Podium Preview: NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas

Indeed, the NASCAR All-Star Race heats up this year at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Sean Folsom/The Podium Finish)

Indeed, the NASCAR All-Star Race heats up this year at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Sean Folsom/The Podium Finish)

Certainly, the NASCAR All-Star Race moves over to the state where everything may be bigger. In this case, this year’s exhibition moves to Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile intermediate track.

Above all else, the stakes remain the same for this annual race held since 1985. Most importantly, drivers focus on winning the big $1 million prize without points on the line.

This year, The Podium Finish’s panelists previews the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas. This weekend, Adam Lucas, Kobe LambethLuis TorresMatt SisolerMichelle RaynorStephen ConleyTaylor KitchenTerra Jones and yours truly consider Kyle Larson’s chances and some sneaky contenders.

Podium Preview: NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas
Trending Topics
Question 1
"Hello? Is it me you're looking for?" (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish)

“Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?” (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish)

Given Kyle Larson’s hot streak, would you say that he and his No. 5 team are the ones to beat for Sunday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas?

Lambeth : The rest of the field is currently being left behind, with Hendrick Motorsports dominating the NASCAR Cup Series. Kyle Larson will certainly be the favorite to win, due to the high amount of momentum the No. 5 team is bringing into the Lone Star State.

We can officially say that HMS is back to its dominant form. The rebuild is over and they are ready to pounce all over their rivals. If Larson does not win the All-Star Race, I think one of his HMS teammates would be a good pick to secure the million dollar grand prize.

Sisoler : He has to be considered a favorite for sure with the equipment and the momentum he is carrying into Sunday.

Tiongson : All things considered, I’m getting Jeff Gordon mid 1990s vibes from Kyle Larson’s recent hot streak. Larson and crew chief Cliff Daniels are hitting it off similarly as Gordon and Ray Evernham in 1995. Impressively, Larson seems quite acclimated with the No. 5 team in quick, grand fashion.

Many of us anticipated that Larson would start winning. However, this is quite impressive. In fact, Larson scored wins at three distinct venues, all firsts for him in terms of intermediate and a road course.

Indeed, it’d be foolish to not consider Larson as the favorite on Sunday night. Without points on the line, look for an already dynamic Larson ready for a Texas win.

TorresI wouldn’t count Larson out on scoring yet another win. What was the old No. 48 team are re-showing what they once were with Jimmie Johnson. Only this time, with new folks leading the charge. Crew chief Cliff Daniels has finally blossomed into the leader some felt he can achieve.

With just money on the line, it’s right in Larson’s alley. This confusing format shouldn’t affect him because all that sprint car racing somewhat resembles Sunday’s format. It’ll take navigating through traffic to keep Larson from winning. He’ll either get by with ease or struggle, thus clean air should be something to keep an eye on Sunday.

Shoppe : At this point, I can’t think of more of a favorite for this all star race or the championship in general than Kyle Larson! This 5 team is on fire right now. And I don’t expect that to change tonight! Leave it to Cliff Daniel’s to figure out the complicated format. Ultimately, leave it to Kyle Larson to drive the wheels off of it!

Question 2
Despite Kevin Harvick's struggles this year, he remains a solid favorite for tonight's NASCAR All-Star Race. (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish)

Despite Kevin Harvick’s struggles this year, he remains a solid favorite for tonight’s NASCAR All-Star Race. (Photo: Luis Torres/The Podium Finish)

Besides the usual favorites, which driver and team has the best potential to steal the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas?

Jones : I think Ryan Blaney could surprise some folks this weekend. Who knows with the crazy format that the ASR brings, that “something different” could be what the team needs. 

Kitchen : If Austin Cindric can race his way into the main event, I think he could win the whole thing. Cindric has shown tremendous strength in the Penske 33 car during the few times he has raced in it.

Quite honestly, Cindric outperforms some Cup series regulars when he races. Having a “wild card” in this race could be the key to winning because, after all, what do these drivers have to lose? 

Raynor : I think we could see Kevin Harvick pull off the win or maybe Bubba Wallace. Both need good races. The format is crazy. So, it’s hard to determine who could sneak in the win. 

ConleyWith the rough season they’ve had, I wouldn’t put Kevin Harvick in the favorite spot for much right now. But when it comes to the NASCAR All-Star Race, I think Harvick could be one of those that might steal the show and walk away with a big pay day. And maybe the race gives a little momentum which that team is in need of.

Absolutely, that’s two laps around Texas for a shot at $1 million (in pretend money). Now, let’s explain the format of tonight’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas.
Surely, turn 1 at Texas Motor Speedway may prove tricky for tonight's NASCAR All-Star Race.

Surely, turn 1 at Texas Motor Speedway may prove tricky for tonight’s NASCAR All-Star Race.

NASCAR All-Star Race Format

Tonight’s race features six rounds totaling 100 laps. Moreover, a random draw determines the starting lineup for Round 1.

In fact, the first four rounds consist of 15 laps. Meanwhile, the fifth round incorporates 30 laps. Finally, the Final Round features a 10-lap shootout.

Only green flag laps will count in the NASCAR All-Star race.

The fastest team on pit road during the mandatory pit stop will earn $100,000.00.

Ultimately, the race winner will be awarded $1,000,000.00.

Starting Orders

At the beginning of Round 2, a random draw determines the starting order (minimum of eight/maximum of 12) live on FS1.

Before the start of Round 3, the entire field will be inverted.

Again, at the beginning of Round 4, a random draw determines the starting order (minimum of eight/maximum of 12)

In this case, the cumulative finish from Rounds 1-4 determines Round 5’s starting order. The lowest cumulative finisher starts on the pole, second-lowest starts second, and so forth. All cars must enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop during Round 5.

However, the starting positions in the Final Round are set by finishing positions of Round 5.

Without further ado, let’s reveal our picks for tonight’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas!
Without doubt, here's a worthy quintet for tonight's NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas.

Without doubt, here’s a worthy quintet for tonight’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas.

NASCAR All-Star Race Picks

Kitchen : My winning pick for the NASCAR All-Star Race is Kyle Busch. This is a race where you can (within reason), do whatever it takes to win. The question I always like to ask is what driver has enough motivation, besides the million dollar check, to do what it takes to win. However, the guy to do it is the one with something to prove. The guy that wants to show he is still the best of the best. Ultimately, the guy who is single-handedly trying to break up the Hendrick brigade. The “candyman” himself, Kyle Busch.

Tiongson : Tonight, Kyle Larson continues his winning ways in the NASCAR All-Star Race. In this case, consider Larson’s most recent start in the ASR, a win at Charlotte in 2019. Similarly, like Jeff Gordon, when money’s on the line, Larson drops the hammer in crunch time!

Torres : This type of racing should favor Larson. The only thing that’ll keep him from winning is how he can get through traffic. If his car can pass his competitors, give the Easy W to Larson. That entire No. 5 team has been hitting everything on all cylinders and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.

Sisoler : Kyle Larson is on a hot streak right now, and with Texas experiencing very hot temperatures, I think the two will pair nicely.

Conley : I’m choosing Chase Elliott. Indeed, it’s been a Hendrick year. So, there’s no reason it shouldn’t continue in the AllStar race.

Raynor : My pick for the race is Chase Elliott because I think he’s learned from truck race today.

Lambeth : Hendrick Motorsports will continue its winning ways during AllStar weekend, with Chase Elliott taking home a million bucks for the second consecutive year!

Shoppe : Quietly, Willy B (William Byron) has been one of the strongest all year long. With the recent dominance of HMS, I think the 24 team will win the money in Texas!

Jones : Ryan Blaney. Why not? It’s anyone’s game with the crazy format!

Race fans, thanks for joining us for our preview of the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas!

We’re ready for some racing. How about you? What do you think are the biggest storylines heading into this race? Who are your favorites to win?  Tweet us now @ThePodiumFinish and tell us now!

Thanks as always to the TPF team for their amazing efforts this week!  Stay safe and wash your hands often. Help yourself, your family and friends by getting the COVID-19 vaccine! Also, thanks for reading our content throughout this season.

The opinions and thoughts expressed in Podium Preview are solely of the authors. They do not reflect any organizations affiliated with the participants and author outside of TPF. This weekly feature is strictly for entertainment purposes. Ultimately, they are not indicative of TPF, the organization and its staff.

Also, if you are shopping for NASCAR or racing die-casts, be sure to check out our friends at Circle B Diecast! If your order is $20 or more, be sure to use coupon code TPF2021 for free shipping! Tell them we sent you and buy some new die-casts now!

Rob Tiongson

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes.

From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat.

Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Communications at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's just as happy to be a Texan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com