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Las Vegas NASCAR star punched by driver after race — VIDEO

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — A little prep work paid off for Joey Logano.

Logano dominated the short track at North Wilkesboro Speedway leading all but one of 200 laps to win his second All-Star Race on Sunday night and earn $1 million.

Logano started on the pole after posting the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday and was never really challenged, setting a record by leading more laps than any driver has in the race’s 40-year history.

“We were so fast,” Logano said. “We came here before and tested and ran over 800 laps and really figured out what it was going to take to win the race.”

He also won the All-Star Race in 2016.

Denny Hamlin finished second and Chris Buescher third in a race that lacked drama for the second straight year at the renovated track.

Kyle Larson, who arrived about an hour before the race after spending the afternoon qualifying fifth for the Indianapolis 500 and flying to North Wilkesboro, finished fourth and came up short in the quest to tie Jimmie Johnson for the most All-Star Race wins with four after starting at the back of the field.

The newly paved track and different versions of soft tires were supposed to create more passing. They didn’t.

Busch punched

There only real fireworks came on the second lap when Kyle Busch sent Ricky Stenhouse Jr. into the wall after Stenhouse tried to pass him on the first lap. An upset Stenhouse pulled his wrecked car down pit lane and parked in Busch’s pit stall, got out and climbed a ladder to yell at Busch’s crew.

Afterward, Stenhouse confronted Busch in the pits, then threw a punch at Busch, igniting a scuffle that involved members of both crews. Stenhouse grabbed Busch and appeared to throw the Las Vegas native to the ground.

Stenhouse said that he was tired of Busch “running his mouth talking about me” after he had wrecked him at Daytona in the past.

“I know he is frustrated because he doesn’t run as well as he used to,” Stenhouse said after the race.

In March 2017, Busch got in a bloody fight with Joey Logano during a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Larson makes it

Larson was the big story ahead of the race.

He arrived at North Wilkesboro Speedway about an hour before the race following a busy afternoon

His plane landed at Wilkes County Airport and was then transported via helicopter to the racetrack and then taken by golf cart to his hauler to begin preparations for the 200-lap exhibition race.

Fans cheered his arrival into the track and he waved to them along the way.

NASCAR and its broadcast partner FOX helped accommodate the sport’s star attraction and points leader by moving the start of the race back 16 minutes to 8:30 p.m. to ensure he would arrive in time after shocking some in the racing world by qualifying for the Fast 6 at Indianapolis.

Larson will have to do it again next weekend when he attempts to run the double and finish the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Seventeen drivers qualified for the race based on their past accomplishments. All-Star Open winner Ty Gibbs and second place finisher Bubba Wallace advanced into the race on Sunday, along with fan vote winner Noah Gragson.

Hendrick Motorsports vice president of competition Chad Knaus marveled at what Larson was able to do in his first qualifying runs in Indianapolis in an open-wheel racecar against the best drivers in the world.

“We were watching him run and we were like, my gosh, I can’t believe this,” Knaus said. “I was like my goodness how did that happen? Very limited track time. Did a couple of tests. Was able to go up there and he holds a pretty good wheel as anybody I have seen. He is a phenomenal talent. He gets it. He is so emotionally stable. You can put him in just about any environment and he is going to excel.”

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Stenhouse could face suspension for throwing punch at Las Vegan Kyle Busch

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw a right hook at Kyle Busch, and suddenly, an otherwise boring All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway had NASCAR fans buzzing heading into next weekend’s marquee Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.