2021 NASCAR All-Star Race Betting Preview

By in NASCAR on
14 Minute Read

On Sunday, June 13th, NASCAR’s Cup Series will take a break from points racing to compete in the 37th annual All-Star Race.

This year, the race will be held at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). It’s just the third time that NASCAR has ever held an All-Star Race outside of Charlotte. The first came in 1986 at Atlanta and the second time was last year at Bristol.

The Cup Series typically races twice at Texas each year. However, between the road race at COTA a few weeks ago, and the All-Star Race this weekend, NASCAR will only have one points event at TMS this season.

That event, called the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, will be held on October 17th in the 3rd round of the Playoffs.

NASCAR’s Cup Series All-Star race has a unique format unlike any other event of the season. We’ll dive into the format in more detail down below.

Currently, Kyle Larson is the clear-cut odds on favorite to win this race according to all NASCAR betting sites. He’s followed by the usual cast of characters with Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin rounding out the Top 5.

Without any further delay, let’s get into our racing gear, strap up tightly, rev those engines and make some All-Star Race checkered flag winning predictions.

Race Profile

The Texas Motor Speedway is quad oval track with four turns that have banking of 20 to 24 degrees. Each lap is a distance of 1.5 miles.

Sunday’s All-Star Race breaks down as follows:

  • Total Miles: 150 miles
  • Total Laps: 100 laps
  • Stage 1: 15 laps
  • Stage 2: 15 laps
  • Stage 3: 15 laps
  • Stage 4: 15 laps
  • Stage 5: 30 laps
  • Final Stage: Last 10 laps

The All-Star Race is set to begin at 8 PM ET and will air live on FS1. The All-Star Open starts at 6pm ET on FS1.

What to Watch for in the All-Star Race

With all of the excitement heading into NASCAR’s All-Star Race, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Texas:

  • Who will win the $1 million dollar prize?
  • Who wins the All-Star Open first?
  • Will we have a repeat All-Star race winner?
  • Can Elliott win two years in a row?
  • Will Larson keep his hot streak going?

The All-Star Race Format

As you can see from above, the All-Star Race will have six stages. However, they’re called rounds for this event instead of stages.

The starting lineup is done by a random draw for which Kyle Larson won that draw, so he will be on the pole for the third straight NASCAR event.

17 drivers were eligible for the draw based on being former champions, race winners last year, and full-time drivers who were past All-Star Race winners.

In total, 21 drivers will compete in this race. Drivers 18 through 20 will be determined through the All-Star Open, which runs directly before the All-Star Race. And the 21st driver will be determined by a Fan Vote.

All-Star Race Format

  • Round 1: The first round is 15 laps long. Once completed, the finishing order will be inverted with an additional random draw for various positions to start Round 2.
  • Round 2: Following this 15 lap segment, the entire field will be inverted to start Round 3.
  • Round 3: This round is the same as Round 1 with 15 laps and an identical format to determine the running order for the next round.
  • Round 4: A 15 lap shootout.
  • Round 5: The longest distance for any round as drivers will run 30 laps. The running order is determined by the cumulative finish of the first four rounds. Any ties for cumulative points in the first four rounds will be broken through a lengthy procedure.

Drivers will have to make a green flag, four tire pit stop in this round. The fastest pit time among the field will net the team a $100,000 dollars.

Round 6: The shortest round as drivers will run just 10 laps. The running order is determined by the finishing order of Round 5. The winner of this round will win the All-Star Race and $1 million dollars.

What Is the All-Star Open?

The rest of the Cup Series field that didn’t make the first 17 cut, will compete in a race called the All-Star Open. This race is run in three segments: First 20 laps, Second 20 laps and Final 10 laps.

Winners of each segment and the overall race will be added to the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race. As of now, the All-Star Open consists of 22 drivers competing for the three All-Star Race spots.

Previous All-Star Race Winners

The first All-Star Race was run in 1985 and won by Darrell Waltrip. Since then, Jimmie Johnson would go on to win this event a record four times. Currently, the only active driver with multiple wins is Kevin Harvick. Chase Eliott is the reigning All-Star Race winner.

The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2010:

  • Kurt Busch in 2010
  • Carl Edwards in 2011
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2012-2013
  • Jamie McMurray in 2014
  • Denny Hamlin in 2015
  • Joey Logano in 2016
  • Kyle Busch in 2017
  • Kevin Harvick in 2018
  • Kyle Larson in 2019
  • Chase Elliott in 2020

NASCAR All-Star Race Betting Odds

The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Kyle Larson (+375)
  • Chase Elliott (+700)
  • Kyle Busch (+750)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (+800)
  • Denny Hamlin (+900)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1000)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Joey Logano (+1200)
  • William Byron (+1200)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1400)
  • Alex Bowman (+1600)
  • Christopher Bell(+2500)
  • Austin Dillon (+2800)
  • Kurt Busch (+3300)
  • Cole Custer (+6600)
  • Ryan Newman (+6600)
  • Michael McDowell (+10000)

All-Star Race Betting Favorites

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the 2021 All-Star Race on June 13th. The stats below are based on each driver’s career success at Texas Motor Speedway:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kyle Larson 0 3 4 16.6 19.8 4
Chase Elliott 0 2 5 14.7 12.0 0
Kyle Busch 4 14 17 13.8 11.0 0
Martin Truex Jr. 0 5 17 14.3 13.6 4
Denny Hamlin 3 7 14 13.3 13.8 1

Kyle Larson (+375)

  • Top 5 (-200)
  • Top 10 (-835)

Kyle Larson is the hottest driver right now in all of NASCAR. He’s won consecutive races at Charlotte and Sonoma and is only 47 points behind first place Denny Hamlin in the standings.

Larson has five straight Top 2 finishes with three runner ups coming prior to his two victories. As mentioned above, he will start on the pole this weekend.

Larson leads all drivers in Playoff points, stage wins, and is tied with Truex for the most victories on the season. He’s also tied for the most Top 5s with Hamlin and is second in Top 10s behind Hamlin and Byron.

At Texas Motor Speedway, Larson hasn’t had a great career. He has just three Top 5s, four Top 10s, a 19.8 average finish and four DNFs. He’s had just two Top 5s in the last six TMS races and three DNFs over that span as well.

It should be noted that Larson did win the All-Star Race in 2019. Furthermore, the way he’s driving this season, you can’t count him out of any race.

With that in mind, I’m taking Larson to be a Top 10, Top 5, and Top 3 car who challenges for the checkered flag.

Chase Elliott (+700)

  • Top 5 (-110)
  • Top 10 (-455)

As mentioned above, Chase Elliott is the reigning All-Star Race winner having won the million dollar price in 2020. With that said, he’s never won at Texas Motor Speedway in his young career.

In 10 starts, Elliott has two Top 5s, five Top 10s and a 12.0 average finish. He’s completed all 10 of his starts at TMS. Yet, he hasn’t finished in the Top 10 in five races.

His average finish for the two 2020 TMS races was 16.0 which is rather low for a driver who won the Cup Series championship that year.

On the 2021 season, Elliott is heating up. He’s now 3rd in the standings and has finished in the Top 7 for six straight races.

Elliott won at COTA three weeks ago and has finished runner up to his teammate Kyle Larson the last two weeks.

I like Elliott to be a Top 10 car with a Top 5 ceiling this weekend.

Kyle Busch (+750)

  • Top 5 (+100)
  • Top 10 (-400)

Since winning at Kansas six races ago, Busch has tallied three Top 5s and four Top 10s in the last five events. He was 3rd at Charlotte two weeks ago and 5th at Sonoma last weekend. Busch has climbed his way up to 7th in the standings and is poised for a strong run this summer.

Busch leads all active drivers with four wins and 14 Top 5s at Texas Motor Speedway. He’s consistently been one of the best drivers at this track over the last decade.

In his last 13 TMS races, Busch has three wins, eight Top 5s, and 10 Top 10s. He’s finished in the Top 20 for all 13 of those events.

Busch has a four race streak of finishing in the Top 10 and won the last race at this track in the fall of 2020. He finished with a 2.5 average finish in the two Texas races last year.

Kyle won the 2017 All-Star race as well. Busch will be a Top 10 car with a solid Top 5 run and a Top 3 ceiling.

Martin Truex Jr. (+800)

  • Top 5 (+100)
  • Top 10 (-400)

Following his third win of the season, which came at Darlington five races ago, Truex tallied three straight finishes of 19th or worse and fell from third to 6th in the standings where he remains. Last weekend, Truex was 3rd at Sonoma.

At Texas, Truex has zero wins, five Top 5s, 17 Top 10s, an average finish of 13.6 and four DNFs. He finished 29th and 2nd in the two Texas races last year.

In his last 12 races at this track, Truex has three Top 5s and nine Top 10s. I like for the #19 car to finish in the Top 10 with a Top 5 ceiling.

Denny Hamlin (+900)

  • Top 5 (+125)
  • Top 10 (-345)

Denny Hamlin continues to remain on top of the driver standings, but his lead is rapidly shrinking. Hamlin is tied for first in Top 5s and Top 10s on the season, second in stage wins, second in laps led, and third in Playoff points.

He’s finished in the Top 10 for four of the last five races on the season and was 8th at Sonoma last weekend.

At Texas, Hamlin is tied with Harvick for the second most wins among the field with three. He also has seven Top 5s, 14 Top 10s, a 13.8 average finish and one DNF in 30 starts.

Hamlin’s last TMS win came in the spring of 2019. However, he does have four finishes of 20th or worse in the last six Texas races. It should be noted that Hamlin won the All-Star Race in 2015.

I see Hamlin being a Top 10 car with a Top 5 ceiling. I’m not sure if he will have what it takes to win this race on Sunday.

The Best All-Star Race Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the 2021 All-Star Race due to their current betting odds, their past success at Texas Motor Speedway, and their 2021 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kevin Harvick 3 12 23 15.0 10.4 1
Joey Logano 1 11 14 12.3 13.4 1
Kurt Busch 1 3 23 13.3 13.9 2

Kevin Harvick (+1000)

  • Top 5 (+150)
  • Top 10 (-285)

Harvick’s season continues to be a consistent Top 10 result as he’s yet to compete for a checkered flag and only has four Top 5s. However, Harvick does have 11 Top 10s on the year with an 11.6 average finish.

The #4 car didn’t have a good run at Sonoma last weekend as he finished 22nd. That was his second finish outside of the Top 20 in the last three races.

Fortunately, Harvick is going to a track this weekend where he’s had a lot of success at in his career.

In 36 starts, he has three wins, 12 Top 5s, 23 Top 10s, a 10.4 average finish and 1 DNF. Harvick is second among active drivers in wins, Top 5s, and average finish. He’s tied for first in Top 10s.

Over the last 13 races at this track, Harvick has three wins, nine Top 5s, and 12 Top 10s. His worst finish was 16th. He’s also led laps in 11 of those 13 races.

Harvick has won three times in the last seven races at Texas. He’s also a two-time All-Star Race winner.

I can see Harvick being a Top 10 car with a Top 5 ceiling this weekend.

Joey Logano (+1200)

  • Top 5 (+135)
  • Top 10 (-315)

Ever since the second race of the season, Logano has sat in the Top 5 of the driver standings. He’s currently 5th heading into the All-Star Race.

Logano has one win, seven Top 5s, nine Top 10s and a 10.8 average finish in 16 races this season so far. He’s finished in the Top 5 in three of the last four races including a 4th at Sonoma last weekend.

At Texas, Logano has one win, 11 Top 5s, 14 Top 10s, a 13.4 average finish and one DNF in 25 starts.

His lone win at TMS came in the spring of 2014. However, he did win the 2016 All-Star Race since then.

In the last 10 races at TMS, Logano has six Top 5s and nine Top 10s. His worst finish was 17th two years ago. Last year, Logano was 3rd and 10th in the two Texas events.

I believe Logano will be a Top 10 and Top 5 car this weekend as he always seems to find a way to sneak in under the radar. He’s the ninja of the Cup Series and could be in contention to win this race on Sunday.

Kurt Busch (+3300)

  • Top 5 (+400)
  • Top 10 (-140)

Kurt Busch’s season has been somewhat of a disappointment so far. He has just one Top 5 and three Top 10s in 16 races this year. Furthermore, he has a terrible 20.4 average finish and sits 18th in the standings which is on the outside looking in at the Playoffs.

Last weekend at Sonoma, Busch finished 6th which could give him some momentum heading into Texas this weekend where he’s raced well at in his career.

In 36 starts at TMS, Busch has one win, three Top 5s, is tied for the most Top 10s with 23, has a solid 13.9 average finish and just 2 DNFs. His lone Texas win came over a decade ago. He also won the 2010 All-Star Race.

Busch has eight straight Top 10 finishes at Texas and offers tremendous value to finish in the Top 10 this weekend for the All-Star Race.

The Top Longshot to Win the All-Star Race

Ryan Newman (+6600)

  • Top 5 (+600)
  • Top 10 (+115)

As of now, without knowing which drivers will make it into the All-Star Race following the All-Star Open, Newman is my choice for the top longshot this weekend.

He’s 23rd in the driver standings this year with just one Top 5 and three Top 10s. However, he does have one win, three Top 5s, Top 10s, and an 18.4 average finish at Texas.

Furthermore, Newman has also won an All-Star Race in his career, way back in 2002.

With just 21 drivers in the All-Star Race this weekend, Newman’s chances of winning are slightly better than a normal race. Yet, he’s still clearly the longshot. But, I like his chances of squeaking into the Top 10.

The Rest of the Field for the All-Star Race

The following drivers are worth keeping an eye on in this weekend’s race:

  • Ryan Blaney (+1000) – Blaney does have six Top 10s at TMS in 12 stars. He’s tallied three straight Top 8 results and six Top 10s in the last seven Texas races. Blaney had a 5.5 average finish in the two TMS races last year. He’s poised for a Top 10 run on Sunday.
  • William Byron (+1200) – Byron only has two Top 10s in six starts at TMS. He crashed out of one of the two races last year and finished 13th in the other. I would avoid Byron this weekend.
  • Brad Keselowski (+1400) – In 25 starts at Texas, Keselowski has five Top 5s and 10 Top 10s. He also has three results of 30th or worse in the last six TMS races. I would also avoid Keselowski this Sunday.
  • Alex Bowman (+1600) – Bowman has arguably the worst average finish at Texas among any legit Playoff contender this year. In 11 starts, he has two Top 5s, two Top 10s, a 23.7 average finish and 3 DNFs. I would avoid Bowman this weekend as well.
  • Christopher Bell (+2500) – In his two Texas races last year, Bell finished 21st and 3rd. He has potential to sneak into the Top 10 this weekend.
  • Austin Dillon (+2800) – Dillon has just one win, one Top 5 and two Top 10s at Texas. But, he did win this fest Texas race last year and finished with a 6.0 average finish. In his last five Texas races, Dillon has a sub-8.0 average finish.
  • Michael McDowell (+10000) – In 22 starts at Texas, McDowell has never finished better than 14th. He has a 30.4 average finish and 7 DNFs making him the worst driver among the Cup Series field.

The Best Top 5 Bet for the All-Star Race

There are a few options for this wager, but very few drivers that can match Busch’s success at Texas.

He leads all active drivers in wins (4) and Top 5s (14). He’s tied for second in Top 10s (17) and is third in average finish (11.0) at Texas.

Busch won the last time the Cup Series was here in 2020. He has three wins in the last 10 TMS races. Kyle has finished in the Top 7 for three straight Texas races.

The Best Top 10 Bet for the All-Star Race

Kevin Harvick is arguably the only other full time Cup Series driver who can match Kyle Busch’s success at Texas.

If it weren’t for his subpar 2021 season so far, I would’ve picked Harvick as the best Top 5 wager. Yet, he just can’t seem to do much this year other than finishing in the Top 10.

That’s exactly what he will do this weekend as well. Harvick is tied with Kurt Busch for the most Top 10s among active drivers with 23. He’s also second among the field with a 10.4 average finish.

Harvick has 12 Top 10s in the last 13 Texas races which also includes three wins and nine Top 5s.

All-Star Race Checkered Flag

Because there are no points on the line, this race is going to be crazy with drivers and teams taking all the risks that they want. Furthermore, that makes it harder to pick the actual winner.

My Top 5 drivers are Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. All five of these drivers have won an All-Star Race as well. Furthermore, Harvick, Busch and Hamlin have combined to win 10 races at Texas.

Since Elliott hasn’t won at Texas and is the reigning All-Star winner, I don’t see him winning this weekend. In the 36 previous editions, only two drivers have ever won consecutive All-Star Races and that was Jimmie Johnson (2012,13) and Davey Allison (1991,92).

With the way Hamlin and Harvick have been running this season, I expect them to have solid runs but fall short of capturing the checkered flag. Both have been consistently good on the year and at Texas, but they have yet to find a way to crack the winner’s circle in 2021.

For me, this race is going to come down to Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. Yes, it’s a “battle of the Kyles” for the checkered flag.

Now, every time I have said that Larson has no shot at winning a particular race this year, he has proven me wrong. And, it’s not easy for me to pick against my hometown driver who I root for every week.

With that in mind, I am getting crazy here and going with Kyle Busch to win the All-Star Race for the second time since 2017.

His success at Texas can’t be ignored, plus he’s starting to heat up on the season. With no points on the line, I see “Rowdy” being the rowdiest of the bunch and winning the million dollars.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Kyle Larson
  • Chase Elliott
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kyle Busch
  • Kevin Harvick

All-Star Race Betting Recap

Betting Value

  • Kevin Harvick (+1000)
  • Joey Logano (+1200)
  • Kurt Busch (+3300)


  • Ryan Newman (+6600)


  • Kyle Busch (+750)
Rick Rockwell

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

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