Million dollar night for McMurray in all-star race
Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jamie McMurray won Saturday night's NASCAR
Sprint All-Star Race and collected $1 million after passing Carl Edwards for
the lead during the final 10-lap shootout and then holding off Kevin Harvick
at the finish.
Edwards and McMurray were running 1-2 for the final restart with 10 laps to
go. Both drivers battled hard for the lead, running side-by-side and bumping
into each other at times during the first lap in the segment, before McMurray
pulled away from Edwards with nine laps left.
"As a kid, that's what you grew up wanting to do is to have a shootout like
that and have a possibility to race for just 10 laps," McMurray said. "Carl
got a little bit of a jump on me on the [final] restart, but I was able to
hang on to his quarter panel. When we entered [turns] 1 and 3, I was like,
'The 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 of that."
Harvick chased down McMurray in the closing laps, but McMurray beat Harvick to
the finish line by 0.7 seconds for his first win in the all-star race. It came
in his eighth attempt. His previous best finish in this event was eighth,
which came last year.
McMurray, who led a race-high 31 laps, gave Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix
Sabates its first victory in the all-star race as well. McMurray was paired
with crew chief Keith Rodden on the No. 1 team after the 2013 season had
"Keith did an unbelievable job," McMurray said. "I'm so glad that I get the
opportunity to work with him. We've had good cars all year long. We've had
some bad luck. But this is one of those races that makes up for a lot of bad
McMurray's first win in the Cup Series came in October 2002 at Charlotte, in
just his second career start. He won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his first season with Chip Ganassi's team in
Matt Kenseth finished third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Edwards, the
pole sitter. Qualifying for this race was held just prior to the start of the
event. Edwards completed his three laps and made his four-tire pit stop in 1
minute, 50.268 seconds at an average speed of 146.915 mph during qualifying.
"Jamie just did a perfect job," Edwards said. "He ended up sweeping around the
outside of me, dragging me down, and it was a drag race. My hat is off to him.
He did a great job. He earned it."
Jimmie Johnson, who has won the all-star race a record four times, including
victories in the previous two years, crossed the line in sixth.
"We averaged well [on the track] but didn't get off pit road where we needed
to," Johnson said. "I want to congratulate Jamie. I'm very happy for him."
Kurt Busch started 18th and finished 11th after participating in day one of
qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day. Busch departed Indy
mid-afternoon and flew to Charlotte, arriving here in plenty of time for all-
The second and final day of Indy 500 qualifying is on Sunday. Busch finished
10th in Saturday's qualifying there, coming up short of being in the "Fast
Nine" shootout for the pole position.
A multi-car crash occurred on lap 26 when Kyle Busch spun out after he bumped
into the back of Clint Bowyer. Busch then hit the wall and slid down the track
before he collected Joey Logano.
"Kurt [Busch] got real bottled up on the outside and slowed down, so I knew I
was clear to go to the bottom and swoop down and try to get underneath [Clint]
Bowyer," Busch said. "When I did, he blocked me, and I hit him. He got
squirrely, and then I was still under him. He hit me and turned me around the
wrong way on the backstretch and got in the outside wall."
Busch finished 21st and Logano last in the 22-car field.
"I knew they were crashing in front of me," Logano said. "I was just trying to
go along, but I wish I would have turned back to the right."
Another three-car incident happened after a restart on lap 61 when Jeff
Gordon, the winner of last weekend's race at Kansas, experienced a mechanical
issue and lost control heading into turn 3. Gordon bumped into Martin Truex
Jr. and Greg Biffle, as all three drivers made contact with the wall.
"I'm not exactly sure what happened,"Gordon said. "I was going down the
backstretch, going into turn 3, and I felt something in the front end give.
All of the sudden, I had more wheel and I wasn't even in the corner. As I got
in the corner, the car just went straight. It wasn't like it was a right-front
where it just shot there. It just slowly went there."
Gordon is a three-time all-star race winner, but has not scored a victory in
this event since 2001.