McDowell To Lead Field To Green In NASCAR Open

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Michael McDowell will start on the pole for the NASCAR Open that will precede the NASCAR All-Star Race. (HHP/Tami Pope Photo)
Michael McDowell will start on the pole for the NASCAR Open that will precede the NASCAR All-Star Race. (HHP/Tami Pope Photo)

CONCORD, N.C. – Michael McDowell will lead the drivers attempt to race their way into the NASCAR All-Star Race to the green flag during the NASCAR Open on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

McDowell, driver of the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, was selected to start from the pole via a random draw. He will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola in the No. 10 Ford on the front row.

Rookie Christopher Bell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., rookie Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace will make up the next two rows of the starting lineup. The NASCAR Open will start at 7 p.m. and feature segments of 35, 35 and 15 laps.

The drivers who win one of the three stages during the NASCAR Open will advance to Wednesday’s main event, the NASCAR All-Star Race. A fourth driver, the winner of the annual fan vote, will also advance to the All-Star Race.

One car listed in the starting lineup, the No. 66 of MBM Motorsports and driver Timmy Hill, has withdrawn from the event and will not participate.

The NASCAR All-Star Race and the NASCAR Open will feature a number of unique changes specific to the one-day event. The event will utilize the choose rule, which will allow drivers to pick which lane they start in prior to a restart.

The cars will also feature unique paint schemes, with the numbers pushed back alongside the rear fender to allow for more space to promote sponsors. Lastly, the cars will each feature an under glow color underneath, with each participating manufacturer utilizing a different color.