Monday, March 20, 2023

Blaney Wins All-Star Race After Thinking He’d Win, $1M 2 Laps

FORT WORTH, Texas ( Associated Press) — Ryan Blaney needed two extra laps after thinking he had already won the NASCAR All-Star Race and $1 million, after a caution to a green-and-white-checkered finish. Staying in front of the medium came on the line for the first time before coming a few yards away.

Blaney’s crew was already celebrating a victory in the pits and the driver had already lowered his No. 12 Ford’s window net after crossing the start-finish line.

“Everyone thought the race was over,” said Blaney, who then had to collect himself and bring back the window nets to finish the race.

The All-Star race was to end on the green flag, and the caution flag went off just before Blaney crossed the line as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. collided with an outside wall going into the backstretch.

Pushed on the restart by his Penske teammate Austin Sindrick, Blaney was able to stay in front and catch Denny Hamlin, who was 0.266 seconds behind.

Cyndrick was third and Team Penske’s other driver Joy Logano was fourth. Daniil Suarez, who went through a 16-car open qualifier earlier in the day like Stenhouse in a main event, finished fifth.

Former NASCAR All-Star winners Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson all crashed in the second leg.

It was the fourth All-Star Race win for Roger Penske’s team. The last was Logano in 2016.

Bush, polesitter and winner of 2017, was leading when he had a flat right rear tire from the fourth turn on lap 48 in the second leg. He was slowing down and headed down the frontstretch when he was hit from behind by Ross Chastain, who was going about 185 mph.

Chastain’s No. 1 car nearly drove to the left After a sharp bump, before turning back on all four tires and then off the track and turning to 2020 All-Star winner Elliot.

“I saw Kyle having a tire down problem. I guessed left and I should have guessed right,” Chastain said.

Elliott said that he looked at Bush in difficulty and saw Chastain hit him really hard.

“I didn’t give him enough space. I knew he was going to go straight, I didn’t know he was going to go so far so quickly. I just got it wrong,” Elliot said. “It’s really on my end. was avoidable. I just kind of messed up and didn’t get the gap shot quickly. ,

Bush was the polesitter and had led all but one of the 48 laps before the wreck. His no. 18 The car was coming out of the fourth turn as their right rear tire was flat and slowed down on the stretch ahead.

The second leg came only a few laps after Larsson, who had won his last two All-Star starts (2019 and 2021), broke loose in the fourth turn and slammed hard into the wall before slipping through the grass. Larsen hadn’t changed the tyres, and his front right tire had gone down.

“It just let go of the center and took off,” Larsen said. “I hate that this happened. I think our car was good enough, depends on restarts because you can’t pass at all, especially the leader anyway.

All 25 laps were carefully freed in the first stage after Bush started from pole.

At the end of the second segment, Cyndrique was in first place. Ryan Blaney was second, just as he was at the end of the first leg after starting the race there. Blaney won the third 25-lap stage and Penske began the final 50-lap race at the front with teammates Cyndrick and Joey Logano, whose team had the fastest pit stop between the second and third stages.

Stenhouse, Texas natives James Busher and Suarez made their way to the All-Star Race in an open qualifying on Sunday. Eric Jones, number 43 in the car for Petty GMS Motorsports, finished last on a fan vote in the 24-car field and was wasted in the final stage to finish 20th.

Stenhouse and Bucher won the first two 20-lap stages in the qualifying race. Suárez finished in front during the final 10-lap shootout, the third time a Mexican driver had raced into All-Star territory.

Texas is the fourth track to host the annual exhibition, but only the second where the All-Star Race has taken place multiple times. The inaugural All-Star Race was held in Charlotte in 1985, with Atlanta hosting the first 33 in a row in Charlotte in 1985. The race moved to Bristol in 2020 when North Carolina would not allow spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions.


The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway next Sunday begins the second half of the 26-race regular season before the 10-race playoff chase begins. This will be the 14th point race of the season.


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