What to Watch: 2022 All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, the second non-points exhibition of the 2022 campaign.

Race-day info 📝

Where: Fort Worth, Texas
Approximate start time: 8 p.m. ET  | Full weekend schedule
TV/Radio: FS1, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio | Full TV schedule
Forecast: A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms and partly sunny, with a high near 75 degrees, according to NOAA.gov | Weather tracker
Race distance: 125 laps | 187.5 miles
Stages: 25 | 25 | 25 | 50
Pit-road speed: 45 mph
Caution car speed: 55 mph
Grand prize: $1 million
All-Star format: Procedures, changes for 2022
Starting lineup: Kyle Busch claims All-Star Race pole | Tyler Reddick earns P1 for Open
Pit stalls: Assignments
 | Expert pit analysis | Changes for All-Star Race explained

Key things to watch 🔑

Big story line

Thinking about this weekend, two main things come to mind. First, the driver who has won the All-Star Race has gone on to win the Cup Series championship in each of the last two years: Kyle Larson a season ago and Chase Elliott in 2020. With Texas Motor Speedway being a track in the NASCAR Playoffs, it is important to show up, have fun, but also set a bar and gain information for when the series returns in the fall. One of the many 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule, showing speed and resilience at Texas bodes well for a strong second half of the season. And the introduction of the Next Gen car makes this non-points weekend even more important. Secondly, which drivers will race their way from the All-Star Open into Sunday night’s main event? To be the All-Star Race winner and have a chance to continue the aforementioned trend, you have to first be in the race. Larson sealed the deal in the 2019 Open and went on to dominate the feature. So though the main event is already stacked with series champions and multi-race winners, don’t count these guys out just yet. | Learn more about the format and how it works

Who’s hot? Who’s not? 

Early season mishaps have plagued the No. 5 team and Kyle Larson. However, despite those mishaps, Larson and company remain among the favorites in nearly every race. That speaks to how incredibly dominant Larson and company can be when they round into form, as we saw all of last season. In the last six races, Larson has only finished outside of the top six once — at Darlington Raceway due to engine issues. When he stays on the track, he is in the mix every week. As the back-to-back $1 million All-Star Race winner, Larson has a chance to be the first three-peat in Cup Series history.

On the other hand, Tyler Reddick has been spiraling down the standings after lofty pre-season expectations and a somewhat promising start to the season. Three of Reddick’s last four races have resulted in finishes of 30th or worse, and despite showing speed at many difficult tracks — like his runner-up finish at Darlington — the No. 8 bunch has just lacked consistency. Luckily for them, this week’s exhibition comes at the right time, and as a breath of fresh air. Without any points on the line, Reddick and the Richard Childress Racing bunch can use this weekend as an opportunity to iron out the wrinkles and get the ship back on the right course. Consistency from week to week would make Reddick a surefire playoff contender. | Cup Series standings

Driving under the radar

After a strong Joe Gibbs Racing, and Toyota as a whole, performance at Kansas Speedway, Christopher Bell enters this weekend on a three-race streak of top-six finishes. Though he has yet to reach Victory Lane this season, the No. 20 team has flashed speed and been increasingly more consistent in recent weeks. Enter Texas. Bell is on a tear here in points-paying races, finishing third place in two of his three starts at the Fort Worth track. The blossoming third-year Cup Series driver nearly has half as many top fives in 2021 as a season ago and has led more laps than in his preview two full-time seasons combined. Sitting 10th in the points standings, making a deep playoff run is a very attainable goal for this team. So look for them to continue to flex their growth this weekend.

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Race-day staples ✅

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

• Paint Scheme Preview: Sizzling-hot schemes for Texas weekend | Pick a favorite
• Power Rankings:
Denny Hamlin turns corner at Kansas, set to take off soon? | Updated driver rankings
• NASCAR betting:
Latest odds for Sunday’s All-Star Race in Texas | Favorites, underdogs
• Backseat Drivers:
After Kansas win, where does Kurt Busch rank among all-time greats? | Watch the debate

Catch the pack 💨

Read up on the top headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.

• Official ruling: Appeals Panel rules to uphold suspensions for No. 11 team | More details
• Kyle Busch’s future:
Toyota’s David Wilson asserts strong support for keeping Busch | Learn more
• Ready to roll:
With a fleet of cars, William Byron and No. 24 team have a ‘just go race’ mantra | Read more
• Get after it:
Austin Dillon, No. 3 team using Texas exhibition as a jump start for season | Full article
• Mental health:
Joey Logano speaks on the nuances of mental health from his perspective | Read more
• Penalty report:
No. 31 Kaulig Racing team penalized after lost wheel at Kansas | More details
• From Japan to America: Akinori Ogata seeing hard work pay off with victories | Learn about him
• Stacking Pennies:
Corey LaJoie, Ryan Flores reaping the benefits of partnership that comes naturally | Read more
• 16 playoff spots, 17 winners?:
Best candidates to make it happen in 2022 | Full analysis
• Patriotic Coca-Cola 600 schemes: Chase Elliott’s No. 9 | Alex Bowman’s No. 48
• Mission 600:
Joey Logano visits virtually with 386th Air Expeditionary Wing | Read more
• Kansas takeaways:
Technical analysis of Next Gen performance and challenges last week | Bozi’s insight

Get in on the action 💰

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy.

• Backseat Bets: Key factors for the 2022 All-Star Race | Hear expert analysis
• BetMGM:
Public’s favorite drivers so far this season | Read more
• Action Network:
Best bets for the All-Star Race | Expert chimes in
• Play it LIVE:
Fantasy Live is inactive this week due to the exhibition, but get ready for next week. | Get the FAQ
• Going all the way:
NASCAR betting: 2022 Cup Series championship odds | See them here

Shining light on the sports’ stars 💫

In-depth history on the NASCAR All-Star Race, including previous winners, key moments and how this year’s race works. 

• All-Star 101: Formats, qualifying orders and more for the 2022 All-Star Race | Read more
• Million-dollar men:
All-time winners of the All-Star Race | Who has won the most?
• Popular pick:
A history of All-Star Fan Vote winners | See the list
• Last year:
Kyle Larson wins $1 million at Texas in 2021 | Full race recap | Race Rewind
• From the Vault:
Busch brothers crash in 2007 All-Star Race | Watch the replay
• All-Star flashback:
Jeff Gordon wins with a backup car in 2001 | See amazing feat
• Hands-on:
Clint Bowyer hits Ryan Newman with a flurry of punches | Remember this?

Fast facts ⏩

Hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

The winner of the All-Star Race went on to win the Cup Series championship the last two years.
Joey Logano and Kyle Busch both finished top 10 in the last seven All-Star Races, the longest active streak of top 10s.
Four multi-car teams have every driver entered in the 2022 All-Star Race: Hendrick Motorsports (four), Joe Gibbs Racing (four), Team Penske (three) and 23XI Racing (two).
Kevin Harvick is making his 22nd straight start in the All-Star race, Kurt Busch is making his 21st (the record is 24 straight by Mark Martin).
Kyle Larson won his last two All-Star Races. A driver has never won three straight starts.

Say what? 🎙

Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Sunday’s race.

“Texas is kind of its own unique animal. The other mile-and-a-halves we’ve ran they all have multiple grooves where you can run all over the place. You can run up by the wall. You can run the middle. You can run on the bottom, where Texas is definitely a lot more one-lane dominant, so it’ll be a little bit of a different race just from that standpoint because there’s not as many options to go and get in clean air. I think the draft will be a little more relevant here just because of the speeds and everything else. I don’t think you’ll see guys really searching around for lanes as much just because I do think it’s gonna be a lot harder with this car in general at Texas, but also just how the racetrack is. It’ll be interesting. It’s two totally different ends.” — Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

“We’ve struggled as of late, trying to get the balance right on our race car. But we’ve still been, you know, making some good finishes. We just got to keep working hard and take in what the races give us and staying confident and pumped about what we got going on here at RCR.” — Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

• “The All-Star Race is always a good time. There’s no real pressure and it’s a lot of fun for everyone. It’s a good opportunity for us to get laps at a track we’re going to see in the playoffs, especially with the new car. I’m looking forward to it. I feel like we have shown good speed lately, so that gives me confidence that we’ll be in the mix on Sunday night.” — Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota