It was fast and furious all night after they dropped the Green Flag on The Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night, but Jamie McMurray gives car owner, Chip Ganassi his first victory at the annual event from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and a Million Dollars in cash. McMurray had a rocket all night, and got away from Kevin Harvick, and Carl Edwards after the start of the 10-lap shootout to capture the win.
Carl Edwards looked strong after starting the night on the pole, but gave up the early lead to Kyle Busch who was on a mission to end the Chevrolet dominance at the 1.5 mile track. The younger Busch brother got his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Cambry out in clean air and won the first 20-lap segment.
During segment two however, Kyle got stuck in behind the #15 Toyota of Clint Bowyer, and tried to go low. He tagged Bowyer and as he went by the Michael Waltrip Racing driver, got hit in the right rear, and spun out collecting Joey Logano in the process. Bowyer sustained some damage, but Kyle Busch and Logano would be out for the remainder of the evening.
Jeff Gordon looked to have a strong car, and with some momentum after his win at Kansas last week quickly became a factor during segment one. Gordon got stuck behind Denny Hamlin during two subsequent re-starts in segment two, and was playing catch-up the remainder of the night.
Gordon looked like he cut a tire down during segment three, ane his car slowed quickly and shot into the turn-3 wall collecting Martin Truex, and the Rousch Fenway Ford of Greg Biffle. Biffle had a good car, but would spend the remainder of the race watching from the hauler.
With the average finishes of the four 20-lap segments determining how they went into the pits for the mandatory four-tire final stop, Carld Edwards came out with the lead for the shoot-out, but couldn’t keep McMurray contained at the re-start. After Edwards let McMurray get away, he raced Kevin Harvick hard and they let The Pro Bass Chevy get too big of a lead.
Kevin Harvick had the best car, I think, but in ten laps was not able to catch McMurry before the checkered Flag ended the race.
“Jamie just did a perfect job on the start,” Edwards said. “I had him cleared for a minute. If I would have pulled in front of him in Turn 1, if I would have gone high, I think we would have won that race, but I was just so reluctant to give up the bottom.
“Jamie just did a perfect job. He ended up sweeping around the outside of me, dragging me down, and it was a drag race. My hat is off to him. He did a great job. He earned it. I drove as hard as I could while he was on the outside and he gave me just the right amount of room to not wreck me, but still beat me. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it differently but that’s racing. You’ve just got to make the best decision you can and move on. It’s a really tough one, though.”
The Sprint All-Star race sets up the Memorial Day Weekend for a race fans best day. The Indianapolis 500 at noon, and the Coca Cola 600 for Sunday night.
Kurt Busch is attempting to qualify for Indy, and will have a busy Sunday. Camping World Truck Series, and Nationwide driver, Parker Klingerman will stand in for practice duties in the #41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet in Busch’s absence.