Championship points are off the menu this weekend as Cup Series stars prepare for the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.
This exhibition event has a coveted grand prize: a $1 million payout. Get set for Sunday‘s All-Star Open (5:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) before the night‘s main event (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with all the info you need to know:
Twenty drivers are locked into the All-Star Race, while the 16 drivers who haven‘t earned their way in yet will compete in the All-Star Open.
The weekend starts with a 15-20 minute practice session for Open cars preceding the All-Stars’ equal session. Qualifying for the Open features a traditional single-car, single-lap run as cars go out in reverse order of the current owner points, running one round to set the lineup for their 50-lap race.
All-Star qualifying will be split into two rounds. The first round is traditional single-car, single-lap qualifying. The eight fastest drivers will then advance to the second round — where things get wild.
The eight drivers will be placed in an elimination bracket, which will feature two cars staged in adjacent pit stalls near the end of pit road. At the sound of an alert, each pit crew will perform a four-tire stop, and then at the drop of the jack, drivers will exit their pit stalls (with no speed limit) onto the track. The first car back to the start-finish line advances to the next round, and the final pairing competes for the pole.
The 16 teams competing in the All-Star Open are fighting for four spots that will advance them to the All-Star Race.
Their 50-lap race will be split into three stages of 20-20-10 laps. Each stage winner will advance to the All-Star Race in addition to the fan-vote winner. If the fan-vote winner advances through a stage win, the driver with the next highest vote count advances to the All-Star Race.
The main event is a 125-lap dash split into four stages of 25-25-25-50 laps. Break down the format here:
Stage 1 (25 laps): Stage 1 winner will start on the pole in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stages 2 and 3.
Stage 2 (25 laps): Stage 2 winner starts second in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
Special Stage Break (Pit-Stop Competition): Each team must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in/pit out) wins the pit-crew award and the driver will start fourth in the final stage as long as he finishes 15th or better in Stage 3.
Stage 3 (25 laps): Stage 3 winner starts third in the final stage.
Stage 4 (50 laps): Stage 1 winner starts first, Stage 2 winner second, Stage 3 winner third and pit-stop competition winner starts fourth. If a “natural” caution occurs between laps 15-25 of the final stage, standard race procedures will be in effect. If no “natural” caution occurs during that time, NASCAR will call an “All-Star” competition caution. Winner of Stage 4 wins the race and earns $1 million.
— Darrell Waltrip won the first All-Star Race in 1985, which was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
— This is the second consecutive year the All-Star Race has been held at Texas Motor Speedway. The only other tracks to host the event are Charlotte (1985, 1987-2019), Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2020).
— The 2020 All-Star Race is the only time the event was not held at a 1.5-mile track.
— Four drivers have won the All-Star Race after transferring in from the Open: Michael Waltrip (1996, final transfer), Ryan Newman (2002, won Open), Kasey Kahne (2008, fan vote) and Kyle Larson (2019, won Open).
Source: Racing Insights
Goodyear heads to Texas using the same tire combination it used last week at Kansas Speedway.
The left-side tires are made of the same compound used three weeks ago at Dover Motor Speedway, while this right-side tire was also used at Darlington Raceway, Auto Club Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This tire combination will also be used at Nashville Superspeedway later this season.
ALL-STAR STORY LINES
— Hendrick Motorsports has won each of the last two All-Star Races (Chase Elliott, Bristol 2020; Kyle Larson, Texas 2021). No team has ever won three straight All-Star Races.
— Kyle Larson has won each of his last two All-Star Race starts, missing the 2020 event due to his 32-race suspension. No driver has ever won three straight All-Star Race starts.
— Brad Keselowski has finished runner-up three times in the All-Star Race, including last year‘s event. He‘s still searching for his first All-Star trophy.
— Four multi-car teams have every driver entered in the 2022 All-Star Race: Hendrick Motorsports (four), Joe Gibbs Racing (four), Team Penske (three) and 23XI Racing (two).
— Kevin Harvick is making his 22nd straight start in the All-Star race, while Kurt Busch is making his 21st. Mark Martin holds the record with 24 consecutive appearances in the All-Star Race.
Source: Racing Insights
ALL-IN ON ALL-STAR WEEKEND
The hands-down favorite this week is Kyle Larson, who BetMGM gives the best odds at 5-1 heading into Sunday night‘s race.
In addition to winning each of his last two All-Star starts, Larson also went to victory lane at Texas in last October‘s playoff race to lock his way into the Championship 4, where he clinched his first Cup title. Larson is the only repeat All-Star winner in the last nine years.
The 2017 All-Star winner, Kyle Busch, is another driver to keep an eye on this week. At 7-1 odds, Busch can become just the third active driver to win a second All-Star Race, joining Kevin Harvick (winner in 2007 and 2018; 33-1 odds) and Larson in that select club.
A good value pick this week might be Christopher Bell at 14-1 odds. Competing in his second All-Star Race, the 2021 Daytona Road Course winner looked mighty fast at Kansas one week ago. All six Toyotas finished inside the top 10 at Kansas, and Bell claimed the pole. In three career Texas points races, Bell has two third-place finishes. The No. 20 Toyota might be a sneaky contender Sunday night.
RELATED: All-Star Odds
ALSO ON NASCAR.COM
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