Scan All: “It’s crazy what you guys’ll do for a million bucks”

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“It’s crazy what you guys’ll do for a million bucks,” crew chief Todd Gordon told his driver after Joey Logano narrowly missed a multicar accident In the All-Star Race.

“You just wait. You’ll see a lot more of that,” Logano replied.

Here are some other highlights:

  • “Beside the 4, I think we’ve got the best car; it’s driving pretty good.” – Kyle Busch
  • “We’re tore up. Lost the hood.” – Brad Keselowski
  • “I just want to thank my teammate Clint Bowyer for putting us in that position.” – Kurt Busch
  • “He’s the last one to do that because he mirror drives everybody.” – Kyle Larson, after contact from Logano sent him spinning.
  • “That 22’s probably going to be our next caution. I think he’s gonna cut a tire, personally.” – Chase Elliott
  • “A million dollars baby. Hell yeah!” – Kevin Harvick

For more, watch the above video.

Drivers still have questions after Saturday practice session

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CONCORD, N.C. — Even after a 60-minute practice Saturday morning, drivers were still trying to figure out what the racing would be like with the rules package for this evening’s Monster Energy All-Star Race.

NASCAR granted teams an extra session Saturday after much of Friday’s practices at Charlotte Motor Speedway were canceled by rain.

Kyle Larson posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s session at 173.305 mph. He and others noted that handling could play a factor in the race for $1 million.

“I felt like early practice I could pass cars pretty easy,’’ Larson said. “But when the track got a little tighter, it was harder to pass.’’

Clint Bowyer, who was next on the speed chart at 173.255 mph, was struck by how the cars reacted in traffic.

“To be dead honest with you, the thing that surprised me was they didn’t pull up near as much as I thought they would,’’ he said. “I don’t know, that’s what I was hoping they would do. I think that’s what everybody was hoping they would do. I was a little bit frustrated with that. I still think you’re going to have that gaggle of cars, you know what I mean? Some excitement within there.’’

Aric Almirola also expressed surprise at what the cars didn’t do during practice.

“I think the biggest thing that surprised me was that the runs weren’t bigger,’’  said Almirola, who starts on the pole for the Monster Open preliminary race. “I thought that when we got in a pack or just even two cars, I thought the idea behind the package was for the trailing car to be able to get a big draft and get up to the lead car and be able to slingshot. I was surprised by that. It’s a little bit more sophisticated than that and the runs we were a little bit slower than I anticipated.

“I don’t know if it’s because of the race track or because of the radius of the corners are tighter, the straightaways are shorter or if it’s actually the package. I was anticipating bigger runs and more ability to do something with a run.’’

So what does that forecast for the racing Saturday night?

“From what I have seen in practice, if you want to win, you have to be in the top three spots,’’ Almirola said. “I think track position will play a part like we have seen in speedway racing the last few years.”

Joey Logano, who won this event in 2016, is certain about one thing with tonight’s race.

We are going to crash some stuff tonight,’’ Logano said. “I think that is pretty apparent. In practice we were all pretty good at giving each other some room and making sure our cars are — at least we have a car for later on.

“I think towards the end of this race is when business picks up, I mean hey, it is the All-Star race. It is the same thing when we come here no matter what package you use. You have nothing to lose and $1 million to gain. I think every driver knows that. That whole caring about things kind of goes out the window. You think about winning the race and winning the money. That is what this is about.’’

Daniel McFadin contributed to this report

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Tonight’s All-Star Race at Charlotte: Start time, lineup and more

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Kyle Busch will look to repeat his All-Star victory from last year but will have to do so with a new aero package intended to tighten the competition.

NASCAR has mandated a restrictor plate, larger splitter, areo ducts and a larger spoiler for each car this weekend. This package has not been run before at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here are all the details for tonight’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Interscope Records and Monster Energy Artist Machine Gun Kelly will give the command to start engines at 8:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:16 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 80 laps over four stages around the 1.5-mile track.

ALL-STAR FORMAT: Stage 1 is 30 laps. Stage 2 is 20 laps. Stage 3 is 20 laps. Final stage is 10 laps.

SPECIAL RULES: Overtime can be used for the end of all stages. Only green flag laps will count in the final stage. Final stage must end under green. Crews can work on the car during a red flag. The six-minute clock for repairs is not in use tonight.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Practice is from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 4 p.m. Driver introductions for Monster Open are at 5:30 p.m. Driver introductions for Monster Energy All-Star Race begin at approximately 7:32 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEMMonster Energy Girl Erica Nagashima will perform the anthem at 8:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 8 p.m. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 7 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 76 degrees and a 41 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Busch won last year’s race and the $1 million prize. Kyle Larson placed second. Jimmie Johnson finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

 

MONSTER OPEN 

START:  Misti Mason, senior marketing manager at Circle K Stores Southeast, will give the command to start engines at 5:51 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 6 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 50 laps over three stages around the 1.5-mile track.

ALL-STAR FORMAT: Stage 1 is 20 laps. Stage 2 is 20 laps. Stage 3 is 10 laps.

SPECIAL RULES: Winner of each stage advances to the Monster Energy All-Star Race. The fan vote winner will be announced after the final stage. Final stage must end under green. Crews can work on the car during a red flag. The six-minute clock for repairs is not in use tonight.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Practice is from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 4 p.m. Driver introductions for Monster Open are at 5:30 p.m. Driver introductions for Monster Energy All-Star Race begins at approximately 7:32 p.m.

GOD BLESS AMERICADanielle Johnson will perform the song at 5:46 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 6 p.m. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 5:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 80 degrees and a 16 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Clint Bowyer won Stage 1. Ryan Blaney won Stage 2. Daniel Suarez won Stage 3.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the Open lineup.

Kyle Larson leads way in busy final Cup practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson had the fastest lap in a busy practice session Saturday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR officials added the practice because much of Friday’s sessions were rained out. Some drivers did not run a lap of practice Friday with the new aero package, which is intended to keep the cars closer together and run slower speeds with a restrictor plate.

Saturday’s 60-minute session featured cars in a pack for longer periods of time.

Larson led the way with a lap of 173.305 mph. He was followed by Clint Bowyer (173.255 mph), Kevin Harvick (173.049), Aric Almirola (172.977) and Daniel Suarez (172.656).

Denny Hamlin ran the most laps at 73. He was followed by Larson and Brad Keselowski, who each ran 62 laps.

Larson also had the best average for 10 consecutive laps at 171.756 mph. He was followed by Suarez (171.593) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (171.448)

Click here for practice report

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.