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Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs Transfer to All-Star Race Through Open; Noah Gragson Wins Fan Vote

Josh Berry and Ty Gibbs will advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race, after finishing inside the top-two at North Wilkesboro. PC: Jonathan McCoy | TobyChristie.com

Josh Berry and Ty Gibbs will each compete in the NASCAR All-Star Race for the first time in their careers, after securing the top-two positions in Sunday’s preliminary All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Berry was able to secure the victory in Sunday’s 100-lap preliminary event, making the pass for the win on polesitter Ty Gibbs with 23 laps to go, as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver had to deal with a somewhat perturbed Michael McDowell.

McDowell, driving the No. 34 for Front Row Motorsports, was in contention to advance into the NASCAR All-Star Race, when he got a shove from Ty Gibbs, sending him and Justin Haley into the outside wall.

After the accident, McDowell wasn’t able to keep up with the leaders, choosing to stay on track and limp around North Wilkesboro Speedway in pursuit of Ty Gibbs, who was leading the event at the time.

Thankfully, the Arizona native didn’t crash the race leader, but he did get in the way, allowing Josh Berry to scoot by on the inside, and take over the lead of the race, a spot which he wouldn’t relinquish throughout the remainder of the race.

Gibbs would still finish the race in second place, holding off a hard-charging Aric Almirola to secure a berth in his first NASCAR All-Star Race.

Almirola ended up in third, finishing a half-second behind Gibbs, who earned the final transfer spot for the historic event. Ryan Preece and AJ Allmendinger finished in fourth and fifth.

Noah Gragson, who finished Sunday’s All-Star Open in seventh after being involved in a multi-car accident, will be the 24th driver to advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race, after securing the All-Star Fan Vote.

That accident, which started when Gragson clipped the inside wall entering the first corner, collected Todd Gilliland, Chandler Smith, and Ryan Newman, ending all of their chances at advancing to the NASCAR All-Star Race.

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