NASCAR All-Star Race qualifying postponed until Saturday

(Photo: Greg Engle

A hard rain on Friday at North Wilkesboro Speedway forced postponement of qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star Race and the accompanying Pit Crew Challenge.

Time trials for the event, which pays $1 million to win, have been rescheduled for Saturday at 11:40 a.m., following qualifying for the Wright Brand 250 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at the 0.625-mile track.

The top All-Star Race qualifier will earn the pole position for the first of two heat races scheduled for Saturday evening. The heats will set the starting order for Sunday’s main event (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Rain also interrupted and forced cancellation of qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star Open, which places its top two finishers into the All-Star Race.

Austin Dillon was a few minutes away from a potential pole position for the Open when rain intervened and prevented the final three qualifiers—Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman and Ty Gibbs from an equal chance at the top starting spot.

With the session rained out, Gibbs will start the Open on the pole with Bowman beside him, based on their respective positions in driver points.

With a lap at 122.958 mph (18.299 seconds), Dillon was on the provisional pole for the Open when rain started falling in earnest during Bowman’s lap and intensified as Gibbs attempted to make his run.

Dillon was philosophical as he waited out the delay.

“I’m just proud of our team,” said Dillon, who will start 15th among the 20 Open driver. “We worked really hard to bring something here that I could get a feel for…

“Man, I wish they (the final qualifiers) could have gotten in there, because I think our lap was really strong.”