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EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE ALL-STAR OPEN

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What’s Happening?

The 2024 All-Star Race set the remaining spots on the grid with the All-Star Open. After heat races were cancelled on Saturday due to rain and flooding, 20 drivers battled it out for the final three spots in the million-dollar event. Big names such as Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, and Noah Gragson made up the open field as they journeyed on their quest for a chance to compete in the All-Star Race.

Austin Cindric competed in the All-Star Race in 2022 and 2023, yet made his Open debut in the race this year. Chase Briscoe makes his second appearance in the Open, his first since his rookie season in 2021. Austin Dillon is another driver who looked to return to the main race with a strong performance in the open, along with Erik Jones, Wallace, and Ty Gibbs. Who secured the final three spots in the All-Star Open? Here is everything that took place in the preliminary race!

You need to know:

  • This was the first race for the Cup Series on the newly repaved surface for North Wilkesboro. The track was repaved following the 2023 All-Star race, with the first official race taking place Saturday with the Truck Series. NASCAR threw an ‘All-Star Caution” on lap 50 of the race.
  • Goodyear debuted the alternate softer tire. The tire could be differentiated with the red Goodyear letters compared to the yellow letters of the original tires. The tire was supposed to wear faster, to allow for more driver input and create overall better racing.
  • Seven former Cup winners made up the 20 driver field in the open. These drivers were; Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, Justin Haley, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, and Erik Jones.

Ty Gibbs Dominates First Half

Ty Gibbs and Bubba Wallace quickly pulled away at the drop of the green flag. While third on back traded positions in the first half, the 54 and 23 cleared the field, with Gibbs leading the first 50 laps of the All-Star Open on his way to the All-Star Caution. Gibbs gapped Wallace by over two seconds, but Bubba was able to cut the gap to under two seconds before the caution flag flew.

With every driver coming onto pit road, multiple chose to move to the softer tire, but faced issues with the tires they received. Wallace believed to have mix and matched the red and yellow tires. Wallace actually had all four soft tires on, but the color of the tape on them caused an optical illusion believing that they mixed and matched. Wallace fell to 3rd during pit stops but worked his way back to second in the race.

Cindric Gets Turned Into Outside Wall

Austin Cindric found himself sandwiched between Briscoe and Hocevar coming off of turn four and onto the straight. The three-wide battle ended quickly as Cindric was squeezed right into the front of Briscoe’s Mustang, causing him to turn into the outside wall and bring out the second caution of the day. Cindric was not happy with the racing, as he quickly tracked down Hocevar when the yellow was brought out. Cindric was brought to pit road for repairs, going multiple laps down and taking him out of a chance to race his way into the All-Star Race, ultimately missing it for the first time in his career.

Gibbs Dominates All-Star Open, Wallace Takes Final Transfer Spot, Gragson Wins Fan Vote

Ty Gibbs had little to no competition in the Open, as he drove away on every restart and never looked back. The driver of the 54 led every lap in the Open to take the checkered flag by over two seconds from Bubba Wallace, who took the final transfer spot in the Open for a Toyota sweep of the top two places. It marks the second straight year Gibbs has raced his way into the All-Star Race.

Noah Gragson was the winner of the All-Star Fan Vote, taking home the third and last spot in the All-Star Race over names such as Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman. This marks the first time Noah Gragson has made the All-Star Race.

Conclusion

While this may be the end of the All-Star Open, this is only the beginning of the night. With the grid now set, its time to see who will win the million dollar prize in the All-Star Race!

Stay tuned to DailyDownforce.com for the recap for the All-Star Race, along with all the latest news in the NASCAR world!

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