NORTH WILKESBORO, NC — Kyle Larson made an effort to win his third All-Star race and earn $1 million Sunday night in the Cup Series return to North Wilkesboro Speedway after a 27-year absence.
Larson became the fourth driver to win the All-Star race three times. Jimmy Johnson has four wins, while Larson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt and three.
Larson is the first to win the All-Star race at three different races, having also won at Charlotte in 2019 and Texas in 2021.
He celebrated with a roar around the .625-mile track as Hendrick Motorsports won its 11th All-Star race.
Mr. Wallace finished second in the 200-lap non-points championship, followed by Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott.
But Larson was the only one to collect money at the event.
Larson took a speeding penalty on lap 24, and ran away from the field.
Sent to the back of the field on lap 24, he drove his No. 5 Chevrolet past 16 cars on new tires, including the polesitter. Daniel Suarez on lap 56 to take the lead. Larson went on to build an 11-second lead before the first caution on lap 100.
The race caution didn’t slow down Larson, who wasn’t challenged much in the second half of the race.
If fans come to see the damage, they leave disappointed.
There was none.
And the only pass he saw to take the lead was Larson passing Suarez.
North Wilkesboro Speedway’s asphalt track had a great ride after a week of racing despite not having been built for more than three decades.
The track, which was mostly deserted and overgrown with weeds, was restored with the help of Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Suarez is Chris Buescher started on the front row of the All-Star race after winning their 60-lap feature on Saturday night, when NASCAR first experimented with wet tires on Cup Series cars.
Suarez dominated early, leading the first 55 laps of the race, while Buescher dropped quickly, dropping to 10th with just over five laps to go when stuck on the outside.
Kevin Harvickwho plans to retire after the season, drove the number 29 car with the white paint scheme for the last time.
It is the same car that the two-time All-Star winner started his career after replacing Dale Earnhardt with. Richard Childress following Earnhardt’s death at the Daytona 500 in 2001.
Harvick usually drives the No. 4 for Stewart-Haas Racing, but SHR made a deal with RCR to let him drive the No. 4 car.
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In the past, Josh Berry won the All-Star Open to advance to the All-Star tournament along with a second-place finish It’s Gibbs is a vote winner Noah Gragson. Berry took the lead with 23 laps remaining when he passed Gibbs on the apron inside the track.
“It’s pretty, really special to be here,” Gibbs said. “I wasn’t alive when they raced here, but it’s really cool. It’s a broken track, but it’s fun. Just looking at the patches, looking for grip.”
There were two accidents at the Open tournament, including one involving Michael McDowell and Justin Haleywho were all running in the top five at the time before Gibbs dropped McDowell.