We’re Not in Kansas Anymore! The 35th Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Has Arrived

HHP/Alan Marler photo

There’s no place like home. With the stars ready to descend on Charlotte Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, fans are ready to witness NASCAR’s brightest luminaries including Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano race wheel-to-wheel for a $1 million winner’s prize.

The rules package which debuted to considerable acclaim in last year’s All-Star Race – and which also set the stage for Saturday night’s barn-burner at Kansas – returns to America’s Home for Racing with lots of anticipation for another thrilling finish to follow. The 2018 All-Star Race saw 38 green-flag passes for the lead, a number higher than the previous four iterations combined. 

This year’s format features four stages broken up into 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and a 15-lap final segment – giving the field five more circuits to pass the leader.

“The Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race has a legacy of innovation and excitement,” said Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter. “From pioneering superspeedway night racing, double-file restarts and stage racing, to the unforgettable finishes we’ve seen in past events, this race’s status as a trailblazer is well-deserved. Fans are going to see drivers go for $1 million and crew chiefs are sure to use the old expression ‘Bring back the trophy or the steering wheel’ when we get underway on Saturday night.”

Preparations for this weekend’s festivities – which kick off a spectacular two weeks of excitement, racing action and patriotism culminating in the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 – began as soon as last September’s Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 concluded.

Heading into Saturday’s Monster Energy Open – a race whose past winners include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – there are 15 drivers with clinched berths for Saturday night’s 85-lap tussle for Charlotte supremacy. 

The drivers presently locked into the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race include: Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. Drivers like Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman and William Byron must race their way in through the Open or hope to win the Fan Vote.

Friday’s action kicks off with practice sessions at 11:35 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:05 p.m. Qualifying for the Monster Energy Open gets underway at 6 p.m. and time trials for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race start at 7 p.m. Friday’s slate concludes with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series’ North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8:30 p.m. 

The green flag for the 50-lap Monster Energy Open, which sees three stage winners and a Fan Vote winner advancing to the big show, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Following a rocking pre-race concert featuring platinum-selling recording artists AJR, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race will roar to life under the lights at approximately 8 p.m.

Fans should stay tuned to the speedway’s social channels for more event-related announcements on Monday.

TICKETS: 
Coca-Cola 600 and Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race tickets, camping and upgrades are available by visiting charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets or calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Kids 13 and under get into each race weekend for just $10 with adult ticket purchase.

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