Jimmie Johnson passed teammate Kasey Kahne with nine laps to go to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Johnson then pulled away, as clean air was key and Johnson won his fourth Sprint All-Star Race. The four wins for Johnson are the most of any driver in history in the event. Johnson is proud about the things his team is doing.
"We're doing amazing things and surprising ourselves in the process," Johnson said.
In the opening Sprint Showdown three drivers advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race, the top two placing drivers from the Showdown and the fan vote recipient. Jamie McMurray led every lap in the Showdown and won, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr coming home second and Jeff Burton third. Stenhouse and McMurray would advance and Danica Patrick would be the fan vote recipient and advance to the All-Star race as well.
When the Sprint All-Star race started Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch led the field to green in the first of four 20 laps segments. Three laps into the race one of the races' major players began to have issues. Brad Keselowski slowed and fell off the pace. It appeared that Keselowski had a broken transmission and would fall out of the race. Keselowski would finish 22nd in the All-Star race.
The race stayed green and Kurt Busch had a lead of three tenths of a second when the caution flew on lap nine for rain. The race would be red flagged for 41 minutes on lap 13 and when it resumed on lap 16 Kurt Busch shot to the front and stayed there to win the first segment. Busch would now be the only driver eligible to win two million dollars by winning all five segments.
After a round of pit stops Kurt Busch and brother Kyle Busch led the field to the green for segment two and Kyle Busch showed his muscle for the first time, passing his older brother for the lead. Five laps into the segment a caution would fly when Mark Martin spun through the grass. Martin got into the grass after contact from Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who bounced his Ford off the wall. The race restarted on lap 29 and Clint Bowyer passed Kyle Busch for the lead in three-wide fashion below both the Busch brothers. By lap 33 Jimmie Johnson was up to the fifth position after starting deep in the field. Kyle Busch would pass Bowyer a lap later and sailed to victory in segment two.
Pit strategy started when Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer led the field to the restart. Both drivers did not pit when other drivers did and thought that track position would prevail. Bowyer shot to the lead but five laps later he would lose the lead to Kyle Busch and Bowyer began to fall back dramatically. Kyle Busch pulled away and won segment three.
Pit strategy played a big role in segment four as Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne led the field to the restart. It was on this restart where Kyle Busch's night began to never be the same. Busch made contact with Greg Biffle, and then Ryan Newman leaving slight damage on Busch's car. Biffle would lose momentum and fall back into the clutches of Dale Earnhardt Jr. The two would make contact and Biffle would have to pit a lap later when a tire began to blow on the 16 car. Biffle caught a break when one lap later the caution flew for debris.
On the lap 66 restart Kurt Busch and brother Kyle Busch found themselves side by side. Kurt would prevail and would have to hold off Kasey Kahne for the lead in the segment. He would do that and Kurt Busch won the fourth segment.
Kurt Busch would lead the field to the pits because he had the best average finish of the first four segments. He would be followed by Kyle Busch then Kasey Kahne, then Jimmie Johnson. Kasey Kahne's team won the race off pit road with Jimmie Johnson second, Kyle Busch third, Joey Logano fourth and Kurt Busch came out fifth.
Johnson got the low side on the restart and passed his teammate Kasey Kahne for the lead with nine laps to go in turns 3 and 4. Kahne's car began to fade and he would finish fourth after becoming tight. Logano finished second with Kyle Busch in third. Kurt Busch could not make up the ground lost in the pits and stayed fifth as he was also tight on the last ten lap run.
Denny Hamlin finished sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr seventh, Jamie McMurray eighth, Matt Kenseth ninth and Carl Edwards tenth.
Kevin Harvick finished 11th, Jeff Gordon finished 12th, Ryan Newman finished 13th, Tony Stewart finished 14th, 15th was Greg Biffle with Ricky Stenhouse Jr coming home 16th. Marcos Ambrose finished 17th with Clint Bowyer finishing 18th, 19th was David Ragan and Danica Patrick finished 20th. Mark Martin was 21st and Brad Keselowski finished 22nd.
The next race on the Sprint Cup Series schedule is the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26th.Tags: Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race