CONCORD, N.C. – All-Star Race weekend has arrived, with the at-track action starting tomorrow. Hendrick Motorsports has a record-setting history in the event at Charlotte Motor Speedway with $1 million on the line.
Here are some insights to keep in mind as the race approaches.
- Hendrick Motorsports has sent at least three cars to the NASCAR All-Star Race for 19 consecutive seasons (2000-2018) – the longest streak all-time. If Alex Bowman or William Byron were to win the fan vote or race their way into the main event by winning one of the three stages in the Open, that streak would increase to 20. The organization also owns records for the most starts (108), different drivers to compete (21), wins (eight), top-five finishes (38), top-10s (60) and laps led (711). The organization's drivers have also won the Open before the All-Star Race four times, which leads teams all-time. Bowman also won Stage 1 of the Open last season in order to transfer to the All-Star Race.
- For the first time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, Chase Elliott will head into the weekend locked into the All-Star Race. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native has three starts under his belt after receiving the fan vote to be in the big show the last three years (2016, 2017, 2018). In those three previous starts, the No. 9 driver averaged a starting position of 16.0 and finishing position of 6.0 – currently the third-best average finish all-time in the All-Star Race with a minimum of two starts.
- As a rookie in the NASCAR Cup Series last year, Byron was not locked into the 2018 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Competing in his first Open in an attempt to race his way in, the driver of the No. 24 Chevy was able to run within the top five a good portion of the race before coming up just short of the main event to compete for the $1 million prize. This weekend, Byron will once again have three chances to race his way into the main event for what would be his first All-Star Race by winning any of the stages in the Open.
- Jimmie Johnson has won the All-Star Race a record four times, which is more than any other driver. His first win came in 2003 when the race was called “The Winston.” He then took home a victory in 2006 and went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. He is one of seven drivers to have accomplished the feat of winning the All-Star Race and going on to win the 600-mile event at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following weekend, which he did in 2003. He also one of only five drivers to have won the $1 million event and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same year – doing so in both 2006 and 2013.
- Coming off three straight career-best second-place finishes at Talladega Superspeedway, Dover International Speedway and Kansas Speedway, Bowman will compete to claim a spot in the All-Star Race for the second time in his career. The 26-year-old started third in last season’s Open and took the win in Stage 1, going on to finish 21st in the main event after a late-race incident on the backstretch. This year, if he were to join the $1 million event once again, he could become the third driver in history to win the All-Star Race before his first points race win.