The NASCAR Cup Series drivers head to Texas on Sunday, June 13, for the annual All-Star Race. They will compete over the course of 100 laps for the $1 million prize while following an “all-Kyle front row.” Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson will have the pole position while Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch will start next to him.
NASCAR announced the starting grid for the All-Star Race during a special episode of NASCAR Race Hub. Host Adam Alexander explained that the blind draw gave the two drivers their spots at the front of the pack. The second row features JGR’s Christopher Bell and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer. The third has Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon and HMS’ Chase Elliott.
The defending Cup Series champion, Elliott won the last All-Star Race. He and the other drivers headed to Bristol Motor Speedway in 2020, leaving Charlotte Motor Speedway for only the second time in the All-Star Race’s history. Elliott led 60 of the 140 laps and held off Busch to capture the prize. Now he will line up next to Dillon, the man who won the previous regular-season Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19, 2020.
NASCAR’s Biggest Stars Have the Best Odds
The trip to Texas Motor Speedway will be anything but normal given the major changes to the All-Star Race format. There are multiple stages, and NASCAR will use the breaks to flip the starting order. The top drivers will not simply be able to take the lead in Stage 1 and race to Victory Lane, but several still have favorable odds as the weekend approaches.
According to NASCAR, Larson is the favorite to win the All-Star race at 7-2. This news is no surprise considering that he has driven the most consistent car en route to three wins in 2021, including the past two races. Larson has also led the most laps (1162) and won the most stages (11).
The HMS driver is not the only championship contender with favorable odds at Texas. Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Busch all sit in a tie for second at 15-2. Elliott rounds out the top five at 8-1 as he seeks a second consecutive win in the All-Star Race.
While NASCAR’s top drivers hold the best odds to take the checkered flag, a pair of Ford drivers round out the bottom of the list. Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman, the winner of the 2002 All-Star Race, holds 80-1 odds. Custer sits in a tie with him amid a sophomore campaign in which he has struggled to contend for wins and has posted 10 finishes outside the top 20.
Four More Drivers Will Join the All-Star Race on Sunday
There are 17 full-time NASCAR drivers with spots secure in the big show based on wins from the previous All-Star Races or points races from 2020 and 2021. Four others, however, will have to secure their spots in a different way.
22 drivers will compete in the All-Star Open on Sunday, June 13, racing to secure a spot in the main event. The three stage winners will all head to the All-Star Race, as will the winner of the fan vote. They will then have the opportunity to compete for the $1 million prize.
NASCAR determined the starting order for the Open, basing it on the owners’ points from the 2021 season. Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick landed the pole position based on this formula while Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher secured the second spot.
The duo will lead the field to the green flag while Wood Brothers Racing‘s Matt DiBenedetto and JTG Daugherty’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. make up the second row. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ross Chastain and 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace will round out the top six.
The NASCAR All-Star Open takes place on Sunday, June 13, at 6 p.m. ET. The All-Star Race will take place after at 8 p.m. ET as the drivers compete for the bonus money. FS1 will provide coverage for both of the events, capping off the Fox Sports portion of the schedule.