The time has come for NASCAR fans to show their support for their favorite drivers. NASCAR has officially opened the All-Star fan vote, which will help one Cup Series competitor secure a spot in the annual All-Star Race.
The voting for the All-Star Race began on April 22, and it will run through May 20. Fans can vote once a day using their email address, Twitter, and Facebook profiles. The current eligible drivers are Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Todd Gilliland, Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cody Ware, Landon Cassill, BJ McLeod, and Daniel Suárez.
Matt DiBenedetto, who now drives for Rackley W.A.R. in the Camping World Truck Series, is the last driver to win the All-Star fan vote. He secured the most votes among drivers that had not yet qualified for the race by winning a stage in the All-Star Open or the preliminary race itself.
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The All-Star Open and the All-Star Race will take place on Sunday, May 22. FS1 will provide coverage for the All-Star Open as multiple drivers fight to secure their spot in the annual exhibition race. FOX will then take over as the drivers compete for the $1 million bonus at Texas Motor Speedway.
4 Races Remain for Winless Drivers
While racing fans push to get their favorite driver in the All-Star Race, the competitors themselves will try to secure their own spot. They will take on the four remaining regular-season races before heading down to Texas Motor Speedway.
These races will take place at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24, Dover Motor Speedway on May 1, Darlington Raceway on May 8, and Kansas Speedway on May 15. They will represent some of the final opportunities for drivers such as Dillon, Reddick, and Burton among others to race their way into the big event.
If these drivers remain winless, they will still have an opportunity to secure a spot in the All-Star Race. They will compete in the All-Star Open. Each driver that wins a stage will move on to the main event, as will the overall winner of the preliminary race. The winner of the fan vote will join them, provided their car remains in good enough condition.
There is only one driver that won the fan vote and went on to capture the All-Star Race. Kasey Kahne achieved this goal during the 2008 season while driving for Gillett Evernham Motorsports.
Past Winners Have Secure Spots in the All-Star Race
While 15 Cup Series drivers try to secure a spot in the All-Star Race, there will be other drivers that head to Texas Motor Speedway ready to battle for the $1 million prize. There are several that have guaranteed spots based on past successes.
The drivers that won points-paying races in 2021-2022 will have automatic spots in the All-Star Race. This list includes Michael McDowell, Joey Logano, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, and Chase Briscoe.
Along with winners of points-paying races, past All-Star Race winners and past Cup Series champions are all eligible for a guaranteed spot if they still compete full-time. Kevin Harvick fits these criteria after winning the title in 2014 and the All-Star Races in 2007 and 2018, so he will still compete despite going winless since the Bristol night race in 2020.