For the second year in a row, an Arizonan is in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.
The All-Star Race is filled by past All-Star Race winners and every regular season race winner since last year’s All-Star Race. It appeared Tucson’s Alex Bowman was going to win his way into the All-Star Race over the past month with a win but found his luck to be just short finishing in second place for the past three races in a row.
The All-Star Open allowed three drivers who did not fit the prior criteria to make the race by winning one of three stages in a race filled with all drivers who were not yet in the All-Star Race. Bowman was close after all three stages but fell short in all three wild finishes.
The final way to make the All-Star Race is by winning the fan vote. Once the race was over, it was determined that out of all drivers who had not qualified for the race, Alex Bowman earned the most votes from the NASCAR fans to earn a trip to the All-Star Race.
When you have 3⃣ runner-up finishes in a row, the fans take notice.
— #AllStarRace (@NASCAR) May 18, 2019
Bowman is the only Arizonan to make the NASCAR All-Star Race and now has his second opportunity to race in one of NASCAR’s biggest races of the year. Bowman also completes the Hendrick Motorsports group of drivers all making the All-Star show.
The All-Star Race is an all-or-nothing war between NASCAR’s best 19 drivers. It rewards no points to the regular season standings but gives you a trophy, $1 million bonus, and an automatic bid into every future All-Star Race. Second place gets none of that.
The All-Star Race begins only a short time after the conclusion of the Open with the green flag flying on FS1 at 5 pm Arizona time Saturday night.
Only one fan-vote-winning driver has claimed victory in the All-Star race since the fan vote was added into the All-Star format in 2004. That was Kasey Kahne taking the checkereds back in 2008.