2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race preview: Qualifying results, rules package, TV schedule, live stream
Here is everything you need to know for the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
A shot at $1 million is on the line this weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the All-Star Race.
17 drivers qualified for the event thanks to either wins in the past two seasons or a previous All-Star Race victory. Others will have the opportunity to qualify by either winning one of the three stages in the Monster Energy Open or by winning the All-Star fan vote.
How to watch the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Date: Saturday, May 19
Time: 8 p.m. ET (3-stage Open begins at 6pm ET)
Length: 80 laps (extra stage added)
Stage 1: Ends on lap 30
Stage 2: Ends on lap 50
Stage 3: Ends on lap 70
Final stage: Scheduled for lap 80
Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Qualified results for 2018 All-Star Race
- Matt Kenseth
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Clint Bowyer
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Ryan Blaney
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
- Austin Dillon
- Joey Logano
- Jimmie Johnson
- Jamie McMurray
- Ryan Newman
- Denny Hamlin
- Kurt Busch
- Kyle Larson
- Kasey Kahne
As we mentioned earlier, prior to the All-Star Race drivers who haven't qualified can compete in the Monster Energy Open to claim a spot in the field. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. are among those expected to compete in the open. The winners of the three stages in the open will qualify for the All-Star Race.
New Rules Package
For the first time ever, NASCAR is going to try out four stages instead of three for this race. The first will be 30 laps, followed by two 20-lap stages and the final being 10 laps. In addition, cars will carry a restrictor plate much like what's been used at superspeedways such as Daytona and Talladega.
That's not all either. Cars will also feature a six-inch spoiler as well as a 2014-style front splitter and aero ducts. NASCAR explained that the package is meant to increase passing opportunities and has been tested in the Xfinity Series.
Unlike a regular race, stages can only end under green flag laps with yellow flag laps not counting in the fourth and final stage.
Looking to double the bank account
Last year's winner, Kyle Busch, is looking to defend his title and add another million to his purse. Busch has been hot to start the season, claiming three wins which is second in the series to Kevin Harvick with five.
"For us, being an all-star and being in the All-Star Race is one of the most fun things we get to do each year,'' Busch said to NASCAR. "I'd say the Clash is another one of those and, with the All-Star Race, they are certainly two fun races where we get a chance to go after just a win and bring home the checkers or end up on the wrecker.
"It's an exciting night and there's a lot of energy there. It gives you the opportunity to run that many qualifying laps in a row. That's all you're doing – you're giving it all you've got every single lap."
Unfortunately for Busch, history is not on his side. Only one driver since 1998 has secured multiple victories in the All-Star Race and that driver is none other than seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano have also won the event.
Former Cup champs hope to add All-Star Race victory to resume
2012 champion Brad Keselowski and 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. are looking to break their winless streak in the All-Star Race on Saturday night. Keselowski has participated in the race nine times without a win, while Truex is winless in six tries.
Keselowski has wasted no time taking to Twitter this week, noting the importance of the event and asking fans to share what they would do with the winnings.
Here are some popular responses:
As for Truex, despite never winning the All-Star Race, he has won at Charlotte before. Two years ago, Truex led 392 out of 400 laps to win the Coca-Cola 600 from the pole. He also took home the checkered flag last fall before eventually winning the championship.
Truex's highest finish in the All-Star race was a runner-up in 2010. However, he did win the open in 2007 and 2010.
Gordon was the leading vote-getter at 96 percent of the ballot
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