Kyle Larson won the second of two 50-lap segments in Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Now, he and 16 other drivers will compete in the final segment, a 13-lap winner-take-all session that will pay $1 million to the winner. With the field inversion after the second segment, Jimmie Johnson was scored as the leader heading into the final segment.
Larson, who has yet to win a regular points-paying Sprint Cup race, took the lead from Brad Keselowski with seven laps to go in the segment.
Keselowski was second in the segment, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.
Greg Biffle was running 11th at the end of the second segment, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Jamie McMurray.
Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart all saw their night end early after a multi-car wreck on Lap 23, finishing 18th, 19th and last, respectively in the 20-car field.
Keselowski has led the most laps (39), followed by Harvick (22), Kyle Busch (15), Logano (10), Larson (7) and Matt Kenseth (4).
The first major incident of the evening came on Lap 23 of the second segment when Chase Elliott suddenly slowed as if he was going to enter pit road, prompting Greg Biffle to get into the right rear of Elliott’s car.
Several cars tried to dodge around Elliott, leading to Matt Kenseth piling into Tony Stewart and also collecting Kasey Kahne.
Stewart, who was the race’s grand marshal and gave the command to start engines, was incensed after being cleared from the infield medical center.
“I’m as baffled as everybody,” Stewart said on Fox Sports 1. “It’s the most screwed-up All-Star Race I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad it’s the last one (for him). I’m alright, I’m just madder than hell. I don’t understand how they’ve officiated this thing from start to finish.”
Added Kenseth, “I got more than bumped from behind, I think I got drove over. I hope everybody understands this race better than I did from the cockpit, because ever since the first car pitted in that first segment, I have no idea of what’s going on.”
Kahne was penalized for an uncontrolled tire at the end of the first segment, prompting him to start the second segment from the back of the field.
Carl Edwards won the first 50-lap segment, leading two laps under caution to end the segment.