By Noel Lanier Special to The Easley Progress
May 20, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At the end of the first of four 20-lap segments, the 2014 All-Race Race had the makings of another Kyle “Rowdy” Busch weekend sweep.
But the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway really doesn’t heat up until the final 10-lap segment. And that’s just what happened.
With just eight laps remaining, Jamie McMurray shot to the front and passed pole winner Carl Edwards to take home the prized $1 million check and bragging rights as the 2014 Sprint All-Star Champion.
This race is without a doubt the most strategic and, with no points on the line, it is anything goes.
One mistake and your chances at the million dollar check are over. And that’s what happened to Kyle Busch as the drivers began the second 20-lap segment.
Busch spun and triggered a wreck, collecting Joey Logano. The night was over as both cars ended up in the garage.
The third 20-lap segment was fairly quiet, but soon after the start of the fourth and final 20-lap segment, Jeff Gordon slid into Greg Biffle, collecting Martin Truex Jr., sending all three home for the night.
All of this led up to the final 10-lap shootout. A mandatory four-tire stop for all prior to the segment, and the drivers would be lined up for entry onto pit road based upon highest average finish for the four 20-lap segments.
It was Kevin Harvick, followed by McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Edwards.
Edwards came off pit road with the lead for the final 10 laps, followed by McMurray, Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Johnson.
But it was McMurray who powered past Edwards with eight laps remaining to take the checkered flag and the $1 million check. Harvick finished second, Kenseth finished third, Earnhardt Jr. was fourth and Edwards was fifth.
For more images from the All-Star race weekend visit www.NorthBeachPhotos.smugmug.com