Blaney wins million-dollar All-Star race in bizarre circumstances

NASCAR witnessed one of its strangest finishes yet with Ryan Blaney claiming the win at the championship's All-Star event held at the Texas Motor Speedway


Ryan Blaney claimed NASCAR’s million-dollar prize this past weekend with the Texas Motor Speedway playing host to the series’ annual All-Star event.

Unlike traditional point-scoring races, NASCAR’s All-Star is designed to create excitement for fans of the sport meaning that the rules are altered to spice up the proceedings. One of those changes is the fact that race can only be concluded under green flag conditions meaning that the race, which was rich in attrition to begin with, also had the added drama of having Blaney having to reinsert his window during the caution period.

A strange finish

Blaney, who technically crossed the finish line in first, was forced to take a restart in overtime as the caution flag came out just as he passed the start-finish line for what he assumed was the final time.

May 22, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) crosses the finish line under caution with his window net down Victory lane after winning the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming he had won, Blaney took down his window to celebrate his million-dollar win, only for his crew to inform him that the race was still not officially over. Despite his half-hazard attempt to reattach his window, NASCAR allowed Blaney to continue racing and eventually take the checkered flag in one of the strangest race finishes in NASCAR history.

“I do want to thank NASCAR for letting me kind of fix it and not make us come down pit road,” Blaney told Fox Sports.

“That was really tough, and then having to do it all over again after trying to get the window net back up there.”

Rivals question decision

While Blaney celebrated his win, others voiced their concern about the NASCAR officials not following protocol, with Denny Hamlin quite vocal in his criticisms.

“Whatever the rule is, let’s be consistent and play by the rule,” Hamlin exclaimed on pit road.

“It’s unfortunate, because he made a mistake. He should have won the race, he’s a hundred yards from winning the race. Where NASCAR really got away with one is we nearly crashed off of (Turn 2), and so when I send him head-first into traffic and the window net’s down, I don’t know. Then they’ve got a lawsuit on their hands.

“I don’t know whether it’s a moral problem that they had, they were like ‘Well, we cost him the win because we threw the caution, and we hate to take away that.’ I think they just had a moral dilemma instead of just playing by the rules like they’re supposed to.”

NASCAR offers explanation

NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition Scott Miller accepted that the call might have been the wrong one with the executive also admitting that there was no way to verify if the window was latched on properly or not.

“Coming to green, he was warming his tires on the back straightaway, you could clearly see both hands on the wheel warming the tires up. The window net was up, no way for us to know if he got it 100 percent latched or not,” Miller explained to reporters.

“And at that point in time, no way we can be certain that he didn’t get it latched. So there’s no way we could call him down pit road at that time.

“If he couldn’t get it to where it was up and we had some doubt that it was latched, then we would have had to do something with it. Because we wouldn’t have allowed him to start if it was just laying down on the door.”

Chastain goes airborne

Earlier in the day, championship contender Ross Chastain was thrown into the air after hitting the number 18 car of Kyle Busch. The ensuing impact saw Chastin smash into Chase Elliot with all three drivers escaping serious injury.

With the conclusion of the All-Star event, NASCAR will head to North Carolina for one of the season’s biggest events the Coca-Cola 500 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -