This Saturday, the eighteenth day in the month of May. We will witness the thirty fifth running of the annual cup series all star race. This is the one race every year that allows the points to some what fall to the way side and let these racers just compete for a cool million dollars. There has been some slight changes to the format of the race this year. Hopefully, the format changes will aid these few drivers who you should watch put on a show this weekend.

Rule Changes

First off lets cover the format changes this year for the million dollar race. The first is a minor addition to the final stage of the race. Instead of being a ten lap shootout to the huge check waiting in victory lane it will be fifteen laps. Along with that we also have some technical changes. The first technical element change being a single piece carbon fiber splitter/pan. This change is expected to offer a dramatic improvement in ride height sensitivity for the drivers. The splitter will also provide a more stable aero platform allowing for a more consistent performance in traffic. The second technical element requires cars to configure the radiator exit duct through the hood as you see below. This will separate aerodynamic performance and engine temperatures. The separation will create some parity throughout the competition field.

Aero Ducts for All Star Race

So, now that we have covered the changes I am going to change up my selection grouping for this race. My reasoning for this is simple this race is simply unpredictable. The only thing on the line is a nice big one million dollar check. I am going to pick one driver from each manufacturer group and then just a few drivers competing in the Open I expect to maybe grab their chance in the big race.

Team Chevrolet

Elliott and Larson duke it out in Open

I am going to ride the momentum wave and choose the only winner for team Hendrick since the beginning of the 2018 season. Chase Elliott has notched out four wins counting his win a few weeks back at Talladega. He has also went onto grab a pole award at Dover, and won stage two last week at Kansas. While Chase has not won at Charlotte yet, why not this weekend? After the surge HMS has made since Talladega, and with a new unpredictable technical package for this race only it could be the perfect chance to grab himself a nice million dollar pay day. Plus I mean he is known to put it all on the line in this race I mean look at the picture above of him racing Kyle Larson for a chance to even get into the all star race a few years back.

Team Mustang

Brad Keselowski Kansas win

This one was a little harder to choose due this camp having the most of any group of premier drivers already locked in for the race. With that being said I think once again I will ride the wave of momentum into this race and go with Brad Keselowski. Brad has secured himself in the playoffs with three wins already this season two of those being at mile and a half tracks like Charlotte. He could be looking to cash in on a million dollar pay day this Saturday. I mean wouldn’t that be a heck of a two week span. Grab a victory at Kansas then turn around and drive into victory lane in Charlotte.

Team Camry

MTJ win at Dover three races ago

Due to the whole Joe Gibbs racing camp having been locked in for the race Saturday night they are all you got to choose from as of right now. As the old saying goes though you can only choose one, and my choice is Martin Truex Jr. Martin has over all a pretty good stat line here for points races. In the last three points paying races here Martin hasn’t finished worse than third, and has won once. Pretty good if you ask me in three races to only finish a worst of third place. Honestly any one of the JGR drivers could bring home the one million dollar check, but I think MTJ has the best chance.

Open Drivers

Kyle Larson and Buescher racing at Kansas

I think you should keep an eye on a few Chevrolet drivers. Mainly the likes of Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, and even Chris Buescher. All of them had a solid showing last weekend at Kansas, and even at Dover the week prior. All are also looking for a win to gain some momentum going forward and all can contend to grab spots for that huge million dollar pay day.

infamous pass in the grass 1987

You should also keep an eye on the likes of Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Preece, and Paul Menard. After all last year we seen the likes of A.J Allmendinger and Daniel Suarez win stages, and get into the show later on that evening. While I don’t really consider them to be underdogs this week they kind of are classified as underdogs. I mean when you are going up against the likes of Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick who have won this race multiple times everyone can be fighting an uphill battle for a one million dollar check.

Conclusion

This is a race that legends like Earnhardt, Gordon, and Johnson have won multiple times to add to their legacy. This year maybe a new winner will emerge or even a veteran winner will add to his legacy. I think as always race fans this All Star race is going to be exciting as well as the open race before hand. These drivers are racing for nothing other than pride, and a huge million dollar check. The addition to the technical package just adds to the excitement and also might give us some foreshadowing into the gen seven cars set to debut possibly in 2021.

About Author

Chris Prince

What's up, everyone? My name is Chris Prince. I have been a part of Belly Up sports for a little bit now. I am the head of the best department which is the racing department. I have a beautiful wife and I have two awesome sons in whom I am trying to instill the love of motorsports. If you want to know anything else feel free to ask!