Jimmie Johnson joined an elite club on Saturday night.
In beating Brad Keselowski to the finish of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway by .841 seconds, Johnson won the exhibition event for the third time, tying Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon for most all-time.
Matt Kenseth ran third, followed by Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who qualified for the event by winning the preliminary Sprint Showdown.
Johnson was the first to stake his claim to a top spot in the running order, winning the first 20-lap segment after passing polesitter Kyle Busch for the top spot on Lap 15. In winning the first segment, Johnson earned the right to lead the field to pit road before the final 10-lap dash.
Thereafter, Johnson made frequent pit stops and ran behind the rest of the field to save his car for the finish.
Kenseth passed Denny Hamlin with three laps left in the second segment and secured the win in that leg. Like Johnson, Kenseth spent segment No. 3 running at the back while Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne waged an intense battle for the win.
Kahne got a strong run from the high line through Turns 3 and 4, but Keselowski held on to win the segment by .006 seconds.
Earnhardt won segment No. 4 by 1.618 seconds over Marcos Ambrose. After the 20-lap run ended, Johnson, Kenseth, Keselowski and Earnhardt entered pit road in that order, took no tires or gas and came out in those same top four positions for the final 10-lap run.
Of the top four drivers, Keselowski and Kenseth had the freshest tires, having stopped under caution for Greg Biffle's blown engine on Lap 73. But Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet was the class of the field and pulled away for the win in an anomalous All-Star race that did not see a single caution for a racing accident.
Here are the full All-Star Race results: