Berry, Gibbs and Gragson Transfer to the NASCAR Cup All Star Race
NORTH WILKESBORO, NC – RIS – Josh Berry won the All Star Open race during NASCAR’s All Star weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway. In the race the top two finishers transfer to the All Star race with one driver who wins the fan vote. Berry and Ty Gibbs had to race their way into their first career All-Star race in the 100-lap Open, a precursor to the main event. Berry was part of the field due to Alex Bowman’s injury.
“I think the two best cars made it, so I think we will see what happens tonight,” Berry said.
Berry commented that the Open was “way crazier” than he expected with tire wear on the old racing sur surface being the culprit. Berry took the lead with 23 laps remaining when he passed Gibbs on the apron on the inside of the track.
There were two crashes in the Open race, including one involving Michael McDowell and Justin Haley, who were both running in the top five at the time before Gibbs bumped McDowell.
Fan vote winner Gragson was also involved in a crash early when he hit the inside wall and took out three other cars. His car was given permission to go to the garage area to repair his car.
Aric Almirola finished third, just barely missing the final transfer spot. He dogged Gibbs for most of the final laps, but could never get close enough to get by the young driver. What was the difference?
“It was the other teams made their cars better,” Almirola said. “We made ours better but not good enough.”
The All Star race begins on Sunday night at the historic speedway.
Race Results: NASCAR All-Star Open, May 21, 2023 - North Wilkesboro Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Tms Led, Laps Led, Laps, Status
1) 2, Josh Berry(i), No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 3, 46, 100, Running
2) 1, Ty Gibbs #, No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, 2, 53, 100, Running
3) 9, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, , , 100, Running
4) 8, Ryan Preece, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, , , 100, Running
5) 10, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Campers Inn RV Chevrolet, , , 100, Running
6) 16, JJ Yeley(i), No. 15 VDL Strong/go2mro.com/donate Ford, , , 100, Running
7) 15, Noah Gragson #, No. 42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet, , , 100, Running
8) 12, Ty Dillon, No. 77 NationsGuard Chevrolet, , , 100, Running
9) 3, Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Schluter Systems Chevrolet, , , 100, Running
10) 11, Josh Bilicki(i), No. 78 Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet, , , 100, Running
11) 4, Harrison Burton, No. 21 Motorcraft/DEX Imaging Ford, , , 100, Running
12) 14, Ryan Newman, No. 51 Biohaven/Jacob Co. Ford, , , 97, Running
13) 6, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Fr8Auctions Ford, , , 97, Running
14) 5, Justin Haley, No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 1, 1, 58, Accident
15) 7, Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Boot Barn Ford, , , 52, Accident
16) 13, * Chandler Smith(i), No. 13 Quick Tie Products Inc. Chevrolet, , , 49, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie
Race Length: 100 Laps - 62.5 Miles
Time of Race: 0 Hrs, 46 Mins, 48 Secs.
Average Speed: 80.128 MPH
Margin of Victory: .571 Seconds
Comments: Josh Berry has won the NASCAR All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway, his first career victory in the special non-points NASCAR Cup Series event.
Prior to the start, no vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty.
The All-Star Open Runner-Up Finisher is Ty Gibbs and the Fan Vote Winner is Noah Gragson.
Cautions: 3 for 18 laps;
Laps: 42-47 (Competition Break );
51-56 (#13, 16, 38, 42, 51 Incident Turn 1 );
58-63 (#31, 34, 54 Incident Turn 4 [None]).
Lead Changes: 5 among 3 drivers;
T. Gibbs # 1-43;
J. Berry(i) 44-55;
J. Haley 56;
J. Berry(i) 57-67;
T. Gibbs # 68-77;
J. Berry(i) 78-100.
Ron Fleshman and John Davison
Ron Fleshman and John Davison are Editors at ris-news.com