Kyle Larson has $1 million on his mind

Kyle Larson has $1 million on his mind

For his career, he has now raced 437 times on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and has 224 Top 10 finishes, to go along with 38 wins. "But I thought it was good". The 33rd all-star race was reduced to a commercial for Monster Energy's line of drinks and drivers. The all-in approach to this race should create the level of buzz and excitement that NASCAR has consistently generated over the past couple of years.

The latest debuted Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway as teams addressed another weird assignment - choose between the regular tires Goodyear has designed for CMS and a new "option" tire that is softer and, thus, temporarily faster.

Larson is the points leader right now in NASCAR. He won the first two segments by such a wide margin it seemed his was the only vehicle in the field before all the teams started experimenting with the so-called "option" tires and scrambled the order.

There's every reason to believe an option tire can generate more excitement in points races.

One need only look at the most recent Grand Prix in Barcelona for evidence that a tire choice can generate a thrilling finish. We got beat off of pit road by two or three cars.

As for the eliminations prior to the final stage, it was inconclusive if the threat of being knocked out actually made anyone race harder.

Meanwhile, Keselowski had planned to use the softer tires in the third segment, but developed a vibration during the caution period.

A slow final pit stop resulted in Larson restarting the race in fifth - a mishap that ultimately led to his undoing.

"I think if we could have had a 20-lap run, maybe I could have caught him", Larson said.

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He won the season-opening race at St. Petersburg, Florida, and had the fastest time in Friday's practice. We just didn't have it there at the end.

"My pit crew has been awesome all year", Larson said. Others will save the tires for the shootout, as they try to weave through traffic to regain track position and chase the money.

Saturday night's annual All-Star race gave little hope of the 600 rising to some epic event that will be talked about for years. For guys like DiBenedetto, the only way in is to win the fan vote to be included in the field of 20 drivers.

Coming out of the final corner, Larson went high and passed Johnson for second, energizing the crowd one last time. It's time that they opened up to using other tires or at least have a competition where teams can pick and choose.

This year I expect that we are going to go there and be contenders and hopefully be running up front and be a part of that final 10-lap segment and have a shot at one million dollars, Larson said.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it works out", Larson said. He wasn't handling too well at the start of the run, but I just drove too hard.

"I think we had the vehicle to win tonight", Larson, who led the most laps and finished second, said.

The tires were created to be faster than traditional prime tires. 25 years later, it will host another edition of the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race under the bright lights.

Goodyear chose green after conducting dynamic testing with different colors in use at 195 miles per hour and determined that green stood out best.