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


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.

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.


Saturday COTA Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at goprn.com. …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.