Charlotte Motor Speedway will host its first of two consecutive weekend’s of racing with the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in action first.
Kevin Harvick is the defending winner of the All-Star Race that pays $1 million to the winner. The stage lengths will be 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps. NASCAR overtime rules are in effect for all of the stages if necessary and there are no mandatory pit strategy rules.
When the checkered flag flies someone will add their name to the illustrious list of winners over the years as well as bringing home a big check.
"This is always a pretty cool race and it has good atmosphere around it," said Kyle Busch a former winner of the event. "The crowd gets jacked up and, of course, there is nothing important on the line besides a million bucks.
"You just go out there and race as hard as you can. You get some practice runs in, get some good practice in and make sure your car feels good to you. And you try to work on your speed, of course, as best you can."
Components being considered for the 2021 Gen 7 Cup car will be utilized in Saturday night’s race including changes to the splitter and the radiator air duct.
"Throughout its history, the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race has provided a platform to try new and innovative ideas, some of which we have incorporated on a full-time basis," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
A field of fifteen drivers is eligible for Saturday night’s main event with three drivers transferring through the Monster Energy Open. One additional driver will be added to the main event through the fan vote with 19 cars taking the green flag in this year’s All-Star Race. Motor Racing Network’s live coverage of the All-Star Race starts with the Open broadcast at 5:30 p.m. ET.
"I wasn’t even thinking about the money," said Daniel Suarez, who will have to race his way in through the Open after finishing second in last year’s All-Star Race. "Money comes and goes, but the trophies don’t. I’m hoping I can get a trophy for Gene (Haas) and Tony (Stewart) this weekend because it means so much to them. These guys and most racers don’t race for the money; they do it for the trophies.
"The All-Star Race is one of the few times in the season when we don’t have to think about points and different things like that. All we really care about is crossing the start-finish line first."
The Gander Outdoors Truck Series is in action Friday night at the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (MRN, 8 p.m. ET). Ross Chastain scored a popular win last weekend at Kansas Speedway as Stewart Friesen ran out of fuel in the closing laps to give up the lead. That allowed Grant Enfinger to maintain the series point lead and the ThorSport Racing driver is looking for his first win of the year Friday night.