I think at this point trying to predict the winners has become a revolving door of either picking Larson or Elliott. Picking one of those just about gives you a 50% chance of picking the winner each week here. I don’t expect that trend to end this week, but instead of playing it safe, I’m going to pick someone who isn’t even in the Hendrick stable.
This format that NASCAR is running for the All-Star race brings a lot of chaotic energy to the field that will make this race unpredictable. While this wasn’t done as a way to keep Larson or Elliott from stinking up the show, it should accomplish that with every driver with there being so many inverts.
Instead of picking a dark horse, I’m going to predict the three winners of the All-Star open stages and main race. These will be the drivers who earn their way into the feature race.
Favorite: Kevin Harvick
With the event being so unpredictable that most can’t even figure out the exact format, I’m going with the man who thrives on chaos. No matter what the situation is, Harvick always finds a way to win races that are coming down to the wire.
SHR has run terribly this year, but I think that with this being a race for $1 million they’ll bring their A-game. Harvick always runs well at Texas, and I think he has a shot to gain a little momentum heading into the second half of the season.
Stage One Open Winner: Tyler Reddick
Reddick had a bad start to his sophomore slump, but he has been getting the most out of his RCR equipment. With him starting on the pole for this open, I could see him leading the entire stage. It seems like each week we go by he comes closer to getting his first career win, the open doesn’t count, but it’s a great start.
Stage Two Open Winner: Matt DiBenedetto
DiBenedetto is currently fighting for his right to remain with the Wood Brothers next year. Roger Penske already said that he has not decided on Cindric in the 21 official yet. Making the All-Star race will go miles to improving his chances.
Stage Three Open Winner: Erik Jones
This could be a big day for Jones and Richard Petty Motorsports. This is hands down one of his best tracks outside of Darlington and with a smaller less competitive field I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t race his way into the main event. Jones has flirted with speed all year, and hopefully, he can make the race and contend.
Fan Vote Winner: Bubba Wallace
This one is just for fun, but probably obvious. I don’t think Bubba races his way in, but he will more than likely get the fan vote with the mass following he has. You never know what can happen once you’re in. One of my favorite moments as a kid was watching Kasey Kahne get voted into the All-Star race and winning it.
Since there will be a lot of drivers who have to race their way into the race, I’m only going to be ranking my top five picks for fantasy this week. Once the open is over, look for my full fantasy breakdown on Twitter (@leftturnlife20) and Facebook.