Highlights of Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway:
WINNER: Kevin Harvick, easily the dominant driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this year, solidified that position Saturday night by ruling the final segment and winning the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Harvick led all the way in the 10-lap concluding segment of the race. His march to victory was delayed when Joey Logano and Kyle Larson crashed racing in the top five with three laps to go.
Harvick collected $1 million for the win, his second in the All-Star Race. He outran Daniel Suarez by .32 of a second. Logano, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott completed the top five.
“These guys built a really fast Ford,” Harvick said. “I need to give a special thanks to the Roush Yates engine department. They put in a lot of effort, and they love restrictor-plate races. Our car was super fast, and I could accelerate well. In a straight line, this car was a rocket.”
Suarez, in his most impressive race this year, said, “I feel like we had a car capable of winning the race. We were very strong and competitive. We’ve been racing in the All-Star Race twice now already. But it hurts to be so close and not get it.”
LOGANO, LARSON WRECK – With three laps left in the race, Logano bounced off the outside wall after being crowded by Larson. Logano ran into Larson, sending Larson’s Chevrolet across the grass separating the frontstretch from pit road and slowing the field under caution.
“Overall it was a fun night. We went back to the front and back to the front; I think we passed the most cars,” Logano said. “It was a lot of fun racing with nothing to lose. I wish every race was this much fun, where you just go for it and don’t think about anything else. Not the million dollars, not the goal, but we had a good time.”
HARVICK AT FRONT – Harvick swept past Suarez on the final lap and led the 20-lap third stage of the race. Larson, Ryan Blaney and Logano followed in the top five.
CRASH INTERRUPTS THIRD SEGMENT – A six-car accident near the end of the third stage damaged the cars of Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. and trimmed the field for the final stage.
BOWMAN LOSES CONTROL – Alex Bowman whacked the outside wall in turn two with two laps left in the third stage, causing a caution period and leading to pit stops by most of the leaders.
KAHNE MEETS WALL – Former All-Star winner Kasey Kahne, caught in tight traffic, bounced off the wall near the start-finish line, bringing out the second caution.
KYLE BUSCH TAKES STAGE TWO – Joe Gibbs Racing made its presence felt in the 20-lap second stage. Kyle Busch finished the stage .10 of a second in front of teammate Suarez. Larson was third, Truex Jr. fourth and Chase Elliott fifth. Harvick, winner of the first stage, dropped to 10th.
HARVICK WINS FIRST STAGE – Harvick, the season’s dominant driver, dominated the 30-lap first stage and finished in front of Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Logano. Harvick led by .42 of a second at lap 30. Allmendinger, who advanced to the feature from the Open race, roared into the top five from the back.
KURT BUSCH BRINGS OUT YELLOW – Kurt Busch produced the night’s first caution on the race’s second lap when he slid through turn three and tapped the outside wall.
FOUR JOIN THE FUN – Bowman, Suarez and Allmendinger won stages in the preliminary Monster Energy Open to advance to the All-Star race. Elliott won an online fan vote to also join the field.