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2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race Review at Charlotte Motor Speedway

The Monster Energy Open is done and dusted as we’re now into the darkness under lights.

$1,000,000 prize means a lot of money for whichever driver takes out the win at the end of Lap 80.

Jamie McMurray will start from the back end of the grid over an engine change.

It’s 76 degrees Fahrenheit out here in Concord, North Carolina as we don’t have any problems with rain.

The race is all set under green at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

80-Lap All-Star Race Begins under Green

Matt Kenseth leads the field off pole position, a week after his comeback in the series for Roush Fenway Racing.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads out his team-mate Kenseth at the end of Lap 1.

Kurt Busch spins out around the outside as he has contact with the left rear spoiler.

It’s three wide in the middle towards Turn 3 as Kurt Busch began to go loose before seeing some smoke from the left side of his No.41 car.

So the caution is out straight away after two laps.

Race Restart after the first caution

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is on the outside and Kevin Harvick on the inside line.

Harvick gets out in front of both Roush cars in Kenseth and Stenhouse.

There are some minor sparks gone over to Truex’s car, but his position isn’t affected.

Matt Keneth is losing momentum as he dropped down towards midway to the back end of the pack.

AJ Allmendinger runs on the outside line very well as he gets by Stenhouse.

Kyle Larson’s up to 10th place as he wanted to run around the bottom of the lane.

That means he wanted to run his left side tires below the line which would provide much better momentum for Kyle Larson’s No.42 car.

Chase Elliott up to 8th place after he too got his place in the Main Event via Fan Vote.

Kyle Busch is blooming fast on the bottom, but Truex gets by the No.18 towards Tun 3.

AJ Allmendinger almost got into the wall with Joey Logano, but what a save!

Kevin Harvick takes home with the Stage 1 win with a brilliant mastermind alongside Crew Chief Rodney Childers.

AJ Allmendinger made smooth moves, and a rash run saw him finish in P4 behind Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick.

Stage 2

Kevin Harvick’s pit stop isn’t great during the break as he’s hoping to pass a few cars and get back in the lead.

The steering wheel is what determines Harvick’s redemption back up front.

Martin Truex Jr. jumped on the outside of Kyle Busch but Ky. Busch takes over the lead of Truex.

Though, keep an eye on the No.42 car as Kyle Larson increased the wedge adjustment along with new tires and fuel.

It helped him run the bottom line well so don’t rule Larson out just yet.

Daniel Suarez joins team-mate Kyle Busch in the mix for the lead

Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez fight for the lead, but Suarez still held up down in 5th.

Suarez back up to 2nd while AJ Allmendinger kisses the wall, though the race is still on under green.

That will hurt momentum for Allmendinger despite a great run from 4th in Stage 1.

Kyle Larson using his strength via the inside line and hence closed the door on Truex for 3rd.

Daniel Suarez liked his car during the Open as the car looked a bit free.

The team encouraged him to use the track bar during the break, and that suggestion helped Suarez a lot in 2nd.

Truex gets by Suarez on the inside line on Turn 3, but it seems Suarez retains 2nd on the start/finish straight.

Suarez is trying to take a gamble on the inside line off Kyle Busch for the lead.

But that’s too little, too late as Kyle Busch sweeps Stage 2.

Stage 3

Kyle Busch has led 19 laps so far tonight and had no problems with the handling.

What a stop from Brad Keselowski with the guidance of Crew Chief Paul Wolfe.

Keselowski won the race off pit road ahead of both Joe Gibbs cars of Ky. Busch and Suarez.

There are plenty of cars in the mix for the lead as Truex trying to use the inside line.

But Keselowski hangs in the lead ahead of Truex with two new tires from the previous pit stop.

Truex takes over the lead coming from the back straightaway to the leadoff Keselowski.

Kasey Kahne makes moderate contact with the wall where he has tire rubber from the right rear of the car.

He did win the Fan Vote and All-Star Race back in 2008 with a superior paint scheme for tonight’s car.

But he’ll have to wait at another time as it’s not going well for Kahne tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Race Restart

Everyone is on the lead lap apart from Kasey Kahne who is one lap down.

Truex’s handling looks superior which makes the car so fast as he leads the race.

Daniel Suarez goes right on the outside line as he stays behind Kyle Larson in 3rd.

Kyle Busch on the inside line is trying to make his lane stick as he gets by Brad Keselowski in 5th.

Suarez began to lose momentum as he falls to 4th place behind Joey Logano.

Though, Suarez using the bottom lane to block out Logano and gets his spot back in 3rd.

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are the critical front-runners in the first two stages.

But they’re now battling on the second pack for 5th-8th.

3rd Caution is out for the night

Alex Bowman has right side damage into the wall with two laps left.

Bowman ran 9th at the time before he got loose and now he returns to the garage.

Daniel Suarez takes the wave around going on the inside line alongside Kyle Larson.

Suarez is getting a gentle push from his team-mate of Denny Hamlin.

No, Several cars into the wall as Truex, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Bowyer have damage.

So, Kevin Harvick is the only moving Stewart-Haas car out on the track.

Also, nice move from Jamie McMurray to move on the bottom line as he managed to avoid the wreck.

Kyle Busch only has left front side damage but not as severe as first thought.

There’s the green-white-checker to complete Stage 3 as both Joe Gibbs cars of Hamlin and Suarez battle out in front.

Hamlin does clear Suarez at the start, but Larson gets his shot around the 11 towards Turn 2.

And Daniel Suarez gets his lead back on the inside on the last lap.

Can he block Harvick?

No, Kevin Harvick wins in Stage 3.

Final 10 Laps

Truex didn’t run practice at all yesterday where he had a lot to learn tonight.

The car and pit stops are excellent as he led some of the laps in front.

It’s just the crash that ended his race early, hence if he avoided the wreck, then Truex would’ve put on an even better show.

Let’s see who will win the All-Star and $1 million prizes as we have ten laps to go!

Daniel Suarez on the inside and Kevin Harvick around the outside line.

Harvick clears out Suarez for the lead with nine laps left.

With this package, Suarez should be able to close out Harvick with a lap or two.

Nice move by Denny Hamlin to get past Ryan Blaney for 3rd place.

Suarez ran his fastest lap of the race as the All-Star isn’t over just yet.

The only hope is to get Hamlin come and push Suarez for the lead.

Caution Comes Out with 2 Laps to go

Kyle Larson and Joey Logano spun out into the grass as the caution comes out.

Logano came off the wall towards the outside line going a bit tight then bounces off Larson at the front stretch.

16 cars on the lead lap with two laps to go as we restart the race towards the finish line.

Hamlin is pushing Suarez to take over the lead, but Harvick still holds on to the white flag.

Can Suarez try and get past Harvick for the finish?

No, Kevin Harvick is a wealthy man to take out the All-Star Race win tonight!!

His other All-Star win was back on May 19, 2007, so that makes two Main-Event victories now for Kevin Harvick.

His Crew Chief Rodney Childers gets his First All-Star Race win.

It’s also Stewart-Haas’s 2nd All-Star Race victory after Tony Stewart won the Main Event back in 2009.

Post-Race

Daniel Suarez may not have won the 1 million dollars where he found it tough to side draft Harvick.

However, Suarez came home in 2nd and will get $250,000 to his name.

Joey Logano says Larson ran him into the wall towards the front stretch.

Never mind the caution, Logano said he pushed where he could’ve gone three wide.

But luckily he used the high and bottom lines back and forth before satisfied with the 3rd place.

Kyle Larson would’ve reacted a lot worse when it comes to the accident with Logano on the front stretch.

But, he’s satisfied with the car’s package where he led some decent laps to come home in 7th.

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