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NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas: How to watch, format, starting lineup, race predictions

FILE - In this July 19, 2020, file photo, Texas Motor Speedway president and general manager Eddie Gossage, right, holds a “Winner” sign as Austin Dillon, left, celebrates by firing six-shooters after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. NASCAR is providing quite a night to mark the 25th season of racing at Texas Motor Speedway, and sendoff for track president and showman Eddie Gossage, whose last race is Sunday after overseeing the track from its groundbreaking in 1995, two years before it opened. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin, File)

FILE – In this July 19, 2020, file photo, Texas Motor Speedway president and general manager Eddie Gossage, right, holds a “Winner” sign as Austin Dillon, left, celebrates by firing six-shooters after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. NASCAR is providing quite a night to mark the 25th season of racing at Texas Motor Speedway, and sendoff for track president and showman Eddie Gossage, whose last race is Sunday after overseeing the track from its groundbreaking in 1995, two years before it opened. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin, File)

AP

NASCAR Cup Series teams are racing for a million dollars rather than points this Sunday at the All-Star Race. For the first time in history, the event is at Texas Motor Speedway.

The race — typically held at Charlotte — will serve as the sendoff event for Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage, who is set to step down from his role after more than 25 years with the speedway at the end of the month.

“As a promoter, you always want to have an exclamation point at the end,” Gossage told the Observer.

NASCAR is promising to provide a show, complete with a new race format that will feature six rounds, totaling 100 laps, that include lineup inverts and random draws to determine the starting order for the rounds. Back-to-back defending race winner Kyle Larson won the random draw to start on the pole for Sunday’s race. Kyle Busch will also start in the front row in second.

Those drivers are among the 17 who have earned their spot in the lineup; Eligible drivers must be a race winner from this season or this season; an All-Star Race winner and competing full-time; or a Cup champion and competing full-time. Four additional drivers will make the lineup following the All-Star Open by winning any stage or by being the Fan Vote Winner.

Tyler Reddick is starting on the pole along with Chris Buescher in the front row for the All-Star Open race based on points. The All-Star Open is at 6 p.m. followed by the All-Star Race at 8 p.m. on FS1.

Here’s how it will work

Rounds 1-4 of the All-Star Race are 15 laps each with the starting lineup determined via random draw. After the first round, the field will be inverted via a random draw again, then it will be inverted for the next round (not by draw), then inverted via a random draw at the beginning of Round 4.

Round 5 will be 30 laps and the starting order will be determined by cumulative finish from the first four rounds with the lowest finisher starting on the pole, the second-lowest starting second, onward. (All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5 with the fastest team on pit road winning $100,000.)

The final round will be a 10-lap shootout with the starting position determined by the finishing positions of Round 5.

That’s a lot to remember, but the FS1 broadcast plans to walk viewers through each round. Do drivers know the format, though?

“Not really,” Larson said. “But it’s just like any format; The more you run up front, the better you’re gonna position yourself for the final round.”

Drivers will likely rely more on their teams and crew chiefs to relay information over their radio about where to start in each round. Larson indicated it’s not a concern.

“We’re racecar drivers,” he said. “We try to race hard and pass people, and if you can pass people and move your way to the front, you’ll set yourself up for that last stage.”

Predictions for NASCAR All-Star Race

Larson is the favorite to win the million dollars, according to BetMGM odds. He’s at +300 odds, followed by Martin Truex Jr. (+700) and Chase Elliott (+700), along with Kyle Busch (+800). Given Larson’s dominance on 1.5-mile tracks this year, his starting position on the pole and back-to-back all-stage sweeps in the last two races, my pick to win the All-Star Race won’t come as a surprise: Larson will make it three in a row.

How and when to watch and listen

Race: NASCAR All-Star Race

When: Sunday, June 13

When: Open at 6 p.m., Race at 8 p.m.

TV: FS1

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: Six rounds: Rounds 1-4 are 15 laps; Round 5 is 30 laps; Round 6 is a 10-lap shootout

Starting lineup for All-Star Race

OrderDriverCar No.
1Kyle Larson5
2Kyle Busch18
3Christopher Bell20
4Cole Custer41
5Austin Dillon3
6Chase Elliott9
7Joey Logano22
8William Byron24
9Brad Keselowski2
10Martin Truex Jr.19
11Michael McDowell34
12Kevin Harvick4
13Kurt Busch1
14Ryan Newman6
15Alex Bowman48
16Denny Hamlin11
17Ryan Blaney12
18

Winner Open Round 1

19

Winner Open Round 2

20

Winner Open Round Final Round

21Fan Vote

Starting lineup for All-Star Open

OrderDriverCar No.
1Tyler Reddick8
2Chris Buescher17
3Matt DiBenedetto21
4Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47
5Ross Chastain42
6Bubba Wallace23
7Daniel Suárez99
8Erik Jones43
9Chase Briscoe14
10Aric Almirola10
11Corey LaJoie7
12Anthony Alfredo38
13Quin Houff0
14James Davison15
15Josh Bilicki52
16Austin Cindric33
17Cody Ware51
18BJ McLeod78
19Justin Haley77
20Garrett Smithley53
21Timmy Hill66
22David Starr13

NASCAR and Charlotte FC beat reporter Alex Andrejev joined The Observer in January 2020 following an internship at The Washington Post. She played Division I volleyball at Columbia University before earning her master’s degree at the University of Southern California.
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