Get ready for Texas-sized NASCAR All-Star Race weekend

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For the first time in the prestigious event’s history, the NASCAR All-Star race and NASCAR Open will take place at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, June 13. The NASCAR Open is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET and the NASCAR All-Star race will follow at 8 p.m. ET (on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with over a million dollars up for grabs.

The NASCAR All-Star Race was introduced in 1985, and the first event was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and crew chief Jeff Hammond. Waltrip led 27 laps in the 70-lap inaugural All-Star race en route to the win driving the No. 11 Junior Johnson & Associates Buick. It was Waltrip’s only career All-Star win. 

This weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Race will be the 37th running of the prized exhibition race and Texas Motor Speedway will become the fourth different track to host the event; joining Charlotte Motor Speedway (34 All-Star races: 1985, 1987-2019), Atlanta Motor Speedway (1986) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2020).

The second NASCAR All-Star Race in 1986, was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the event was dominated by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who set the record for the most laps led in a NASCAR All-Star Race by a driver that won the event, leading 82 of the scheduled 83 laps (98.8%). Elliott started the event in the second starting position. Twice the NASCAR All-Star Race has been led by one driver flag-to-flag both at Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt led all 70 laps in 1990 and Davey Allison led all 70 laps (100%) in 1991.

The next 33 All-Star events would be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway until last season due to the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic the race was rescheduled and moved to Bristol Motor Speedway. For the first time since 2013, the NASCAR All-Star Race winner went on to win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in the same season when Chae Elliott grabbed his first All-Star win at Bristol and the series title in Phoenix later that year. The feat has occurred 11 times since the inception of the All-Star race in 1985 by six different drivers – Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001), Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013) and Chase Elliott (2020). Elliott’s win gave Hendrick Motorsports their series leading 10th NASCAR All-Star race victory – Jimmie Johnson (four: 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013), Jeff Gordon (three: 1995, 1997, 2001), Terry Labonte (two: 1999, 1988), Chase Elliott (2020).  

In total, the 36 NASCAR All-Star Races have produced 25 different winners, led by the recently retired Jimmie Johnson with four All-Star wins (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013). Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in NASCAR All-Star Race wins with two (2018, 2007). In total, eight former NASCAR All-Star Race winners are entered this weekend – Harvick (two wins), Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Newman (each have one).

The 36 NASCAR All-Star Races have also produced 20 different pole winners; four of the 20 are active this weekend – Kyle Busch (three All-Star poles), Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Larson (each have one prior to this weekend).

By virtue of random draw this week, Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson will start from the pole on Sunday (June 13) at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR All-Star Race. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch will join Larson on the outside front row. The NASCAR All-Star Race has been won from the pole or first starting position five times by four different drivers, the first three came in consecutive years – Dale Earnhardt (1990), Davey Allison (1991, 1992), Kurt Busch (2010) and Denny Hamlin (2015). For the entire NASCAR All-Star Race Stat Package on NASCARMedia click this link.   

2021 NASCAR Open and NASCAR All-Star Race Formats:

The NASCAR All-Star Race has become one of the sport’s most innovative exhibition events, where formats and technical elements can be tested on a grand scale and this weekend’s spectacular will be no different. 

NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway announced earlier this season the format, technical elements, and pre-race festivities for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race. The event, which moves to TMS for the first time in its 36-race history, will have a Fort Worth feel as the pre-race festivities will feature an Old Western theme during driver introductions. 

The NASCAR All-Star race format is as follows:

  • The race will feature six rounds, totaling 100 laps.
  • Starting lineup for Round 1 will be determined via random draw.
  • Rounds 1 through 4 will be 15 laps each; Round 5 will be 30 laps; the Final Round will feature a 10-lap shootout. 
  • At the beginning of Round 2, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12) live on FS1.
  • The round 2 random draw will also be seen live by fans attending the race on Big Hoss TV.
  • Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted.
  • At the beginning of Round 4, the field will be inverted via random draw (minimum of eight/maximum of 12).
  • Starting positions for Round 5 will consist of the cumulative finish from Rounds 1-4. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5.
  • The starting positions in the Final Round are set by finishing positions of Round 5.
  • Only green flag laps will count in the NASCAR All-Star race.
  • The fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000.
  • The race winner will be awarded $1,000,000.  

From a technical side, all elements of the car remain the same except for the tapered spacer which will be 57/64ths. 

NASCAR Open format is as follows:

  • The NASCAR Open will run immediately prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments (20 laps / 20 laps / 10 laps).
  • The winner of each segment will earn a spot in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the Fan Vote. Fans may vote for their favorite driver by visiting www.NASCAR.com for details.

Who’s already locked into the Main Event – the 2021 NASCAR All-Stars

Heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, 17 different drivers have earned their spot in the NASCAR All-Star Race on June 13 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

To be eligible for the NASCAR All-Star race this season, a driver must have won a Cup points event in either 2020 or 2021; have won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; or have won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete full-time.

EntryCarDriverOrganizationCrew ChiefManufacturer
11Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingMatt McCall21 Chevrolet
22Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeJeremy Bullins21 Ford
33Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingJustin Alexander21 Chevrolet
44Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingRodney Childers21 Ford
55Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsCliff Daniels21 Chevrolet
66Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingScott Graves21 Ford
79Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsAlan Gustafson21 Chevrolet
811Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingChris Gabehart21 Toyota
912Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeTodd Gordon21 Ford
1018Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingBen Beshore21 Toyota
1119Martin Truex JrJoe Gibbs RacingJames Small21 Toyota
1220Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingAdam Stevens21 Toyota
1322Joey LoganoTeam PenskePaul Wolfe21 Ford
1424William ByronHendrick MotorsportsRyan Fugle21 Chevrolet
1534Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsDrew Blickensderfer21 Ford
1641Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingMike Shiplett21 Ford
1748Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsGreg Ives21 Chevrolet

Of the 17 drivers already entered in the NASCAR All-Star race, eight have scored wins in the yearly exhibition event, led by Kevin Harvick with two All-Star victories (2018, 2007). 2020 series champion, Chase Elliott is the most recent NASCAR All-Star race winner, bringing home the victory from Bristol Motor Speedway last season.

Active All-Star WinnersWinsSeasons
Kevin Harvick22018, 2007
Chase Elliott12020
Kyle Larson12019
Kyle Busch12017
Joey Logano12016
Denny Hamlin12015
Kurt Busch12010
Ryan Newman12002

In total, 21 drivers will make a start in this season’s NASCAR All-Star race, four additional positions will be added to the NASCAR All-Star Race field following the NASCAR Open – the NASCAR Open Stage 1 Winner, the NASCAR Open Stage 2 Winner, the NASCAR Open Race Winner, and the Fan Vote Winner.