For only the third time in history but for the second year in a row, the NASCAR All-Star Race will not be held in Charlotte.
Instead, the most accomplished active drivers will converge on Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, for the 150-mile race.
In addition to the new location, there is also a new format. The field will be inverted several times after stages, with the inversion randomly chosen from the eighth and 12th positions after the first and third rounds and the entire field being inverted after the second round. For Round 5, the lineup will be set based on cumulative finish from the previous four rounds, and Round 6, a 10-lap shootout, will be set based on where cars finish at the end of the fifth round.
“Drivers and pit crews better pack their lunch pails because they are going to have to work extremely hard to earn the honor of celebrating in Victory Lane,” Texas Motor Speedway president and GM Eddie Gossage said,. “This is a full metal rodeo for a big ol’ bag of dough.”
Sporting News will provide updates and highlights throughout the All-Star Open qualifying race and the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race.
NASCAR All-Star Race live updates, highlights from Texas
7 p.m.: Think DiBenedetto was happy to get a spot in the All-Star Race?
6:48 p.m.: DiBenedetto is the winner of the fan vote to keep racing on Sunday. He’ll have a shot at the $1 million cash prize, along with Chastain, Reddick and Almirola.
6:47 p.m.: Almirola will make his fourth trip to the All-Star Race. He led all 10 laps of the third stage to punch his ticket. Only spot remaining is the winner of the fan vote.
6:42 p.m.: Almirola leads the third stage of the All-Star Open, with DiBenedetto and Buescher right behind him. 10 laps to go to determine who else makes it to the All-Star Race.
6:36 p.m.: Reddick punches his ticket to the All-Star Race. Both drivers to reach the All-Star Race will be making their first appearances in the race.
6:33 p.m.: Now Almirola moves ahead of DiBenedetto and is gaining on Reddick with four laps remaining.
6:30 p.m.: Reddick has a solid lead with 12 laps remaining in the second round. Matt DiBenedetto moves into second after a bold pass over Cindric. Aric Almirola is now up to third with Cindric in fourth.
6:25 p.m.: The first round is in the books. On to the second stage of the All-Star Open.
6:20 p.m.: Ross Chastain takes the lead over Reddick late and advances to the All-Star race with the Round 1 win.
6:17 p.m.: On the FS1 broadcast, Reddick said that the track is “really slick for me” even as he’s in the lead. He’s up front with three laps to go.
6:15 p.m.: Daniel Suarez got caught up in Jones’ crash and both drivers are knocked out with damage to both cars.
6:13 p.m.: Just about as soon as the green flag comes back out, Jones spins out trying to push for second. Caution flag back out, third already in the 20-lap first round.
6:13 p.m.: Green flag back with seven laps remaining. Reddick remains out in front with Chase Briscoe and Erik Jones right behind him.
6:07 p.m.: The green flag is back out and Tyler Reddick is keeping his lead from the start. Buescher spins out early after the green flag comes out, and this race is back under a caution.
6:03 p.m.: Chris Buescher and Austin Cindric will both serve pass-through penalties.
6:02 p.m.: A caution flag is out as Bubba Wallace spins out. It appears there was no contact to cause the spin.
6 p.m.: The green flag is being waved and the NASCAR All-Star Open is undereway.
5:49 p.m.: Brigadier General Lisa M. Craig has given the drivers at the All-Star Open the instruction to start their engines.
5:41 p.m.: Some early news on positioning for the start of the All-Star Open.
UPDATE:‘s No. 33 car fails pre-race inspection twice and will start at the rear for the All-Star Open. ‘s No. 13 car will start at the rear for the All-Star Open due to unapproved adjustments.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR)
MORE: Explaining the NASCAR All-Star Race format
NASCAR All-Star Race start time
The green flag for the Open, a qualifying race for drivers who didn’t automatically make the All-Star field, will wave shortly after 6 p.m. ET. The Open will set the 18th through 20th positions in the 21-car field.
The 21st and last spot in the field will go the winner of. If the top vote-getter also wins a stage in the Open, then the driver with the second-most votes will get in, and so on, until a driver is chosen.
The All-Star Race is scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. ET. As of Saturday night, the weather was expected to cooperate. The National Weather Service’sin Fort Worth, Texas, was for clear skies and a low temperature in the low to mid-70s. Daytime temperatures were expected to reach the mid- to upper 90s, however, and the heat index was forecast to climb over 100 degrees.
NASCAR All-Star Race starting lineup at Texas
The NASCAR drivers who automatically qualified for the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race field earned eligibility in three ways:
— Won a NASCAR Cup-Series points-paying race in 2020 or 2021. Michael McDowell, (Daytona 500) and Christopher Bell (Daytona Road Course) qualified with wins in ’21.
— Won a NASCAR Cup Series championship. There are seven past Cup champions in the All-Star Race field: Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.
— Won a past NASCAR All-Star Race. Eight previous race winners are in the field: Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Harvick, Larson, Logano and Ryan Newman. Harvick is two-time All-Star Race winner (2007, 2018).
The draw for the starting lineup took place Tuesday. Below are the results:
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|4||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|5||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|6||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|7||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|8||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|12||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|13||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|15||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|16||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|17||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|18||Ross Chastain||8||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19||Tyler Reddick||42||Richard Childress Racing|
|20||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|21||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|