FORT WORTH, TX (AP) – William Byron won the fourth segment of the NASCAR All-Star race in Texas, then started the longest segment ahead of Texas on Sunday night.
Byron was moved from ninth to first place due to a random reversal after the third segment, and finished fourth still ahead of the rest of the 21-car field. He had the lowest cumulative result over the four 15-lap segments, also finishing second and fifth, before a 30-lap race.
Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman finished ahead of the first three segments.
The fifth 30-lap segment included a mandatory four-tire pit stop, with a prize of $ 100,000 for the fastest crew. A 10-round final shootout will determine the winner of the million dollar scoreless race.
Larson, who won the last two Cup races, was on pole by a draw and was still in the lead at the end of the first segment. After a random reversal of the first 12 of this first stage, Blaney moved from 12th to first place to start the next 15 laps.
Blaney stayed ahead, even after getting restless from behind contact from Ross Chastain, one of three drivers who qualified for the main event of the first open qualifying race.
After a full field reversal until the third stage, Aric Almirola, who also took part in the qualifying race, went from last to first, but it was Bowman – after being pushed from 17th to fifth – in head after this 15 laps.
On a hot night in the heart of Texas, drivers emerged through the lounge doors onto a huge facade during pre-race presentations as their cars passed through a corral door. The drivers completed their warm-up laps as Sammy Hagar performed “I Can’t Drive 55” from the stands, ending just at the green flag.
It was 97 degrees and the sun was still shining when the race started, with a heat index of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The track temperature was in the mid-140s during the previous open qualifying race, although there were a few gray areas as the main event began.
Chastain qualified for his first NASCAR All-Star race after a few inspection violations in Texas.
Chastain and Tyler Reddick both entered the All-Star Race for the first time, winning 20-lap stages of the qualifying race. Almirola then waved the checkered flag in a final 10-lap shootout and Matt DiBenedetto, who won the open qualifier to compete in last year’s All-Star race, this time took part in a fan vote. .
Chastain had to go to the back of the 22-car peloton for the start of the qualifying race after an infringement discovered during the pre-race inspection of No.42 which led to the ejection of his leader. team. It happened a day after Chastain finished third in the Truck Series race in Texas before his truck was disqualified after a post-race inspection violation.
“It was a good weekend on the track, but off the track was obviously very difficult. It just turned me on more, ”said Chastain.
After being passed by Chastain on a restart with two laps remaining in the first segment, Reddick led all 20 laps in the second.
The starting order of the All-Star race was determined by toss, with Larson on the poll after winning the last two Cup races and being part of three consecutive 1-2 finishes for Hendrick Motorsports with the champion Cup reigning and All-Star winner Chase Elliott, who starts sixth.
Texas is the third different track in three years for the All-Star race. It was held last summer in Bristol, where it was relocated from Charlotte, which hosted 34 of the first 35 All-Star races, due to COVID-19 restrictions in North Carolina.
The Texas All-Star Race served as the farewell and full circle finish for former NASCAR promoter Eddie Gossage, the president of Texas Motor Speedway working his last day for Speedway Motorsports.
Gossage, now 62, had been considering quitting for at least two years. He was chosen by Bruton Smith, founder of Speedway Motorsports, to oversee the 1,500-acre complex since it opened in 1995, two years before the Cup’s first race on the track which included a big crash in the first corner of the first. tower.
He was a young public relations manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992 when, during a press conference to promote NASCAR’s first All-Star Night Race, one of his stunts literally set Smith’s hair on fire. When Smith threw the giant light switch mounted by Gossage to highlight Charlotte’s new circuit lighting system, sparks flew in.
Three decades after thinking he was heading for the unemployed line, Gossage comes out on his own. He was planning to spend Monday at the pool with his three grandchildren.
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