A dive into the NASCAR Open

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The NASCAR Open was first introduced into the All-Star format in 1986 at Atlanta Motor Speedway – the first event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Benny Parsons, but it did not grant him entry to the All-Star race; that started the following season. 

There have been 38 NASCAR Open events, one per year since 1986; except in 2000, 2001 and 2002 it was held as two events with both winners moving on to the All-Star Race. Starting in 2015, the Open was broken up into segments and then in 2017 it was divided into stages and each winner of the segments, or the stages earned a spot in the All-Star race.

A total of 28 different drivers have won the NASCAR Open from 1986-2020; four are active this weekend and only two are entered in this weekend’s Open – Matt DiBenedetto and Daniel Suarez – the other three former Open winners have already qualified for the All-Star race.

RankActive Open WinnersWinsSeasons
1Kyle Larson22019, 2016
2Martin Truex Jr22010, 2007
3Matt DiBenedetto12020
4Daniel Suarez12017
5Ryan Newman12002

Sterling Marlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in NASCAR Open wins with four victories (1988, 1989, 1993 and 2004).

Eight of the 28 NASCAR Open winners have multiple wins – Sterling Marlin (four wins), AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Jeremy Mayfield, Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip, Kyle Larson, and Todd Bodine each have two Open victories. And three drivers have won consecutive NASCAR Opens – Sterling Marlin (1988-89), Michael Waltrip (1991-92) and Clint Bowyer (2014-15).

Ryan Newman (2002) and Kyle Larson (2019) are the only two drivers to win the NASCAR Open and the All-Star Race in the same weekend. 

Among the 22 drivers vying for the coveted wins in this weekend’s NASCAR Open to move on to the All-Star race, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the best average finish in points-paying races at Texas Motor Speedway, with a series leading 8.5 in two starts. Right behind him is Richard Petty Motorsport’s Erik Jones with an average finish of 10.3 in points-paying races at Texas.

Fan Vote is still underway

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race is Sunday, and the Fan Vote is still going strong for the big event at Texas Motor Speedway. Voting will be open until Friday at noon ET, so here’s a roundup of the top five drivers as June 9.

The top vote-getters, in alphabetical order: Chase Briscoe, Matt DiBenedetto, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace.

Fans can vote here for one eligible driver once a day per unique email address. Votes shared on Facebook and Twitter will count as bonus entries, for a total of four votes per day.

To compete in the NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, Sun., FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), drivers must be a NASCAR Cup Series winner in 2020-21 or be a full-time driver who was a previous All-Star or past Cup Series champion. The stage winners and overall race winner in the NASCAR Open (6 p.m. ET, Sun., FS1, MRN, SiriusXM) and the Fan Vote winner will also be eligible for the race.