The NASCAR Cup Series continues tonight with the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Open/All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the three All-Star Open races, who will win the fan vote, and who will win the All-Star Race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Open winners: Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Tyler Reddick- Reddick has been strong of late, finishing in the top 10 in 7 of his last 10 starts. Two of those top tens have come on mile and a half tracks, the same length as Texas Motor Speedway. Reddick also finished runner-up behind his teammate Austin Dillon at this track last July and is by far the strongest car in the open field. Reddick is a lock for one of the three open spots.
Chris Buescher- Buescher has quietly had a stellar season, with 9 top 15 finishes in 16 starts. Buescher has also had some success on mile and a half tracks this year, with three top 8 results so far. He may not have much past success at Texas Motor Speedway, but Buescher’s recent form will be enough to assure him one of the three open spots.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.- Stenhouse has also had one of his most consistent seasons to date, with 7 top 15 finishes in 16 starts. He may be in a bit of a cold stretch on the track, finishing 20th or worse in 6 of his last 7 starts, but 3 of his 7 top 15‘s have come on mile and a half tracks this season. Stenhouse has 9 top 16 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway in 16 career starts. Stenhouse may not be the strongest driver in the field, but his consistency will pay dividends and lock him in for one of the three open spots.
Fan Vote: Bubba Wallace- This season has been a bit of a struggle for Bubba Wallace, with just 3 top 15 results in 16 starts. He has also had 2 top 15 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway in 6 career starts. Whether you like him or not, Wallace has certainly created a following for himself and has quite a large fan base and quite a bit of detesters too. I would be surprised if he wins one of the three open spots, but I think his place in the All-Star race is a lock, as he will win the fan vote.
Winner: Kyle Busch- Busch is one of the best at Texas Motor Speedway, with 4 wins, 14 top fives, and over 1,000 laps led here in 30 career Cup Series starts. He is coming off of a win in the Xfinity Series yesterday at this track and is a bigger threat to win in the Cup Series when racing in a Truck Series or Xfinity Series race the same weekend. Busch is coming off of back to back top five finishes and has some momentum swinging in his favor. All of this adds up to a cool $1 million for Kyle Busch, as well as the win in the All-Star Race.
Top 10: Kyle Larson- Larson has been the man to beat for the last five weeks, winning each of the last two races and finishing runner-up in the three races before that. Larson has also had great success on the mile and a half tracks the season, with 2 wins and a runner-up finish to show for it. Larson has not had much success at Texas Motor Speedway in his career though, with only 4 top 10 finishes in 13 career starts. I believe his recent success of late plus his prowess on the mile and a half tracks will benefit him greatly tonight. He will definitely be a threat to win, but he is a lock for a top 10 result.
Dark horse: Austin Dillon- Dillon has had his most consistent season to date, with 12 top 15 finishes in 16 starts. Dillon has finished in the top 10 on mile and a half tracks 3 times this season and has also had success of Texas Motor Speedway, with 2 top 10 finishes and 7 top 15 finishes in 16 career starts, including a win here last season. Dillon will have his work cut out for him in what is arguably the strongest field of the year, but I believe he can bring home another top 10 result.
Driver to fade: Cole Custer- Custer has struggled all season long, with no finish better than 10th and only 4 top 15 finishes in 16 starts. With the quality of the drivers in tonight’s field, Custer will slide back pretty quickly given his struggles. I expect Custer to finish outside of the top 15 by the end of the night.