AJ Allmendinger passed Chase Elliott on the second-to-last lap of Saturday’s Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway to win the final stage and transfer to Saturday’s main event, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, FS1). The JTG Daugherty Racing driver overcame the Hendrick Motorsports driver as well as Darrell Wallace Jr., whose team took only two tires at the break between Stages 2 and 3, so the No. 43 could start from the front.
Erik Jones finished second to Allmendinger, 0.327 seconds behind the leader. Elliott, Paul Menard and Chris Buescher rounded out the top five. The winners of the three stages of Saturday’s Open all advanced to the main event. Elliott, the winner of the Fan Vote, completed the field. Here’s a recap of the earlier stages in Saturday’s Open:
Stage 1 (20 laps)
Alex Bowman passed pole-sitter Aric Almirola on Lap 12 and drove away to win Stage 1 in the Monster Energy Open. Bowman took advantage of Almirola moving up the track in an attempt to block and scooted past on the inside just before the start-finish line. With the win, Bowman advances to the feature race in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
With five laps to go, Almirola and Chase Elliott battled, with Almirola coming close to the back of Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet. Elliott eventually finished third in the stage, while Almirola faded to eighth place. Erik Jones finished in second place, 0.355 seconds behind Bowman. Elliott, Paul Menard and Darrell Wallace Jr. rounded out the top five.
Stage 2 (20 laps)
Daniel Suarez and Chase Elliott went back-and-forth, but it was Suarez who reclaimed the lead from Elliott on Lap 35 en route to the Stage 2 victory. Suarez will take the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the main event, joining Alex Bowman, the winner of Stage 1.
Elliott took the lead from Suarez on Lap 33, but only held it for two laps as Suarez quickly regained his momentum. AJ Allmendinger finished second with Elliott in third and Darrell Wallace Jr. and William Byron rounding out the top five.
Paul Menard scraped the wall in Turn 3 late in the stage and finished 14th in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford.