NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

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Social Roundup: Drivers react to how Sprint All-Star Race played out

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Finger pointing. The blame game. Whatever you want to call it, Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race was full of confusion. It started with Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth‘s comments after a six-car wreck in the second segment and continued on social media immediately following the exhibition race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The format was announced three weeks ago and had been heralded being thought up with the help of Brad Keselowski.

That’s where criticism was directed from Denny Hamlin following the race.

Keselowski, who finished second Saturday night, quickly defended the race.

Other drivers had begun voicing their own confusion during the race, with plenty of jokes to go around.

Joey Logano leads Penske sweep with win in Sprint-All Star Race

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Kyle Larson got into the wall with two laps left and Joey Logano left him and a confusing and controversial night in his wake to win his first Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson and Logano restarted third and fourth and were among the teams that were required to stay out on old tires while 11 cars pitted for four tires prior to the third segment.

Jimmie Johnson, the leader on the restart, unexpectedly fell off the pace which helped Larson assume the lead, with Logano in pursuit. By the time five laps remained, Larson was experiencing deja vu.

It was the same position the Chip Ganassi Racing driver had been in roughly 12 hours earlier when he outlasted Chase Elliott to win the final segment of the Sprint Showdown.

But Larson’s success from earlier in the day would not be duplicated. The two began racing side-by-side with three laps to go. One lap later, Larson tried a move that had worked on Elliott, using the air off Logano’s right-rear quarter panel to get him loose.

It backfired.

“Joey caught me, he did a really good job of side-drafting me,” Larson told Fox Sports 1. “I just got really loose as soon as I got down into the corner. We were going so fast I couldn’t correct it and drilled the wall.”

Larson fell back to finish 16th while Logano took the point and gave Team Penske its third win in the exhibition race and Logano’s first in six tries.

“This Shell/Pennzoil Ford was fast when we unloaded; we never showed our full potential,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Larson is a hard racer. I watched him in the Showdown earlier today and I knew what I was up against. I knew he was gonna run hard. I’m a hard racer, I knew it was gonna be a fun battle for sure.”

The last time Logano was at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he won one of three races in the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. This time he won $1 million.

“What a crazy battle for a million dollars at the end,” Logano said. “This is the All-Star Race. It’s special just to be in the race. Forget winning it, it’s just special. It’s neat to be in victory lane.”

Logano led 12 laps Saturday night, including the final two.

The No. 22 Ford was followed by Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch.

MORE: All-Star Race results

HOW JOEY LOGANO WON: Logano survived a three-lap duel with Kyle Larson that ended with Larson getting in the wall and Logano driving away uncontested.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Brad Keselowski led 39 laps and finished second for the second time in the All-Star Race .. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, his best result in the ASR since finishing second in 2002 … Despite being in a six-car wreck in segment two, Chase Elliott finished sixth in his first ASR appearance … In his second ASR, Trevor Bayne finished seventh … During the break after Segment Two, Carl Edwards was found to have one loose lug nut on his left-front tire. Edwards had to start the final segment from the rear. He raced back to finish fourth as the highest finishing Toyota driver.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Jamie McMurray caused the first caution at the end of Segment 1 when he spun in Turn 2 from a blown rear tire. McMurray finished the night in 17th, three laps down … Matt Kenseth was penalized at the end of Segment One after he failed to make the required green flag pit stop. He was held for a lap by NASCAR. Twenty-three laps into Segment Two, Kenseth was involved in a six-car wreck with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Elliott .. Stewart, in his 18th and final ASR, finished last.

NOTABLE: Logano joins Ryan Newman (2002) and Kurt Busch (2010) as drivers who have won the All-Star Race for Team Penske … Team Penske is the first in the history of the All-Star Race to sweep the top two finishing spots.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT No. 1:  “I don’t know how you can get much more compelling racing than what we saw today, so they need to get unconfused and enjoy the racing.” — Brad Keselowski, who finished second. Keselowski helped come up with the race format.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT No. 2 – “It’s the most screwed up All-Star Race I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad this is the last one.” — Tony Stewart after finishing last following a Segment Two crash.

WHAT’S NEXT: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29 at  6 p.m. ET on Fox.

Tony Stewart involved in multi-car crash in segment two of All-Star Race

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Tony Stewart‘s final Sprint All-Star Race ended with the nose of his No. 14 and others cars crumpled after a big, multi-car crash during the second segment of the exhibition race.

Chase Elliott was attempting to pit on Lap 23 of the 50-lap segment, which caused cars behind to him to bunch up.

That resulted in a crash the involved Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Stewart.

Kenseth’s car was turned up track into Stewart. Harvick received damage while slowing down to avoid them.

Stewart’s car came down to the inside where it collected Kasey Kahne, sending them into the grass.

“I got more than bumped from behind, I think I got drove over,” Kenseth told Fox Sports 1. “I saw them checking up and wrecking in front of me and I slowed up just a little bit and somebody drove right over the top of me, wide open. I don’t think they saw the wreck yet.”

Kenseth was near the back of the pack after having been penalized at the end of segment one – which ended under caution – for not making a required green flag stop. His penalty resulted in confusion over the scoring over cars.

Stewart, in his 18th and final All-Star Race, was “madder than hell” at how the race was officiated.

“I’m as baffled as everybody,” Stewart told Fox Sports 1. “I don’t know how in the hell we were scored a lap down they stopped the 20 car and pitted everybody together a lap down, a lead lap and lap down…it’s the most screwed up All-Star Race I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad this is the last one.”

Carl Edwards wins first segment of All-Star Race under caution

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Carl Edwards claimed the win in the first 50-lap segment of the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Edwards led two laps under caution to end the segment.

Edwards was followed by Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Chase ElliottKurt Busch, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Harvick led the most laps in the segment with 22, which included dueling with Kyle Busch side-by-side for the first five laps before taking the lead for good until Lap 27, when he made his required pit stop.

Also leading laps were Kyle Busch (13), Joey Logano (10) and Matt Kenseth (four).

The only caution of the segment came with four laps left, when Jamie McMurray blew a rear tire and spun in Turn 2. The No. 1 Chevrolet made slight contact with the outside wall during the spin.

Matt Kenseth was held one lap by NASCAR because he failed to make a green flag pit stop before the caution waved. Kenseth was in the lead when the caution wave and was the only car not to have pit. All teams were required to make a green-flag pit stop to make a minimum two-tire change.

Kasey Kahne, the first car off of pit road during the post segment pit stop, was penalized for an uncontrolled tire and will restart from the rear in segment two.

 

Kyle Larson wins final Sprint Showdown segment, advances to first All-Star Race

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Kyle Larson will race in his first Sprint All-Star Race after coming out on the better end of a drag race with Chase Elliott in the third segment of the Sprint Showdown.

Larson fended off multiple pass attempts by Elliott before locking doors with the rookie coming to the checkered flag.

After the sparks and smoke, it was Larson advancing to the All-Star Race while Elliott got in on the Fan Vote. It’s Larson’s first All-Star Race in three seasons in the Sprint Cup Series.

“I knew Chase was going to be good on four tires and I knew he was probably going to win the fan vote, so I knew I had to win,” Larson told Fox Sports 1. “I knew I had to win because I probably wasn’t going to win the fan vote.”

Elliott started the final segment deep in the field and after passing four cars on the first lap, had put his No. 24 Chevrolet within a car length of Larson with three laps to go.

Elliott pulled even with Larson on the frontstretch with two laps to go and was about to complete the pass entering Turn 1 when Larson lightly touched his right-rear quarter panel. That got Elliott loose enough for Larson to pull back ahead.

On the final lap in Turns 3 and 4, Elliott went high, again pulling even with Larson entering the tri-oval. That’s when the door banging started.

“I hate racing like that, sucking on people’s doors,” Larson said.

Said Elliott:”He did what he thought he had to do to beat us back to the line.”

They entered Turn 1 with significant sheet metal damage to both cars.

“Hopefully they can repair the right side good enough, or we can pull out a backup,” Larson told FS1. “I’m sure Chase is angry with me. He has all the reason in the world to be. But hey, later tonight, we’ll be going for a million bucks, and I’ve never had the chance to do that before.”

Larson joined Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne as segment winners who advance to the All-Star Race. Danica Patrick, who finished ninth, also transferred by finishing second in the fan vote.

The top five of the final segment was comprised of Larson, Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and AJ Allmendinger.

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