Sprint Showdown Winners Secure Place In NASCAR's All Star Race

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IMay 16, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 09:  Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge, stand on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 on May 9, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It was a wild race and a wicked battle to get into the All Star Race in the qualifying event, the Sprint Showdown.  Qualifying was rained out at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of NASCAR racing.

So, the field was actually set in the order in which they were set to qualify, putting many of the usually slower drivers at the front of the field.

Brian Vickers and Joey Logano had a few issues with each other early on.  As a result, Vickers had a tire rub, cut down the tire and ended up being the cause for one of the race cautions.

Sam Hornish and David Stremme ended up battling each other for much of the short race.

Yet, Jamie McMurray was able to get past Stremme with thirteen laps to go.  Hornish and McMurray then seemed to check out in front of the rest of the field.

McMurray, hampered by a windshield full of oil from a previous incident, could barely see where he was going.  His spotter and his own "track presence" were able to get him around the track.

In fact, McMurray stuck close to the white line, using that to try to get his bearings.  In spite of those challenges and also the decision to stay out and not take tires, McMurray was able to pull away from the pack.

Hornish also did not pit, electing to stay out and get that infamous clean air.  In the remaining laps, Hornish managed to basically check out, lengthening his already substantial lead.

When all was said and done, Sam Hornish and Jamie McMurray did an amazing job, racing their way into NASCAR's elite All Star Race.  Hornish finished first, with McMurray, coming from the thirtieth spot, followed him, securing that second place transfer spot.

Both racers will have to quickly turn their cars around, gas them up and head on over for the main event in NASCAR, the All Star Race.