Chuck Burton/Associated Press
AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez won stages and Chase Elliott took the fan vote, as the four drivers moved on to compete in Saturday’s All-Star race with their performances at the 2018 Monster Energy Open.
Elliott was a tough-luck loser in all three stages. Bowman ran away with the first stage after taking the lead with 12 laps left, but Elliott came in third. Elliott and Suarez were at the front of the pack for most of Stage 2 before the No. 19 Toyota took the lead for the final time at Lap 35. Suarez led the remaining five laps to capture the stage and advance.
Allmendinger was the spoiler for Elliott in the third stage—this time coming even later. His No. 47 Chevrolet pulled past Elliot on the penultimate lap of the stage and held on for the win.
Elliott didn’t have to worry too long about being held out of the All-Star festivities. He was (rightfully) voted into the field as the 21st and final entrant.
The NASCAR All-Star Race is eligible to winners of races over the last year and former series champions who have attempted to qualify for every race over the last calendar year.
The 80-lap exhibition will be held later Saturday night in Charlotte.