Friday, May 15, 2015

Field Set for Sprint All-Star Race

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick became the final drivers to qualify for Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Biffle and Bowyer won the first and second segments of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown, respectively.  The Showdown included all the drivers who have not won a race in the past season, made last season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup or have never won a Sprint All-Star Race.
Photo courtesy Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook page.

Biffle jumped out to the lead in the first segment when the green flag fell, and he never looked back.  He ran away from the field and won the first segment by over 1.5 seconds.  Following the segment, he took his car to the garage and did not race in the second segment.

Bowyer took four tires during the caution between segments, and it turned out to be the winning move.  After a caution early in segment two, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson raced side-by-side for the lead.  Bowyer took the duo three-wide into Turn 1, took the lead, and pulled away from the field over the final 15 laps of the second segment.

Patrick was the winner of the fan vote, which NASCAR said had the smallest margin between first and second place in All-Star Race history.  Patrick also became the first driver to win the fan vote more than once, after winning the fan vote in 2013.

Qualifying for the Sprint All-Star Race will be Saturday afternoon.  The race will be Saturday night at 9:25 EST.

This year’s All-Star Race will feature five segments.  The first four segments will be 20 laps, and then a final, 10-lap shootout to decide the winner.  The Sprint All-Star Race, one of only two non-points events during the NASCAR season, pays the winner $1 million.

Below are the drivers who will make up the field for Saturday’s 90-lap event.  

#1 – Jamie McMurray
#2 – Brad Keselowski
#4 – Kevin Harvick
#5 – Kasey Kahne
#10 – Danica Patrick (Sprint Fan Vote Winner)
#11 – Denny Hamlin
#14 – Tony Stewart
#15 – Clint Bowyer (Sprint Showdown Segment 2 Winner)
#16 – Greg Biffle (Sprint Showdown Segment 1 Winner)
#18 – Kyle Busch
#19 – Carl Edwards
#20 – Matt Kenseth
#22 – Joey Logano
#24 – Jeff Gordon
#31 – Ryan Newman
#41 – Kurt Busch
#43 – Aric Almirola
#47 – AJ Allmendinger
#48 – Jimmie Johnson
#88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr

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