Every year, Nascar hosts an exhibition known as the All Star Race that pays no points toward the Cup Series championship and features a unique set of rules implemented by the sanctioning body. The event this year, held at Texas Motor Speedway, culminated in a controversial finish involving the No. 12 Nascar Ford that caused the racing community to question that ruleset.
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Mustang, showed strength after a series of incidents took out several top contenders throughout the race. As the laps wound down, he paced the field, trailed by Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota TRD Camry. However, a caution flag on the last lap nearly eliminated Blaney’s hopes of taking home the trophy and the $1 million purse.
At a normal Cup Series event, a caution flag on the last lap ends the race, and whoever is leading at the time of the yellow flag is credited with the win. However, for the All Star Race, Nascar determined that the race would not end under a caution period should a yellow flag have to be waved on the last lap, and the race would go to Overtime. That’s exactly what happened, as the No. 47 Chevy Camaro ZL1 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun, prompting Nascar to throw a caution just before Blaney’s No. 12 Mustang crossed the finish line in first.
Blaney incorrectly assumed that the yellow flag had ended the race, and pulled his No. 12 Mustang’s window net down to begin celebrating before he was informed that they would have to defend the win in a Nascar Overtime finish. The sanctioning body allowed a long caution period so Blaney could secure his window net without having to pit and was allowed to continue without losing position. He went on to win when the green flag dropped.
“It was about to be real bad for us, I thought the race was over,” Blaney said after winning. “Everyone thought the race was over. I already had my window net down. I do want to thank NASCAR for letting me kind of fix it and not make us come down pit road. But yeah, that was really tough. Then having to do it all over again after trying to get that window net back up there.”
Nascar is gonna gladly let you debate the window net so as you don’t reflect on how ridiculous that yellow flag situation was as Blaney was crossing the finish line to win.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 23, 2022
There was quite a bit of debate on social media regarding the caution thrown on the last lap that almost cost Blaney the victory, with some fans and personalities like Dale Earnhardt Jr. debating the legitimacy of the yellow flag.
|Finish||Start||Car Number||Driver||Team||Laps Run||Laps Led||Car|
|1||2||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Wrangler Ford||140||84||Ford Mustang|
|2||16||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Express Toyota||140||0||Toyota TRD Camry|
|3||12||2||Austin Cindric #||Keystone Light Ford||140||7||Ford Mustang|
|4||9||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|5||23||99||Daniel Suarez||Freeway Insurance Chevrolet||140||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|6||20||48||Alex Bowman||Ally Chevrolet||140||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|7||10||16||AJ Allmendinger(i)||Andy's Frozen Custard Chevrolet||140||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|8||22||17||Chris Buescher||Fastenal Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|9||18||6||Brad Keselowski||Kohler Generators Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|10||14||20||Christopher Bell||DeWalt Toyota||140||0||Toyota TRD Camry|
|11||3||24||William Byron||Liberty University Chevrolet||140||2||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|12||8||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield #BuschBacon Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|13||5||45||Kurt Busch||Monster Energy Toyota||140||0||Toyota TRD Camry|
|14||7||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops Toyota||140||0||Toyota TRD Camry|
|15||19||34||Michael McDowell||WISE-EV Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|16||17||23||Bubba Wallace||Dr. Pepper Dark Berry Toyota||140||0||Toyota TRD Camry|
|17||15||4||Kevin Harvick||#BuschBacon Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|18||11||14||Chase Briscoe||Magical Vacation Planner Ford||140||0||Ford Mustang|
|19||21||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Kroger/Viva Towels Chevrolet||139||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|20||24||43||Erik Jones||FOCUSfactor Chevrolet||103||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|21||1||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Crunchy Cookie Toyota||47||47||Toyota TRD Camry|
|22||6||1||Ross Chastain||Worldwide Express Chevrolet||47||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|23||13||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||47||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
|24||4||5||Kyle Larson||HendrickCars.com Chevrolet||36||0||Chevrolet Camaro ZL1|
# – Rookie
i – Points ineligible
* – Part-time driver