The Sprint Cup Series headed home this weekend to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Sprint All-Star Race.
Unlike other All-Star events in sports, NASCAR pays cash to the drivers who compete in the race. The winner alone takes home over a million dollars in prize money.
Before the All-Star race takes place another race, known as the Sprint Showdown, is run to determine which two drivers will earn the last two spots in the All-Star race.
The Showdown is a 40 lap for drivers who are not already qualified for the All-Star event. The top two finishers advance as well as the driver who gets the most fan votes.
The Showdown was a very competitive race that ended with AJ Allmendinger taking the checkered flag in first and Sam Hornish Jr. in second. Both of these drivers would advance into the All-Star race along with Kasey Kahne, who received the most fan votes.
The All-Star event started with Kyle Busch on the pole with Jeff Gordon along side in second. The All-Star race consists of four 25 lap segments. The winner of each segment receives $75,000.
As the green flag flew to start the first segment, Kyle Busch once again showed that he had the car to beat. He took off and left the rest of the field to battle for second. Busch won the first segment in dominating fashion by leading every lap.
The second segment caused a twist in the action as Busch was yet again dominating the race. But on lap 14, Busch was passed by Carl Edwards for the lead. Busch ended up having engine problems and finished dead last out of the 24-car field.
Carl Edwards would win the second segment collecting a cool $75,000. The field would get a 10-minute break before action would resume. The teams could make any adjustments to the cars that they needed.
At the start of the third segment, the field would restart according to how they finished in segment 2. Earnhardt Jr. showed some muscle by leading the first 13 laps before Greg Biffle passed him for the top spot. Biffle would go on to lead the remaining 12 laps, collecting his $75,000.
Now, it was time for the field to make a mandatory pit stop before the final segment took place. Jimmie Johnson ended up winning the race off pit road with Biffle coming off in fourth.
As the race restarted, Denny Hamlin took the lead from Johnson and looked to be heading off into the night. But with 16 laps to go, he also had engine problems that ended his night.
This change of events handed the lead over to Kasey Kahne, who led the remaining 16 laps of the race holding off Biffle to get his first win of the season.
Too bad it doesn't really count as a win because it was a non-points event.
Kahne became the first driver to win after being voted in by the fans. He also became the third driver to win the All-Star event after advancing from the Showdown.
Unfortunately, this was also the last time that we would ever get to see Dale Jarrett compete in the Sprint Cup Series again.
Jarrett called it a career after competing in the All-Star event. Jarrett is and always will be one of the best in NASCAR. He has made 668 total starts in Sprint Cup races and has 32 wins to his credit. Dale will be missed among the teams, drivers, and fans. He is a class act and a true champion.
The finals result were
1. Kasey Kahne
2. Greg Biffle
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Tony Stewart
6. Ryan Newman
7. Sam Hornish Jr.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. Mark Martin
10. Carl Edwards
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Bobby Labonte
13. Casey Mears
14. Juan Pablo Montoya
15. Jeff Gordon
16. Martin Truex Jr.
17. AJ Allmendi
18. Clint Bowyer
19. Jamie McMurray
20. Jeff Burton
21. Dale Jarrett
22. Kurt Busch
23. Denny Hamlin
24. Kyle Busch