NASCAR All-Star Race: 5 things to watch at Texas Motor Speedway

·3 min read
Tony Gutierrez/AP

NASCAR’s All-Star Race returns to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday evening.

The events Sunday begin with the 50-lap open race at 4:30 p.m. with the three stage winners earning berths in the All-Star field. A fan vote will add a fourth drive to the field.

Country music star Blake Shelton will play an hour-long show right before the 38th edition of the 125-lap NASCAR All-Star Race, which starts at 7 p.m. and airs on FS1.

The winner drives away with $1 million.

Will Hendrick Motorsports keep it going?

Hendrick Motorsports has won a record 10 NASCAR All-Star races including the previous two. Hendrick drivers have won five of the first 12 NASCAR races this season with each of its four drivers winning at least won race. William Byron has won two. Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race at TMS last June and came back in October to win the Autotrader Echopark Automotive 500.

Kyle Larson chasing history

Last year’s All-Star Race winner Kyle Larson could become the third driver to win consecutive All-Star titles. Davey Allison did it in 1991 and ‘92 and Jimmie Johnson did it in 2012 and ‘13.

Another win for Larson would tie him with Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon for second all-time with three All-Star Race wins. Larson also won it in 2019. Johnson holds the All-Star Race record with four wins.

Gov. Abbott, Blake Shelton, Drew Pearson, Marty Turco on hand

Country music star Blake Shelton will not only play an hour-long set before the race, he’ll help Clint Bowyer introduce the All-Stars, and he’ll serve as Grand Marshal and give the “start your engines” command to the drivers.

Gov. Greg Abbott will serve as the honorary starter and wave the green flag.

Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Drew Pearson will serve as an honorary race official and Dallas Stars great Marty Turco will serve as the official pace car driver in NASCAR’s All-Star Race Chevrolet Corvette.

Two-time Academy of Country Music Awards winner RaeLynn will sing the National Anthem.

The All-Star Race winner will receive a championship belt from WBC Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in victory lane.

William Byron, Joey Logano feud

Keep an eye on Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron and Team Penske’s Joey Logano.

Byron wasn’t happy with how Logano forcibly pushed Byron’s car during the white flag lap at Darlington Raceway earlier this month. The move helped Logano win the race and sent Byron to a 13th-place finish.

“He’s just an idiot,” Byron said in the post-race interview. “He does this stuff all the time.”

Logano didn’t deny it. In fact, he said the move was payback for a move Byron pulled earlier in the race.

“You’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back,” Logano said. “That’s how that works.”

New format includes pit stop challenge

The All-Star Race has a new format, including four stages. The first three are 25 laps, and the final stage is 50 laps.

The winner of Stage 1 will start on pole in the final 50-lap stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 2 and Stage 3. The winner of Stage 2 will start second in the final stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 3. The winner of Stage 3 will start third in the final stage.

At the conclusion of Stage 2, all teams must pit and perform a four-tire stop. The driver and team with the shortest time on pit road (pit in to pit out) will win the pit-crew award and start fourth in the final stage as long as they finish 15th or better in Stage 3.

Also new, during the final stage if a natural caution does not occur between Lap 15 and Lap 25, NASCAR officials will thrown an “All-Star” competition caution.