Race Weekend Central

William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson & Alex Bowman Advance to All Star Race Following The Open

Well that was entertaining, huh?

William Byron, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson won the three stages of the Monster Energy Open to advance to the All-Star Race. Additionally, Alex Bowman won the fan vote to also advance to the All-Star Race.

Byron took advantage of his four fresh tires to edge Wallace at the line in stage one. For his crew chief Chad Knaus, he will be atop the pit road box during yet another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.

In the first stage, Daniel Hemric led the first 16 laps. With four laps to go, BJ McLeod‘s No. 53 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet blew an engine. Shortly after NASCAR threw the caution flag, Chris Buescher felt the trackbar of his No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing break, ending his chances of making the main event.

Under NASCAR overtime for the All-Star weekend, all stages are required to end under green. The majority of the field pitted for fresh tires. However, a handful of drivers stayed out.

When the green flag flew to restart the end of the first stage, Wallace and Larson side-drafted down the backstretch, and in Turn 4, Byron dove his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet underneath to advance to the All-Star Race.

Bowman appeared on the verge of winning the second stage ahead of Suarez. However, as the laps wound down, Hemric and Ryan Preece battled for third place. When Hemric tried to clear Preece, he slid up into the wall. Preece subsequently turned Hemric, bringing out back-to-back overtime periods.

The trackbar on Hemric’s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet broke as a result, ending his chances of advancing to the main event. Several drivers pitted, setting the field up for another overtime restart.

On Turn 4 of the final lap, Suarez attempted a crossover move. He and Wallace made contact. Suarez spun into the grass, and Wallace held on to win the second stage and advance to the feature. Wallace was very emotional, thankful for the opportunity for himself and his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team, to compete in the All-Star Race.

The final stage consisted of 10 green flag laps. Larson passed Ty Dillon and won by a convincing margin over Bowman and Dillon.

Fortunately for Bowman, he will wheel his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the All-Star Race via the fan vote. All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers will compete in the All-Star Race.

The green flag for the All-Star Race is scheduled to fly at approximately 8 p.m. ET.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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The talking heads were gushing like crazy over “the Bubba”. If only he could win, then the prophecy would be fulfilled. We await the outcome…..


Still flubba.

Carl D.

While it was entertaining, it wasn’t a race, it was three races. It didn’t matter which one you won, the result was the same, you we’re in the big show. Not a fan of the format.

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