Which driver wins their first All-Star Race at Texas?

0 Comments

Of the 20 drivers locked into All-Star Race, 13 of them have yet to win the $1 million prize.

That list includes two past Cup Series champions — Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.

So which driver will take home their first All-Star Race trophy on Sunday night (8 p.m. ET, FS1)? Here is a look at a few to keep an eye on:

Martin Truex Jr.

Truex will take the 2017 Cup Series championship over an All-Star win any day, but the No. 19 Toyota could easily be in the running for Truex’s first All-Star win this weekend.

Toyotas were responsible for 147 of the fastest laps run one week ago at Kansas Speedway, of which 17 were set by Truex. Even with a flat tire at the conclusion of the second stage, Truex rallied to a sixth-place finish.

Truex has been fast at mile-and-a-half tracks, a trend that started at Las Vegas where a near-runner-up finish turned into an eighth-place finish after an overtime restart. Truex could be $1 million richer when the checkered flag flies Sunday.

William Byron

Byron has had a dismal stretch of results since winning for the second time this season at Martinsville Speedway. But it hasn’t been for a lack of speed. Byron was leading last week at Kansas when a flat left rear tire took him out of contention, relegating him to a 16th-place finish.

The No. 24 Chevrolet led a race-high 30 laps in last year’s All-Star Race, the only one held at Texas. Byron finished seventh after earning a stage win. Byron has the third-best average running position in Cup this season at 10.8. The four-time Cup Series winner has a good chance to win the $1 million prize come Sunday.

Ryan Blaney

Blaney’s hot streak at the start of the year has cooled considerably. But the No. 12 Ford is still the series leader in average running position, boasting a 10.3 mark through 13 races.

Blaney is still searching for his first All-Star win after five starts. Blaney has finished eighth or better in seven of his last Texas starts including a runner-up result in the fall of 2018. His luck in points races hasn’t been great lately — he’s finished outside the top 10 in four straight races — but Blaney is likely to be a contender Sunday.

Christopher Bell

Bell has just one career victory, that coming in February 2021 at Daytona’s road course. But the No. 20 Toyota has come to life in recent weeks.

Bell has three poles this season, including one last week at Kansas Speedway. Bell led 37 laps and rebounded from a flat tire to finish fifth. He has also finished third in each of his last two Texas starts.