Kevin Harvick wins All-Star Race in overtime finish

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CONCORD, North Carolina — Kevin Harvick prevailed in an overtime finish to claim his second win in the Monster Energy All-Star Race.

Harvick was able to pull away in the two-lap shootout to beat Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.

He won all but one of the race’s four stages.

Harvick’s first All-Star win came 11 years ago to the day in 2007.

The victory in the exhibition race joins the five points wins the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has already accumulated this season.

“A special thanks to the Roush Yates Engine department, they put in a lot of effort, they love restrictor-plate racing and we won!” Harvick told Fox Sports 1. “Our car was super fast, I could accelerate well. If I could just get to Turn 2 even I felt like we were going to accelerate passed them on the backstretch. I was not very good on the bottom. I would push and slide, but in a straight line this thing was a rocket.”

The overtime finish was setup by an incident involving Joey Logano and Kyle Larson. Coming to two laps to go in the scheduled distance, Logano ran out of room exiting Turn 4, bounced off the wall and into Larson. The contact sent Larson spinning through the infield grass. Without any major damage, Larson finished seventh.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

STAGE 3 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

STAGE 4 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

MORE: Race results

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Kasey Kahne managed to finish 10th on the lead lap after getting into the front stretch wall on Lap 6 of the third stage and ultimately going three laps down … Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez each finished in the top 10 after advancing from the Monster Open. Suarez won Stage 2 and Elliott won the fan vote. AJ Allmendinger, who won the final Open stage, placed eighth after making contact with the wall in Stage 2.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. were eliminated by an eight-car crash in the first overtime restart attempt in Stage 3. Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr were able to continue … Alex Bowman finished last after spinning on his own and hitting the wall out of Turn 2 with two laps left in the third stage … Stenhouse and Kenseth started on the front row but quickly fell back. They never contended after the opening laps and finished 11th and 14th respectively.

NOTABLE: Kevin Harvick is the seventh driver to win the All-Star Race more than once … Harvick joins Jimmie Johnson as only the second driver to win the All-Star Race more than once in the last 20 All-Star races.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “He fenced me, then I bounced off the wall, then there he was. After he fenced me, I bounced off. He happened to be there. Probably shouldn’t have fenced me.” – Joey Logano on his accident with Kyle Larson.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Coca-Cola 600 at 6 p.m. ET on May 27 on Fox.

Matt Kenseth wins pole for All-Star Race; Roush Fenway sweeps front row

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CONCORD, North Carolina — One week after coming off the bench, Matt Kenseth won the pole for Saturday night’s Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Driving the No. 6 Ford, Kenseth posted the best average speed in the session which saw drivers make three laps around the track and a pit stop.

Kenseth claimed his third All-Star pole with an average speed of 126.915 mph. He also had the best pit stop time at 16.1 seconds.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. qualified second (126.427 mph), giving Roush Fenway Racing a sweep of the front row. It’s the third time a team has swept the front row in the All-Star Race.

“It’s neat to sit on the pole,” Kenseth told Fox Sports 1. “Ricky was a huge help obviously. Having both cars on the front row is really a tribute to these guys, the pit stops and obviously the engines … to get this done. This is more about the car and the team then it really was about me.”

Kenseth’s pole comes while he’s driving a paint scheme honoring Mark Martin‘s 1998 win in the All-Star Race. He last won the All-Star pole in 2007.

Qualifying came after teams got minimal practice time due to rain. That prevented teams from getting a grasp of the rules package this weekend that includes restrictor plates.

“It’s always good to start up front, no matter what the racing is like and no matter where you’re at,” Kenseth said.

The top five is completed by Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

Denny Hamlin qualified 14th after overshooting his pit box and then being dealt an outside tire penalty.

Kasey Kahne will start last. During his qualifying run he overshot his pit box and then had two unsecured lug nuts, which is a 10-second penalty.

The full field will be determined by the Monster Energy Open tomorrow night. Three drivers will advance via stage wins and a fourth will make it through a fan vote.

Click here for qualifying results.

Kevin Harvick tops rain-shortened practice at Charlotte

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CONCORD, N.C. – Kevin Harvick had the fastest lap in Friday’s rain-shortened practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Harvick had a top lap of 170.406 mph with the new aero package that includes restrictor plates – the first time restrictor plates have been used at Charlotte. Rain limited drivers to no more than five laps of practice.

Harvick was followed by Kurt Busch (169.502 mph), Denny Hamlin (169.428), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (169.412) and Clint Bowyer (169.030).

Among those who did not record a lap were Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne.

“You know the first time that I got out of my garage stall, I made it to the end of pit road and backed up,” Busch said of being stopped by rain. “The second time I got out down the backstretch, hit fourth gear and then pretty much came back to pit road (because of rain). That was about all I’ve got of practice right now.”

NASCAR had teams in the All-Star Race and Monster Open practice together.

Click here for practice report

New rules for All-Star Race make this anyone’s event to win

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How will Saturday night’s All-Star Race unfold at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a new rules package virtually untested in the real world?

“We will just have to wait and see,” Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman said, succinctly summarized the thoughts of many.

“The rules package NASCAR is planning to use for the All-Star Race is definitely going to be interesting and something different,” Bowman said in a release this week. “It’s cool that NASCAR is trying to constantly make the racing better.”

This week’s prerace releases have been filled with uncertainty. Martin Truex Jr. hopes to use that to his advantage because the rules won’t carry over to the Coca-Cola 600. He isn’t the only one experiencing a change in attitude this year.

Locked into the All-Star Race because of his 2008 victory in the event, Kasey Kahne has the opportunity to deliver Leavine Family Racing one of its biggest successes. Much like racing on the restrictor-plate superspeedways, conventional wisdom will not apply, and this likely will be a wild-card race.

“With us not having run this rules package, we go into this weekend not exactly sure how the cars are going to feel in general, how they’ll work around other cars, or what the speeds will be like,” Kahne said. “It’s tough to say how it will all work out, but we won’t be learning much from this weekend to carry over into the 600 like we may have in years past. Teams will try to go out and win the All-Star Race with this package, and then next weekend, we’ll go back to racing what we’ve been racing all season long.”

“This package is going to be different, there’s no question about it,” David Ragan said. “Charlotte Motor Speedway is a place where the field tends to get strung out really fast, but these rules will slow everybody down a little, and I think we might see more side-by-side racing. And maybe it can spark some new conversation in the industry on a direction we need to go.”

The teams aren’t exactly working in a vacuum. NASCAR used a version of this rules package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Xfinity race last year, and the general consensus was that it did, in fact, create more side-by-side racing.

“I think we have to try this new aero package and see where it goes,” Chris Buescher said. “I know the (Xfinity cars) were able to use it at Indy, and I think as far as statistics go, there was a lot of movement in the field and green-flag passing, and I know that’s what NASCAR is after to try and create something different for the All-Star Race.”

Because no one really knows what to expect, a new rules package levels the playing field and may just well give a less experienced driver a chance to shine.

“Hopefully, what I learned with that aero package last year at Indy (in Xfinity) will apply,” William Byron said. “I feel like maybe I’ll have a little bit of the upper hand just knowing what my car needs to do because I think a lot of guys may be up in the air on what to do with their cars (with the new package).”

What will actually happen in the race is anyone’s guess – much the same as on plate tracks.

Without points on the line, there is an incentive to take risks one might not otherwise. This race is already prone to high-risk moves. If the rules package slows the cars arbitrarily and the entirety of the race is run in a pack or multiple packs, the proximity of these enthusiastic drivers to one another could be a recipe for excitement – or disaster.

What other drivers said:

  • “This year’s race in particular will be interesting with the new rules package. I can’t really give any opinion one way or the other until we get on the racetrack around other cars to see what it will be like.” – Jamie McMurray
  • “I’m excited to get on track with the new package we’ll run and see how it feels and how it races.” – Kyle Larson
  • “You never know what is going to happen, especially with the new aero package that we will run. Anyone can win the race.” – Ty Dillon
  • “Obviously, speeds are going to be slower, a lot more downforce, a lot more drag. But it’s still a big question mark. Nobody knows how it’s really going to play out.” – Michael McDowell

Matt Kenseth to pay tribute to Mark Martin in Saturday’s All-Star Race

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In 1998, Mark Martin scored the first All-Star Race victory for Jack Roush. Two decades later, Matt Kenseth will pay tribute with a special paint scheme.

The No. 6 Ford will sport the iconic black, red, orange and yellow livery that Martin drove to the win that year.

“Our paint scheme this week is a nod to Jack’s first All-Star win in 1998 with Mark,” Kenseth said in a release. “Obviously those two have meant so much to my career, and it’s cool to honor both of them this weekend.”

Roush went to victory lane three more times, including another win for Martin in 2005.

But it is that first win that sticks in Martin’s mind.

“The 1998 All-Star Race was really cool for me,” Martin said. “We were running third with two laps to go and passed Bobby Labonte coming off of (Turn 4) for the white flag. Jeff Gordon was gone up front and about the time I passed Bobby, Jeff pulled over to the inside and slowed. I was like, ‘Wow!’ All of the sudden, we were in the lead. We had no idea we were going to win the race, and it happened just that quickly. Those can be some of the best wins, because you just never see it coming.”

Kenseth, who made his first start in the All-Star Race in 2000, added to Roush’s total in 2004. In 18 consecutive appearances, he has scored seven top fives and 12 top-10s.

Carl Edwards earned Roush’s fourth and most recent victory in 2011.

“The All-Star Race has gone through a lot of changes over the years,” said Kenseth. “But the addition of the restrictor plate may be the biggest. I honestly don’t know what to expect other than the cars will be slower. We’ll just have to see how it plays out this weekend.”

Kasey Kahne also will have a throwback paint scheme on his No. 95 this Saturday. It will commemorate the 10th anniversary of his 2008 All-Star victory.