Chastain flies as Blaney wins All-Star Race
Monday 23rd May, 2022 - 4:43pm
Penske driver Ryan Blaney has won his first ever All-Star Race, in a night that was marred by Ross Chastain and Kyle Busch’s monster crash on the Texas front stretch.
Kyle Busch and Blaney lined up on the front row, and the original 20-car field became 24 cars as Ricky Stenhouse Jnr, Chris Buescher and Daniel Suarez won the All-Star Open stages, with Erik Jones winning the fan vote to qualify into the race.
Kyle Busch took victory in a quiet Stage 1, setting himself up nicely for the end of the race.
Reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson hit the wall heavily early in Stage 2, with a right-front tyre going down in the middle of Turn 4.
The same thing happened to Kyle Busch on the front stretch, but as he slowed down, he was slammed into by rising star Chastain, who then went into Chase Elliott.
Chastain’s car went airborne after hitting Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota, Chastain’s destroyed Chevrolet then went up the track to hit Elliott’s car, causing major damage to all three cars.
Chastain told NASCAR after the wreck that he just “chose the wrong lane” and could have avoided the accident.
All drivers were okay.
Austin Cindric won Stage 2 in a late restart battle, and Blaney won stage 3, which then set the field for the final stage, after Joey Logano’s pit crew won the pit stop challenge, to put him in contention for the win.
Fan vote winner, Jones brought out the Caution with 28 laps remaining in the final stage, crashing off of Turn 4.
At the end of the race, Stenhouse Jnr went into the wall on the back straight, which made the Caution fly just seconds before Blaney was able to take the chequered flag, causing a late race restart.
In a duel between Blaney and Denny Hamlin, Blaney was able to take victory, and claim his first All-Star Race win.
“I thought the race was over, I already had the window net down, but I do want to thank NASCAR for letting me fix it and not making me come back down pit road,” Blaney said.
“Yeah, that was really tough having to do it all over again…”
NASCAR returns next week for one of its crown jewel races, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
VIDEO: Ross Chastain hits Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott