On the decisive restart of the night, Jamie McMurray outmuscled Carl Edwards and pulled away to win the $1 million Sprint All-Star Race Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Following pit stops, Edwards and McMurray were positioned first and second for the final 10-lap shootout. Edwards was lined to the inside and got the jump, but McMurray stayed beside him entering the corners and eventually powered into the lead following a two-lap battle.
"Carl got a little bit of a jump on me on the restart and I was able to hang on his quarter-panel," McMurray said in victory lane. "And when he kept entering (Turns) 1 and 3 I was like, ‘Heck with it, it's for a million bucks, if we wreck it's not that big of a deal.' It's so cool to come out on top."
NASCAR All-Star Race
NASCAR All-Star Race
Edwards started on the pole and was fast early when in clean air, but struggled once in traffic. Once passed by Kevin Harvick for second, Edwards fell to fifth behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"Jamie did a perfect job on the restart," Edwards said. "Jamie just did a perfect job. He earned it. My hat is off to him."
The win was McMurray's first in the non-points exhibition, which featured race winners from the previous 12 months.
Harvick had the fastest car and the best average finish through four segments, but a slow pit stop proved detrimental.
"We recovered from the first bad pit stop, but didn't recover from the second bad pit stop," Harvick said. "We had a good car. Just didn't get it done on pit road."
Numerous crashes knocked out a number of contenders throughout the 90-lap race divided into five heats. Segment 1 winner Kyle Busch was sidelined when he broke loose, spun in traffic and then was clipped by Joey Logano. Both drivers escaped injury in the scary incident.
Kasey Kahne dominated the mid-portions, winning the second and third segments. His bid for a second All-Star Race victory ended when he drove through oil and pancaked the wall. With the alignment in his No. 5 Chevrolet off, Kahne dropped to the back.
Another wreck involved Jeff Gordon, who suffered an unidentified parts failure causing him to shoot up the track into the path of Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle.
"I was going down the backstretch going into Turn 3 and I felt something in the front end give," Gordon said. "All of a sudden I had more wheel and I wasn't even in the corner. As I got in the corner, the car just went straight."
Josh Wise won the fan vote Friday, but was noncompetitive throughout the night and finished 15th, the last car on the lead lap.