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Gibbs, Wallace and Gragson advance into NASCAR All-Star Race

Ty Gibbs, who drives the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, dominated the 100-lap All-Star Open from start to finish, leading every lap at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway and cleared Wallace by 1.572 seconds at the checkered flag.

“I feel we were pretty solid, so it’s good to make it in,” said Gibbs, who made it to last year’s All-Star Race after finishing second in the Open. “Hopefully, we can go on and win it. I think (Michael) Waltrip did it once. I think $1 million would buy some sprint cars or something.”

Josh Berry ended up third, Justin Haley fourth and Gragson completed the top five.

Gragson was the highest vote getter who didn’t finish in the top two and also advanced to the main event, which will feature 20 cars.

“Hell yeah, appreciate all the fans, appreciate this track,” Gragson said over his team radio. “We’re going to have some fun.”

Gibbs started on the pole and quickly cleared quickly for the lead as Wallace moved into the second spot.

On lap 51, NASCAR displayed a planned ‘all-star’ caution, and every team was required to complete a four-time pit stop but had the choice to use the prime tire or an ‘option’ tire, which was softer and faster but did not last as long.

Gibbs was first off pit road and followed by Alex Bowman and Wallace – all three opted for softer tire. Corey LaJoie and John Hunter Nemechek both had to restart from the rear of the field after both were caught speeding on pit road.

Shortly after the race resumed, Austin Cindric got pushed three-wide on the frontstretch and hit the wall to bring out another caution on lap 60.

Gibbs maintained the lead over Bowman when the race resumed with 36 laps to go. Three laps later, Wallace moved into the runner-up position.

With 25 laps remaining, Berry had used a three-wide move to advance to third and set his sights on Wallace for the second spot.

Gibbs’ lead over Wallace expanded to more than 2.5 seconds with 10 laps to go.

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