Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick draw poles for All-Star Race, Open

Kyle Larson‘s recent string of success extends to random draws as he will start on the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Similarly, Tyler Reddick will do the same for the All-Star Open with the hope of transferring into the main race by either winning one of the three stages or the Fan Vote.

Larson enters the exhibition race on a two-race win streak. He won the All-Star in 2019 and Sunday will mark his fifth appearance. All of his participations since 2017 have come after locking himself in via points race win, with the exception in 2016 coming after he won the Open.

Kyle Busch, the 2017 winner, joins Larson on the front row. Busch is guaranteed a spot in the race with all three possible eligibility criteria: a points race winner, a former All-Star winner, and a former Cup champion running the full 2021 schedule.

Seventeen drivers are already locked into the main event. Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell make their All-Star débuts after winning their maiden Cup races at Daytona to start the year. Reigning All-Star champion Chase Elliott drew a sixth-place starting spot.

For the Open, Reddick and Chris Buescher lead the field of twenty-two. Reddick finished tenth in the Open at Bristol last year, while Buescher finished seventeenth in his lone All-Star start in 2017.

The bottom seven are all drivers not running for Cup points. One of such drivers is Austin Cindric, who starts sixteenth as he continues his part-time Cup schedule. Justin Haley, who finished fourteenth in his maiden All-Star Race last year, starts nineteenth. For the first time since the Daytona 500 in February, MBM Motorsports will field two cars as Timmy Hill drives the #66 and David Starr is in the #13; both will start at the back. Hill won the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Texas in 2020, while Starr is a Texas native. All four drivers are entered in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday (though Hill will likely be excluded from the grid based on the qualifying formula).

Ryan Preece and the #37 of JTG Daugherty Racing are not entered. Although Preece has run the full Cup schedule, the #37 does not possess a charter and is thus not required to take part. The car has also faced concerns about its future due to sponsorship issues that threatened to downsize its schedule prior to the season. Instead, Preece will run the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Oswego on Saturday.

All-Star Race starting lineup

Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer
1 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
3 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
4 41 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
5 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
6 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
7 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
8 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
9 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
10 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
11 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
12 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
13 1 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
14 6 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford
15 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
16 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
17 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford

All-Star Open starting lineup

Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer
1 8 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2 17 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing Ford
3 21 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing Ford
4 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
5 42 Ross Chastain Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
6 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota
7 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet
8 43 Erik Jones Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
9 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
10 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
11 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
12 38 Anthony Alfredo Front Row Motorsports Ford
13 00 Quin Houff StarCom Racing Chevrolet
14 15 James Davison Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
15 52 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Ford
16 33 Austin Cindric* Team Penske Ford
17 51 Cody Ware* Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
18 78 B.J. McLeod Live Fast Motorsports Ford
19 77 Justin Haley* Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
20 53 Garrett Smithley* Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
21 66 Timmy Hill* MBM Motorsports Toyota
22 13 David Starr* MBM Motorsports Toyota
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points

Source link