Kyle Larson passed Ty Dillon for the lead with five laps remaining in the final stage of the Monster Energy Open and held on to win the event — and claim the final spot in the All-Star Race.
The 10-lap final stage was the last chance for drivers to qualify for Saturday’s main race in the Open. The fourth spot added to the lineup is earned by fan vote, and was awarded to Alex Bowman.
Dillon had led the first four laps of the stage after getting a jump on the restart in his No. 13 Chevrolet, before Larson closed the gap and passed.
Larson’s race to the finish was the only one of the three stages to be uncontested, as both Stage 1 and Stage 2 ended with battles to cross the start/finish line — won by William Byron and Bubba Wallace.
Bubba Wallace won the battle to the start/finish line in Stage 2, edging out Daniel Suarez for the overtime stage victory and a spot in the All-Star Race on Saturday.
Wallace joins William Byron as the first two qualifiers to advance to the main event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Suarez’s No. 41 Ford went spinning through the grass as Wallace crossed the start/finish line first, and sustained damage.
The two-lap shootout was set up when the caution came out two laps before the end of the stage when Daniel Hemric and Ryan Preece fought for third place. Hemric wiggled into Preece’s No. 47, and then slammed into the wall with his No. 8 Chevrolet before spinning through the grass — with a little help in the form of a nudge from Preece.
Hemric exited the race after the caution, the damage too substantial for his No. 8 to continue.
Alex Bowman had led the first 23 laps of the stage until the yellow flag came out.
Stage 3 is scheduled to last 10 laps.
William Byron won a two-lap shootout to take the Stage 1 overtime victory in the Monster Energy Open on Saturday — and a spot in the All-Star Race.
Byron edged Bubba Wallace to the start/finish line as the No. 24 and No. 43 Chevrolets banged and fought through the final lap of the stage.
Stage 1 ended on Lap 27, overtime from the scheduled 20 laps, after the yellow flag came out on Lap 15 for the No. 52 Chevrolet of BJ McLeod smoking profusely as he entered Turn 4. During that caution, Chris Buescher came to pit road with a broken track bar on his No. 37 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet.
Pole-starter Daniel Hemric had led the first 25 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He lost the lead on the restart, however, as Kyle Larson and Wallace sped past him.