It’s time to bring the Top 3 performers at the All-Star Open.
Yes, it’s a non-point race where the heats bring some opportunity for everyone to advance into the main event.
Although, we didn’t see any limited-budget drivers/teams advance there.
But at least, some of them have shown some promising performances that will be useful to improve towards the next run of championship points races starting this Sunday in Texas.
Let’s begin with Michael McDowell.
He did lead from the start ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., thanks to a random draw when there’s no qualifying made right now.
Initially, he felt comfortable up front despite losing the lead to Aric Almirola for at least the first half of Stage 1. But then William Byron bumped him loose out that later collected Bubba Wallace.
Thanks to the early stage 2 caution, it gave time for him to recover where he’s able to catch up interrupted & stamp up 7th.
Yes, we all know how Bubba got upset at McDowell in revenge for taking his splitter out of his hauler and saw it as invisible.
McDowell didn’t do any wreckless intentions from his end when Byron first pushed him hard on the inside line.
When McDowell tried to keep it straight, he already lost control by that stage, which turned Bubba’s night into chaos. Like it, if you disagree or not, but it’s not McDowell’s fault.
Anyways, if it weren’t for that wreck, he would’ve had every chance to go into the main event anyway. His race car looked fast on green-flag runs in the Top 5, which became evident in his recovery at P7.
After McDowell, it’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Initially, he was just behind the race leader for the first half of the run, but the McDowell-Wallace incident lost some ground from the front row.
Stage 2 had to be a change of strategy when the early incident after the restart pit break saw him stop for changes immediately.
From there, the rest of the open ran caution-free.
It gave Stenhouse time to recover from a Stage 2 run in P10 to improving a couple of spots in 6th.
Again, he’s alright with the finish and recovery with a brilliant race car, having kept his toes upfront earlier on.
It’s just the restarts after caution that saw Stenhouse hold back.
And last but not least, Ty Dillon.
He started from second last on the grid having fired off well & stayed there in the initial run closer to the Top 10 mark.
Thanks to the McDowell-Wallace caution, he stayed out ahead of the restart, which paid off after Stage 1 in 4th.
In Stage 2, the early caution saw him fall back a few spots towards the next restart.
Though, he recovered, in the end, uninterrupted thanks to his strengths on green-flag runs that saw him finish 5th.
He would’ve like to finish any better if it wasn’t for the 2nd incident caution.
But his runs while running under green helped him grab as many spots as he can as soon as the first green flag waved and did the same in the final 15 laps of the All-Star Open.
Congratulations to the best three drivers who do their best at the All-Star Open.
It’s a great event to showcase the best of their ability to the fanbase that brings the fun and entertainment during a night race on a short track like Bristol.