May 18, 2019; Concord, NC, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (42) crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When Charlotte Motor Speedway installed lights, they nicknamed the 1992 NASCAR Monster Energy All-Star Race (then named The Winston) as “One Hot Night.” Unlike exhibition games featuring all-stars in other sports, NASCAR drivers really want to be in this one because the winner gets a million dollars.

This year’s race certainly lived up to that “One Hot Night” moniker as Kyle Larson surprised many to advance from the All-Star Open and win his first All-Star Race in addition to the million bucks.

Because the main event was limited to winners from the previous season, Larson, who hadn’t won since 2017, qualified from the third stage in the All-Star Open earlier in the day. In the main event, Larson defeated Kevin Harvick, who was driving a pink Busch Beer millennial themed car, to the finish line. Kyle Busch, who slammed the wall hard with a few laps to go, finished third. Defending Cup champion Joey Logano finished fourth. And rounding out the top five was Bubba Wallace, who like Larson, raced his way by winning one of the Open stages and giving an underfunded Richard Petty Motorsports team a well-deserved top five.

Larson got in position to win thanks to Harvick. Harvick was dominant but had to pit due to a loose wheel. Marching through the field, he went up the middle like pace car driver DeAngelo Williams and shoved Larson into the lead.

Once Busch hit the wall, it was down to actual millennial Larson and honorary millennial Harvick and Larson held Harvick off to win the money. It may not officially snap Larson’s 58 race winless streak but a win in the All-Star Race and the money will surely help a driver and team who has had insane amounts of bad luck recently.

Even though the checkered flag flew, the action didn’t stop. Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman got into a fight on pit road after the finish. Well, I wouldn’t really call it a fight, Bowyer threw a barrage of punches while Newman was still in his car. Nevertheless, the two were clearly upset at each other.

Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass caught video of the two arguing just after the melee and it was as unfiltered as you’re going to get.

Bowyer and Newman both cleaned up the language a bit when they were interviewed for the broadcast.

Maybe this is what stick and ball sports need in their all-star games. Offer a lot of money to the winners and let them compete. For now, it’ll just be NASCAR enjoying these hot nights.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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