In a race that featured non-stop action, it was appropriate that the battle for the win involved fenders rubbing. As Jamie McMurray and Carl Edwards battled door-to-door, each looked for the glimpse of clear track ahead that likely meant victory. McMurray was quickest to find that space and he ended the night in victory lane.
McMurray’s car didn’t come alive until the final few segments. However, Edwards had a stellar first couple of segments which landed him a decent position to enter pit road after the fourth segment.
Edwards started on the pole, but he didn’t hang onto the lead long as Kyle Busch stormed to the front on Lap 10. Busch ended up taking the first segment; however that would be the sole highlight of his night.
Six laps into the second segment, a jam going down the backstretch bunched up some cars mid-pack. Kyle Busch had to dive low to avoid a slow Kurt Busch in the top lane and that led to contact with Clint Bowyer. As Bowyer broke loose, Busch dived further down to the apron where he went for a spin. He slid back up the track into traffic and was hit by Joey Logano. This caused extensive damage to both cars and ended their shots at the one million dollar prize.
McMurray’s first lead of the race came at the beginning of the third segment. Second segment victor Kasey Kahne wouldn’t allow that however as he stormed by the No. 1 car on Lap 7.
Similar to what was predicted prior to the event, the round of pit stops prior to the fifth and final segment would be the deciding factor in the race.
Kevin Harvick had the highest average finish in the first four rounds which allowed him to lead McMurray onto pit road followed by Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Carl Edwards.
The No. 4 team couldn’t capitalize on entering the pits first as McMurray won the race off pit road. Edwards was closely behind in second. This set up the fender rubbing start to the final ten laps where McMurray held off Edwards to recapture the lead.
No one challenged the No. 1 car in the final laps which allowed McMurray to pull away and win his first Sprint All-Star Race.
An emotional McMurray in victory lane showed to be proud of his accomplishment and pumped up on how he was able to earn the lead for the final time.
“That’s what you grew up wanting to do” McMurray said regarding the battle between he and Edwards. It looked like an old-school battle and the one million dollar prize up for grabs contributed to the tight racing.
The Sprint Cup Series remains at Charlotte Motor Speedway for another week as the Coca-Cola 600 will take place next Sunday.
Results via ESPN.com
|4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||90||6||0||0||0||0|
|18||Martin Truex Jr.||Chevrolet||60||12||0||0||0||0|