Bowyer, Blaney, Suarez win in Monster Energy Open to advance to All-Star Race, Elliott wins Fan Vote


CONCORD, N.C. — Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez won stages in the Monster Energy Open to advance to the Monster Energy All-Star Race.

They will be joined there by Chase Elliott, who won the fan vote and will start in his second All-Star Race.

Bowyer started from the pole and led every lap of the first 20-lap stage. He had over a two-second lead at the end of the stage.

Blaney then followed Bowyer by leading all 20 laps in the second stage to advance.

The final 10-lap stage started with a caution as Landon Cassill, who only took two tires, got a slow start and was turned by Elliott. Cassill slid through the infield grass before lightly impacting the inside wall. He didn’t suffer any major damage.

When the segment finally got underway, Daniel Suarez controlled the first four laps. Then Elliott caught him and began pressuring Suarez, which allowed Erik Jones to catch the duo. With four laps left, all three cars were together as they exited Turn 4.

Jones got to Elliott’s bumper as they entered the tri-oval and moved to the inside. Jones quickly ran out of room and caught the edge of the infield, bringing back memories of the “Pass in the Grass” from the 1987 All-Star Race.

But this version didn’t end well, as the contact damaged the No. 77, which began smoking and spun in Turn 1 to bring out the caution.

“I got a good run and tried to go to the top and there wasn’t any room on the top so I went to the bottom and couldn’t really see behind the 24 (Chase Elliott) where the grass began,” Jones said. “So just hoped there was enough pavement down there to make a move and get clear, but unfortunately there wasn’t and that was the end of our day.”

Suarez got a great jump on the final restart and wasn’t challenged over the final three laps.