Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Captures Long Sought NASCAR All-Star Race Win

It’s no secret Kyle Busch has won a lot in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He’s even won a championship (2015). But he had made 11 starts in the sport’s All-Star Race without bringing home the trophy. It’s also well known that Busch was hungry to pick up a win in a Cup car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Cross that one off of the list.

Busch made a bold move under leader Brad Keselowski on the start of the final stage and made it pay off with his first NASCAR All-Star Race victory. Busch moved to the low side of the No. 2 Penske Ford, nearly running into the grass. Keselowski was tapped by Kyle Larson entering turn one, saving the car from spinning. He faded to tenth at the checkered flag.

For Larson, his runner-up finish was another All-Star disappointment. Larson won the first two stages, came home third in the next, and second at the finish. Larson also nearly won the event last season, getting into the wall late while battling Joey Logano. The contact certainly cost him a shot at the victory in that race.

This time, it was pit road that bit Larson. Losing three spots on the final set of stops, he dropped from first to fourth and lost the advantage of earning the best average finish through three stages. The craziness of the ensuing restart just cost him enough track position to make a run.

One of the quirks of this All-Star Race is that teams were given a set of softer tires, referred to as “option” tires to use at their discretion. As expected, this brought about a variety of strategies.

Two drivers, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez started the race on the options. A handful of drivers then used the option set of tires in stage two. One of those, Jimmie Johnson, struck quickly on the restart moving from fourth to second. However, it wasn’t enough to chase down Larson at the end of that stage.

Johnson was able to claim the third stage of the event and started the final 10 laps in second. But that’s where the No. 48 stalled out, Busch using the advantage of clean air to pull away and cruise ot victory.

Despite the effort to rev up the action with tire strategy, the softer tire compound didn’t appear to make as much of a difference as expected. The speed and handling advantage involved seemed to be minimal. The race was rather tame by All-Star Race standards. There were no cautions for contact or spins and Matt Kenseth was the only mechanical failure, suffering an oil leak during stage 1.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to action again in Charlotte next weekend for the Coca- Cola 600. Catch all the action live at 6 p.m. ET on FOX.

About the author

Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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Will Kyle cry when he finds out it doesn’t count toward his 200? Does he pay to get Sam on TV?

When I was watching the final segment I thought that they should allow the final ten to make their pit stop and start them in the order of average finish. That way a messed up pit stop won’t hurt the driver who should be starting first.


I did not watch a bit of it! Yeah me! Too cheesy, stupid, boring, and any other negative you can throw in there! Betcha Sammy was ready for her close up and had a 5,000.00 outfit that was just PERFECT for a freaking race track, lol.


That Race is the most RIDICULOUS thing Nascar could have ever come up with. They need to do away with the ALL STAR race all together


What the heck was that pathetic excuse of an “event”? First, they ran that stupid smoke show while doing the driver introductions. What was that all about? It used to be that the driver and crew jumped into the back of a pick-up and rode around the track, waving at the crowd! Now this?

Oh, and I love how NASCAR was making up the rules as they went along! Sorry about your luck Brad! Maybe Roger should switch you guys over to Toyota, or at the very least to Chevrolet, then maybe NASCAR will lay off you!

During that last 10-lap segment, could they have shown the Queen of NASCAR (Samantha Busch) any more? I don’t remember them showing other wives as much as they show her!

Oh hey, there was no mention about the new 2017 Toyota Camry POS pace car!

I was at all star races from 2003 to 2007. I don’t remember there being as much BS as there was last night. Nine cars sent to the garage (well, ten actually, but Kenseth was already there) after the third segment? What was this, an experiment that will be used during the playoffs, where the whole field will race for the first two stages, then, anyone not in the playoffs will be sent to the garage, allowing only those in the playoffs to run the last half of the race? This race needs to just go away! Use this weekend to schedule another points-paying race, then go to the 6oo. If this is what the future holds for this farce, just shut it down and do away with it all together!

Bill B

Here’s what irked me most. The segments were 20 laps. Without a caution that equates to about 12 minutes of green flag racing. Yet, we broke for a commercial in the middle of each segment. You mean to tell me that they couldn’t find a way to give us a lousy 12 minutes of commercial free racing. I thought the idea of the segments was to give them a perfect place to bombard up with commercials so there would be fewer during the race. Well as we all expected the stages just allow them to show more commercials and we still get the same during the green flag. Talk about pissing on us and telling us it’s raining. If the stages don’t result in fewer commercials during green flag racing then NASCAR can cram the stages up their ass, sideways.


Did I hear Kyle complimenting Goodyear on the tires they brought? One has to wonder if he would have the same feeling had he not won the race, since they seem to be his go-to reason for not winning races lately.

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