The annual NASCAR All-Star Race is typically held in mid-May and has historically been held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. But as with all sports in 2020, NASCAR has had to make changes to its schedule as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, NASCAR announced the All-Star Race would be held in mid-July, and shortly thereafter revealed an important change to this year's event: it would be held at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, rather than its typical home of Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
If the race had remained in Charlotte, it would have gone off without spectators due to stricter social distancing measures against large gatherings there. In Bristol, however, Tennessee governor Bill Lee will allow up to 30,000 spectators to attend the race at the 155,000 capacity Bristol Motor Speedway.
"While Charlotte will always be recognized as the birthplace and traditional home for the All-Star Race, the current data surrounding the pandemic in North Carolina makes Bristol a better option for fan access this summer," Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith said in a June 15 press release.
Per Natalie Neysa Alund and Brinley Hineman of The Tennessean, as of Sunday the state has had more than 61,000 coronavirus cases in all and has more than 25,000 active cases.
"We know that hosting this event comes with tremendous responsibility," Bristol Motor Speedway general manager Jerry Caldwell told USA TODAY. "We are the first major sporting event to have a significant crowd. We don't take that responsibility lightly."
Sixteen drivers have already qualified for the All-Star Race, with three more hoping to make it in via the All-Star Open and one driver to be voted in by fans.
All the information you need to know to tune in to the race, as well as predictions and odds for who will win, is below.
NASCAR All-Star Race TV Schedule
Date: July 15
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET (All-Star Open 7:30 p.m.)
Live Stream: Fox Sports app
NASCAR All-Star Race Odds and Predictions
Kevin Harvick 9-2
Chase Elliott 5-1
Denny Hamlin 11-2
Kyle Busch 7-1
Joey Logano 7-1
Brad Keselowski 8-1
Ryan Blaney 10-1
Kurt Busch 12-1
Martin Truex Jr. 13-1
Alex Bowman 20-1
Jimmie Johnson 20-1
Erik Jones 20-1
Matt Kenseth 28-1
Ryan Newman 40-1
Cole Custer 66-1
Justin Haley 80-1
The starting lineups for both the All-Star Race and the All-Star Open have been set and can be viewed in their entirety on NASCAR.com.
The 16 drivers who have already qualified for the 140-lap, four-stage All-Star Race, with $1 million on the line for the winner, are Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.
Truex Jr., who is looking for his first All-Star win, will start on pole in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Bowman will join him in the front row.
The drivers attempting to qualify through the All-Star Open—an 85-lap, three-stage race—include Michael McDowell, who will start on pole in the No. 34 Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports, Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Fans can vote for one of 22 otherwise ineligible drivers through the All-Star Fan Vote, with results announced on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.
At 9-2, Harvick is the odds-on favorite to win the All-Star Race odds, according to CBS Sports/SportsLine, followed by Chase Elliott (5-1) and Denny Hamlin (11-2).
Although Harvick is the Vegas favorite, if he's your favorite driver, you may not get what you're rooting for on Wednesday night. Though he sits atop the Cup Series standings with 675 points, the No. 4 Ford Mustang hasn't always been kind to him at Bristol. Though he has won there twice, in 2005 and 2016, he hasn't finished in the top five since 2017.
Keselowski is second in the standings and won at this short track in May (and came in third last fall), and he will be a betting favorite to win on Wednesday.
Though Busch is a mediocre 11th in points heading into the All-Star Race, it's worth noting that no active driver has bested his eight wins at Bristol.
The Choose Rule, which allows each driver to select to restart in the outside or inside lane, will be in effect in the All-Star Race, and though Bowyer thinks it's being "oversold," per USA Today, it's another strategy to factor into your prediction.
Prediction: Keselowski wins