Originally written for CLNS Radio.
Joey Logano won the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Logano had to chase down Kyle Larson over the final 13 laps, and got by after Larson got loose and ended up slamming into the outside wall. Logano said his car hadn’t shown the speed it was capable of until the end of the race.
“This Shell-Pennzoil Ford was fast from when we unloaded, but never showed our full potential the whole race,” Logano said. “Eventually had a good restart and was able to get up towards the front and able to race with Kyle.”
“I knew he was going to run me hard, and I had to run him hard,” Logano said.
Larson said he thought he had the race won when he took the lead on the final restart, but that his car got too loose.
“I got clear right away, and I thought I could cruise,” Larson said. “I was just getting looser throughout the race.”
“Just got loose and Joey caught me, he did a really good job side-drafting me. I tried to hang on his quarter there, kind of like I did to Chase [Elliott] earlier today [in the Sprint Showdown], and I just got really loose as soon as I got into the corner.”
The race featured a new format, the brainchild of driver Brad Keselowski. The race was split up into two 50-lap segments, with a mandatory 2-tire green flag pit stop during each segment, and then a final, 13-lap segment to decide the winner. Before the final segment, the first 11 cars were forced to make a 4-tire pit stop, while the other cars on the lead lap were forced to stay out on old tires.
The format confused some in the middle of the event, but Logano stressed the importance of being able to win the race, regardless of format.
“This is a race you always want to have on your resume, it’s just so special to say you’ve won the All-Star Race,” Logano said. “It’s nice just to breakthrough and get a win. I know it’s not for points, but it’s a nice momentum-builder going into the Coca-Cola 600.”
1. Joey Logano
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Carl Edwards
5. Kurt Busch
6. Chase Elliott
7. Trevor Bayne
8. Greg Biffle
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Kyle Busch
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Ryan Newman
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Danica Patrick
16. Kyle Larson
17. Jamie McMurray
18. Matt Kenseth
19. Kasey Kahne
20. Tony Stewart
|Photo courtesy Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images|