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May 18, 2024

What to Watch: 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race

NASCAR All-Star Race

(⏰ Sunday, 8 p.m. ET | FS1 | MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Weekend schedule | TV schedule | Weather tracker | NASCAR 101

Location: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Track length: 0.625 miles
All-Star Race purse: $3,784,525
Winner’s prize: $1 million
Race distance: 200 laps | 125 miles
Segments: 100 | 150 | 200

Starting lineup: Joey Logano to lead the field
Pit stall assignments:
See where drivers will pit
Defending winner:
Kyle Larson, May 2023

Key things to watch

Friday sessions

Ty Gibbs was quickest in Friday’s 50-minute practice session at 124.001 mph on the freshly repaved North Wilkesboro Speedway, but the 21-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing phenom will still need to race his way into Sunday’s main event. Behind Gibbs on the speed chart were Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace. | Full Friday recap

Big story line

Which All-Star is set to shine the brightest?

A trip back to Wilkes County means a chance for one All-Star Cup driver to win $1 million under the lights at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway.

At 0.625 miles long — five-eighths, for those who prefer fractions — North Wilkesboro sets short tracks into the spotlight once again during what has been a thrilling 2024 season to date. But what can this year’s short-oval races tell us about what to expect in Sunday’s 200-lap feature?

Through 13 points-paying events, the Cup Series has raced at five tracks that measure 1 mile or shorter: Phoenix Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and Dover Motor Speedway. The winners? Denny Hamlin (Bristol, Richmond, Dover), Christopher Bell (Phoenix) and William Byron (Martinsville).

With four short-track wins on its resume, Joe Gibbs Racing may be set to shine brightest with Hamlin, Bell and 2017 Cup champ Martin Truex Jr. all locked into Sunday night’s big race. Also in line may be sophomore sensation Gibbs, who raced his way into the show from the All-Star Open last year and will be tasked to do the same on Sunday evening. He’s still looking for that first trip to Victory Lane, and while this would not serve as a points-paying win, a $1 million payday in an exhibition event sure wouldn’t hurt.

Let’s not forget the defending All-Star winner, though, Kyle Larson. The 2021 champion won that year’s All-Star Race at Texas and swept NASCAR’s North Wilkesboro return in the Craftsman Truck Series and the All-Star exhibition. Since he spent Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis attempting to qualify for the Indy 500, Larson will start from the rear Sunday in an attempt to storm through the field and pull off the repeat.

History tells us…

A second straight win for Larson will be difficult, but not impossible. According to Racing Insights, Larson is the All-Star Race’s only repeat winner in the past 11 editions — and has racked up three of the past five (2019, 2021, 2023).

No one has won consecutive All-Star Races, however, since Davey Allison accomplished the feat in 1991 and 1992. Brad Keselowski, last week’s winner at Darlington Raceway, is on the other end of the spectrum. The RFK Racing co-owner and driver has never won the All-Star Race in 15 starts but has finished runner-up three times — most in the event without winning the feature — and led a combined 120 laps — the most of any driver who has not won it.

He may not be the betting favorite to win, but watch out for…

Tyler Reddick. Opening at 12-1 odds, Reddick may not be the longest shot we’ve highlighted in this space, but an exclusive field produces limited options — especially in a field stacked only with NASCAR’s best. Reddick finished third in last season’s All-Star Race in a 2-3 finish for 23XI Racing, and on Friday, ranked eighth in 10-lap averages during practice. By Sunday, Reddick’s odds had improved to 10-1. | All-Star odds

Speed reads

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

– Turning Point: Trends from Darlington, arriving in North Wilkesboro | Read article
– Getting up to speed:
New All-Star format, tire options explained | Read article
– Not the usual suspect:
Logano on what it’s like to be outside the playoffs this late | Read article
– Pit Crew Challenge:
Logano lands pole; No. 20 team takes Pit Crew Challenge | Read article
– Breaking streaks:
Brad Keselowski, RFK explain ‘heck of a ride’ back to Victory Lane | Read article
– Prime’s time: Prime Video to begin live Cup broadcasts with 2025 Coke 600 | Read article
– An explosive return:
TNT Sports returns in June 2025 with Saturday night show at Atlanta | Read article
– Tournament talk:
In-Season Tournament to debut with TNT races in 2025, award $1 million prize | Read article
– ‘A great addition’:
Drivers react to bracket-style tournament to come in 2025 | Read article
– Mission 600:
Chris Buescher makes ‘eye-opening’ journey to Parris Island | Read article
– Larson’s Indy-Charlotte double:
Current Cup points leader shows blistering pace in Fast Friday practice | Read article
– Crossing over:
Historic overlaps between NASCAR and the Indianapolis 500 | Photo gallery
– All-Star memories: Take a trip through iconic moments | Photo gallery
– NASCAR Classics: Picks to click from All-Star video archives | Read article
– Paint Scheme Preview: Schemes for Trucks, All-Star Open and All-Star Race | Pick your favorite
– Power Rankings:
Gibbs continues to rise in sophomore season | Latest driver rankings

Fast facts

Race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

– The winner of the All-Star Race went on to win the championship in two of the last four years and 12 times total.
– Hendrick Motorsports drivers won the All-Star Race three of the last four years. The team’s 11 All-Star Race wins lead all teams.
– Toyota is winless in the last six All-Star Races. Chevrolet won four of the last six with Ford winning the other two.