The 2019 NASCAR All Star Race Betting Preview, Odds, and Predictions

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On Saturday, May 18th, NASCAR will be live from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, for the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race. This is an exhibition race where it doesn’t count toward the season points and playoff standings. However, in addition to pride, the winning driver of this All-Star spectacle will take home $1 million. So, there’s plenty of incentive to race like it’s the Daytona 500.

Unlike other NASCAR races throughout the season, the All-Star Race can be rather complicated in regards to the qualifying process. We’ll break down this process further in order to understand who will be in this race and why.

NASCAR betting sites have released their odds for NASCAR’s annual parade of drivers. Currently, Kyle Busch is the favorite to win on Saturday night. Let’s take a look at these All-Star odds, identify potential betting value, and make some predictions.

Race Profile

The All-Star Race is held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is described as a quad oval track with a distance of 1.5 miles. The surface is made of asphalt and it has four turns with banks at 24 degrees and two straightaways at five degrees.

  • Total Miles: 127.5 miles
  • Total Laps: 85
  • Stage 1: 30 laps
  • Stage 2: 20 laps
  • Stage 3: 20 laps
  • Final Stage: Final 15 laps

The All-Star race is set to begin at 8 PM ET and will air live on FS1. Prior to the All-Star race, NASCAR will run their Monster Energy Open beginning at 6 PM ET.

What to Watch for at NASCAR’s All-Star Race

With all of the excitement heading into this weekend, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on:

  • The new aero packages
  • Throwback paint schemes
  • Who will race their way into the All-Star race by winning the Monster Open?
  • Who will win $1 million?

Previous All-Star Race Winners

The first All-Star Race was held in 1985 and it was called The Winston. Only one time since then has this race not been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and that was in 1986 when it was in Atlanta. Jimmie Johnson holds the record for most All-Star wins with four. Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon are second with three apiece. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner. The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2000:

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2000
  • Jeff Gordon in 2001
  • Ryan Newman in 2002
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013
  • Matt Kenseth in 2004
  • Mark Martin in 2005
  • Kevin Harvick in 2007, 2018
  • Kasey Kahne in 2008
  • Tony Stewart in 2009
  • Kurt Busch in 2010
  • Carl Edwards in 2011
  • Jamie McMurray in 2014
  • Denny Hamlin in 2015
  • Joey Logano in 2016
  • Kyle Busch in 2017

In the 2019 All-Star Race, there will be seven former winners taking lining up to win the $1 million.

NASCAR All-Star Race Betting Odds

The following NASCAR All-Star Race betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Kyle Busch +450
  • Brad Keselowski +600
  • Kevin Harvick +600
  • Chase Elliott +700
  • Joey Logano +700
  • Martin Truex Jr. +800
  • Denny Hamlin +1200
  • Clint Bowyer +1400
  • Kurt Busch +1400
  • Ryan Blaney +1600
  • Aric Almirola +1800
  • Jimmie Johnson +1800
  • Erik Jones +2500
  • Austin Dillon +3300
  • Ryan Newman +5000

Betting Favorites for the All-Star Race

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kyle Busch 1 12 17 11.8 15.0 6
Brad Keselowski 1 4 8 15.2 14.4 2
Kevin Harvick 3 8 16 16.0 15.5 3

Kyle Busch (+450)

Kyle Busch has had a lot of success at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but that hasn’t always translated into Busch winning the All-Star race. Out of the active drivers in this weekend’s event, Busch has led the most laps in the All-Star Race. However, he only has one win in this fan-friendly event.

Busch finished ninth in the All-Star race last year, which was down from his race win in 2017. He led 19 laps in 2018. In 2016, Busch finished 10th, but led 15 laps. In 2015, he didn’t lead any laps, but finished sixth. 2014 was not a good year for Kyle as he crashed out of the race. As you can see, Busch has had some good years but balanced them out with bad years.

Just because there are no points involved with this race, it doesn’t mean that drivers won’t go all out to win. According to NASCAR, Busch stated he will put it all on the line this weekend to win that million-dollar prize:

“A lot of guys go for broke. They do whatever it takes to try and get that million bucks. With given the opportunity to chase after a million dollars, you put it all out there. You put it all on the line.”

Busch has been running well this year, but he did struggle last weekend where he didn’t finish in the Top 10 for the first time in 2019. However, Charlotte is a track where Busch does have 17 career Top 10 finishes and one regular season win. He definitely can’t be counted on Saturday night.

Brad Keselowski  (+600)

Keselowski is coming into the All-Star race with plenty of momentum. Brad just won in Kansas last weekend and he now returns to a track (CMS) where he’s fared well in the past. Also, Keselowski is tied with Kyle Busch for the most wins in NASCAR with three.

At Charlotte, Brad has one win in 18 tries. Unfortunately, he’s never won the All-Star race. Last year, Keselowski crashed out, which broke a streak of Top 10 finishes. 2017 saw Brad finish ninth and, in 2016, he led the most laps with 39 but finished second. In 2015, Brad led the most laps with 49 but finished ninth, and 2014 was a 10th place finish with no laps led.

Keselowski has run well in this race over the last five years but has yet to take the checkered flag despite leading the most laps on a few occasions. He’s worthy of being a betting favorite, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in his chances of winning.

Kevin Harvick (+600)

Harvick won the NASCAR All-Star race last year, but he hasn’t really been a factor so far. Harvick is third in the standings due to his eight Top 10’s and three Stage Wins, but he hasn’t won a race and hasn’t even really been a contender for any checkered flag. With all of the postseason pressure off drivers this weekend, can Harvick take advantage of the carefree approach and get the win?

In his career, Harvick has won three times at Charlotte and that doesn’t include his two All-Star Race victories. Basically, he has five checkered flags at this track. His All-Star wins came in 2007 and 2018, but he has run well in other All-Star Races as well. His 2017 showing was respectable as he finished sixth. That was an improvement on his 2016 race results when he finished 11th. The 2014 and 2015 races saw Harvick finish as a runner-up both times. Denny Hamlin won in 2015 and Jamie McMurray won in 2014.

It’s clear that Harvick has had strong showings at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in his career. However, he’s going to need another one in order to get some momentum on his side for the rest of the regular season.

The Best All-Star Race Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for this All-Star Race due to their current betting odds, their past success at this track, and their 2019 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Denny Hamlin 0 9 17 10.5 12.1 2
Jimmie Johnson 8 16 21 9.0 12.3 5

Denny Hamlin (+1200)

Hamlin has had a strong 2019 so far. He currently sits sixth in the driver standings and already has two wins on the season. At Charlotte, Hamlin has an impressive 65% Top 10 finish rate with 17 Top 10’s including 14 out of the last 16 CMS races. He’s had a Top 5 finish in three straight CMS races and five of his last six.

Hamlin finished fourth last year in the All-Star Race, which was an improvement from 2017 when he finished ninth. Hamlin had the same result in 2016, which was a step down from his win in 2015. Prior to his only All-Star win, Hamlin finished ninth in 2014. Denny certainly knows how to race well at this track and offers solid betting value with these NASCAR odds.

Jimmie Johnson (+1800)

Jimmie Johnson currently sits 16th in the Driver Standings but is failing to compete for wins. Fortunately, Charlotte is a track he’s done really well at in his career. For starters, Johnson has eight regular season wins, 16 Top 5’s, and 21 Top 10’s at CMS.

He’s dominated this track not only in the regular season, but the All-Star Race as well. Johnson holds the record for the most All-Star wins with four. However, his last All-Star was way back in 2013. Since then, Johnson has gone: 6th, 15th, 12th, 3rd, and 6th last year.

Johnson is one of the best all-time drivers at Charlotte. Sadly, that doesn’t always translate into wins at CMS or other tracks he has done really well at. JJ has gone to several tracks this year, where he has dominated in the past, only to barely crack the Top 15. But, if there’s anyone that can pull of a “Hail Mary” this weekend, it’s definitely the seven-time champ Jimmie Johnson.

The Top Longshot to Win the All-Star Race

Ryan Newman at +5000 odds is my longshot pick to win the race. He is a former race winner, having captured the checkered flag in the 2002 All-Star Race. Ryan is the only driver to have ever won this race after qualifying by winning the Monster Energy Open.

Newman hasn’t won at Charlotte in the regular season, but he does have 15 Top 10’s, which puts him up with the top contenders. Despite not finishing higher than 13th since 2014, Newman has been pretty consistent this season and it should translate into a good performance on Saturday. With no pressure to earn points, this race could be perfect for Newman to contend for a victory.

Race Prop Bets: Driver Matchups

The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to pick the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups at the 2019 NASCAR All-Star Race. These driver matchups and betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes:

Kevin Harvick (+105) vs Kyle Busch (-135)

Driver Kevin Harvick Kyle Busch
Wins 3 1
Top 5 8 12
Top 10 16 17
Avg Start 16.0 11.8
Avg Finish 15.5 15.0
DNF 3 6
Total Races 35 29

Based on how well Harvick has run at Charlotte, one would think that he’s the driver to take in this head-to-head matchup. But, honestly, I like Kyle Busch better. For starters, Busch has had a better 2019 than Harvick has. And that means a lot heading into any race including the All-Star Race. Harvick is still looking for a win on the year and has won several races at CMS in the past. Kyle has six less career starts at CMS than Harvick, but has more Top 5’s, Top 10’s, and better average starting and finishing positions. For this matchup, I’m taking Busch to win.

Winner: Kyle Busch (-135)

Joey Logano (-115) vs Chase Elliott (-115)

Driver Joey Logano Chase Elliott
Wins 2 0
Top 5 5 1
Top 10 9 2
Avg Start 13.2 12.5
Avg Finish 13.1 18.3
DNF 0 2
Total Races 19 6

Chase Elliott is arguably the best young driver in the sport today. He comes from a family of drivers and was basically born to race stock cars. With that said, Elliott already has one win on the season and sits fourth in the Driver Standings. However, his counterpart in this prop bet, Joey Logano is first in the standings and also has one race win on the season. Logano is tied for first with Stage Wins at five. So, even though Elliott is running well in 2019, Logano is running better. And that same result has played out at Charlotte as well.

Logano has two career regular season wins at CMS, while Elliott has none. Logano has more Top 5’s, Top 10’s, and a better average finish in three times as many races. Additionally, Elliott has two DNFs at this track while Logano has none.

In the All-Star Race, these two drivers have also raced well, but Logano has been better. Elliott has competed in three All-Star Races during his young career with a sixth in 2016, a seventh in 2017, and a fifth-place finish last year. Those are solid results for any driver. And yet, Logano has done better. During those same three races, Logano won in 2016, finished eighth in 2017, and ended up third last year.

Elliott has an average finish of sixth at the All-Race, while Logano has an average finish of fourth during the same span of races. I’m taking Joey Logano to win this battle.

Winner: Joey Logano (-115)

Ryan Blaney (-115) vs Jimmie Johnson (-115)

Driver Ryan Blaney Jimmie Johnson
Wins 0 8
Top 5 0 16
Top 10 1 21
Avg Start 14.0 9.0
Avg Finish 25.0 12.3
DNF 2 5
Total Races 7 34

Blaney is certainly a talented young driver, but there are some tracks where he just hasn’t raced well. Charlotte is one of those tracks. Johnson has five times as many starts at CMS in the regular season and has better numbers across the board. In fact, there’s no comparison between the two for regular season Charlotte races. Johnson has mastered this track, whereas Blaney is still learning how to have success at CMS.

Blaney only has two All-Star Race appearances: 15th in 2018 and 11th in 2017. Johnson finished third last year and sixth in 2017. Not to mention, JJ holds the record for most All-Star Race wins with four. I think Blaney has a great future ahead of him, but Johnson is going to beat him on Saturday in this head-to-head matchup.

Winner: Jimmie Johnson (-115)

Qualifying for the All-Star Race

Unlike other sports where athletes are voted in by their peers, fans or coaches, NASCAR’s All-Star Race operates differently. For starters, drivers who have won this race, other points-races this year and last year, or have been a former Series champ can automatically qualify for the All-Star Race.


NASCAR didn’t want to completely take the fans out of this race, so they do allow the faithful followers an opportunity to vote a driver in. This option was great for past drivers like Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. because they were the most popular drivers in the sport. It was a guarantee that one of them would be in the race if they didn’t earn it another way. If you are wondering, only Kasey Kahne (in 2008) has won the fan vote and gone on to win the All-Star Race.

With that said, there are current drivers that don’t see the fan vote as a positive thing, but rather a reflection of poor driving. USA Today reports that Kyle Larson is one of those drivers who would rather earn an All-Star birth based on his driving skills and not fan votes:

“I’d rather not rely on the fan vote. I actually wish they didn’t have the fan vote… I’m a competitor, so if I don’t make into the All-Star Race, I really don’t feel like I deserve to be in it.”

Alex Bowman echoed Larson’s philosophy and actually asked if he could take his name off the fan vote:

“Can I just take my name off the ballot? I just want to go win and race my way in, the way it should be.”

Matt DiBenedetto sees what Bowman and Larson are saying, but he also thinks it’s cool to get that fan support:

“(Racing in) is the ultimate goal and the plan. But it is also nice to have the support of everybody and the ‘Vote for Guido’ campaign and the cool response we got to the nickname.”

And, lastly, there’s one driver who has completely embraced the fan vote and has gone as far as to say that he would grow a mullet if the fans voted him in. That’s right, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will bring back his mullet if he wins the fan vote:

“From the Mississippi Mudflap to the Kentucky Waterfall, to the Tennessee Top Hat and the North Carolina Neckwarmer, nothing says freedom like a mullet blowing unfettered in the wind and I can’t wait to restore it to its rightful place in the NASCAR garage.”

How can you not vote for a mullet?

The NASCAR Monster Open

With the past winners automatically entered, and the fans voting in one driver, the three remaining spots are earned by winning the NASCAR Monster Open. This is a qualifying set of stages where drivers can win one of the stages to get into the All-Star Race. This gives drivers, that aren’t past winners or champions, a shot to enter the million-dollar mayhem at Charlotte.

How Does the All-Star Race Work?

The 2019 All-Star Race will run largely the same as last year with four stages of green and yellow flag laps. With that said, there are a few small changes to this year’s event:

Aero Packages: This year’s cars will have increased horsepower due to the changes in the packages.

Single-car qualifying for the All-Star Race, just like the other regular season races.

The Final Stage of the race has been increased from 10 laps to 15 laps. Only green flag laps will count in the final stage. There are unlimited attempts at green-white-checkered flag laps.

Let’s not forget, to the victor goes the spoils. And, in this race, those spoils come out to $1 million. According to Reuters, it’s a prize that drivers like Erik Jones definitely want to win:

“A million bucks? Who doesn’t want to win that? It’s a great race. You look at the history of it and some of the shows that have been put on at that race, and it’s something that I think we all look forward to as a driver to have an opportunity to go and compete in.”

2019 NASCAR All-Star Race Checkered Flag

Drivers from Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing have won 11 of the 12 races this year. Only Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports has upstaged those two race teams. So, there should be no reason to think that Team Penske and JGR won’t be the favorite on Saturday night even if it’s not a points race.

With that said, I really like Penske’s Joey Logano along with JGR’s Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to contend for the checkered flag. I believe Hendrick Motorsports will have two solid options in Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott, but the winner is coming from the other two teams.

For me, I really like how well Joey Logano has raced this year, last year, and at Charlotte in his career. Hamlin and Busch have also had strong showings at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but Logano has been the best of the trio over the last three years. I’m taking Joey Logano to win the million dollars on Saturday with the help of his teammate Brad Keselowski. If he fails, then watch for teammates Hamlin and Busch battling for the million bucks.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott
  • Kyle Busch
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Jimmie Johnson

Race Betting Recap

Winner: Joey Logano (+700)

Betting Value:

  • Denny Hamlin (+1200)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+1800)

Longshot: Ryan Newman (+5000)

Driver Matchups:

  • Kyle Busch (-135) over Kevin Harvick
  • Joey Logano (-115) over Chase Elliott
  • Jimmie Johnson (-115) over Ryan Blaney (-115)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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