package is pretty dang fun!”.  At the very least, it has provided a fresh spark of enthusiasm for

Joey Logano went into a bit more depth, telling the media in a lunchtime press conference that, “As tires fall off it gets harder to stay on the bottom and you end up getting used up and passed.  It will be interesting to see how things work when everyone’s on new tires or tires that have similar wear.  We’re going to crash some stuff tonight.  In practice we’re good at giving each other room, but toward the end of the race when business picks up…it’s the All-Star race and there’s a million bucks on the line.  When there’s that much on the line there’s going to be some aggressive racing.  It’s going to get chaotic pretty quick.”

The All-Star Open is a three-stage race, with segments of 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps.  Each stage winner will qualify for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.  Twenty one cars are scheduled to take the green for the Open.  The lineup will be as follows…

Row 1 – Aric Almirola, Erik Jones
Row 2 – Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott
Row 3 – Paul Menard, William Byron
Row 4 – Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace
Row 5 – A.J. Allmendinger, David Ragan
Row 6 – Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell
Row 7 – Matt DiBenedetto, Ty Dillon
Row 8 – Corey LaJoie, Ross Chastain
Row 9 – Landon Cassill, Gray Gaulding
Row 10 – B.J. McCleod, Reed Sorenson
Row 11 – Timmy Hill

The All-Star Open is scheduled to begin at 6pm eastern time.  Both that race and the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race will be televised live on Fox Sports 1.  The All-Star Race will get the green flag at 8pm.  That race will feature segments of 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps.

The lineup for tonight’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, pending the addition of those cars that qualify out of the Open, is as follows…

Row 1 – Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse
Row 2 – Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick
Row 3 – Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Blaney
Row 4 – Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski
Row 5 – Austin Dillon, Joey Logano
Row 6 – Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray
Row 7 – Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin
Row 8 – Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson
Row 9 – Kasey Kahne

PHOTO CREDIT:  Chris Murdock

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