Michael McDowell will start on pole position for the NASCAR All-Star Open at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, July 15, by virtue of a random draw. The lineup was revealed during Monday night’s coverage of NASCAR Race Hub on FS1.
McDowell, who is in his third season driving the No. 34 Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports, is ranked 24th in the Cup Series regular-season standings and he trails the top-16 cutline to the Playoffs by 90 points. He will attempt to make his first career start in NASCAR’s All-Star feature.
Joining McDowell on the front row will be Aric Almirola, who is eighth in the regular-season standings and will attempt to make his third career start in the All-Star Race. Rookie Christopher Bell, who will make his All-Star Open debut, will start third alongside Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who will attempt to make his fourth All-Star start. Rookie Tyler Reddick will start fifth as he attempts to race his way into his first All-Star Race.
Bubba Wallace, who edged Daniel Suarez in a thrilling finish for the Stage 2 win at Charlotte Motor Speedway to make his first All-Star Race start a year ago, will start sixth followed by William Byron, who edged Wallace for the win in Stage 1 to make his All-Star debut last season. Chris Buescher will start eighth while Clint Bowyer and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top-10 starting positions.
Rounding out the 21-car field are Austin Dillon, Ryan Preece, J.J. Yeley, Garrett Smithley, rookie Brennan Poole, rookie Quin Houff, Joey Gase, Daniel Suarez, rookie John Hunter Nemechek, Ty Dillon and Corey LaJoie.
The winners of each segment, (three in total – 35 laps in Segment 1, 35 in Segment 2 and 15 in Segment 3), will advance to the All-Star Race and will also be joined by the Fan Vote winner, all of whom will round out the 20-car field for the All-Star Race.
Notably, Timmy Hill and MBM Motorsports will not compete in the All-Star Open following recent wrecks at Pocono Raceway and at Kentucky Speedway. They will return for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19.
The NASCAR All-Star Open will air on July 15 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.