Joey Logano Collects $1 Million After Winning His First Sprint All-Star Raceby Hunter Thomas May 22, 2016 0 comments
CONCORD, N.C. – Joey Logano won the Sprint All-Star Race for the first time in his career on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway after he battled Kyle Larson in a thrilling finish.
Heading into the non-points race, Logano’s previous best finish in the event was a second in 2013. On Saturday night, Logano led 12 laps throughout the 113-lap race. In the closing laps of the final segment, Logano and Larson were battling for the race lead, when Larson lost control of his No. 42 Target Chevrolet and pounded the outside wall in Turns 1 and 2 with just two laps to go. Larson won Segment 2 but after hitting the wall in the final laps of the third and final segment, he finished a disappointing 16th place finish, while Logano took home the $1 million.
“Awesome race,” Logano said. “I thought it went great. What a great car. It says a lot about our race team to unload today with a completely new package, have 10 minutes of practice, and unload and say, car is pretty good. Don’t have much to say, just a couple little adjustments. We really only made one change on our car is about the only amount of time we had in practice to make one change. Same for everybody, but overall, I felt like our car was competitive.”
Finishing second was Logano’s Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski. The one-two finish for the organization is their first in the event. Throughout the entire night, Keselowski led 39 laps, more than any other driver.
“I guess a decent night but not the great night we wanted with the Miller Lite Ford, ending up second,” Keselowski said. “Really happy for my teammate Joey Logano. He did exactly what you would expect out of an All‑Star Race format and made an incredible pass to win the race. Happy for Team Penske as a whole, but of course wish it was me in Victory Lane.”
Rounding out the top-five was Dale Earnhardt Jr., Segment 1 winner Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch.
Below are recaps of the first two segments of the race.
In Segment 1, there were seven lead changes among five drivers. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch appeared to have been the strongest throughout the segment. Harvick led 21 of the first 50 laps, while Busch led the way for 13 laps.
There were only four cautions during the entire race, and the first one came out on lap 47, when Jamie McMurray spun in Turn 2. With the caution coming out towards the end of the first segment, Matt Kenseth was the only driver to not have served his mandatory green flag pit stop within the first 50 laps. As a result, Kenseth was penalized and half of the field was placed a lap down because there were no wave arounds. At the conclusion of the first segment, teams and drivers were confused as to why they weren’t allowed to get their laps back since Kenseth was penalized.
“We had obviously a format here that we’ve never done before, and we worked diligently trying to come up with every scenario and an answer for every scenario that might crop up,” said senior vice president of competition, Scott Miller. “This is not something that we do every day with this type of race, so we ran into a situation where our race procedure didn’t give us the opportunity for a wave around, and it created a lot of confusion, and it’s something that we certainly, if we continue on with this format, we have to look at. You have to expect that certain circumstances are going to happen in this type of race”
At the end of the end of the first segment, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Carl Edwards was the leader and winner of the first 50 laps.
Early on in Segment 2, the caution came out on lap 66 for fluid on the track. At that point, Brad Keselowski had been the only leader in the segment. He went go on to lead the first 30 laps.
On lap 74, the third caution of the night came out when Chase Elliott slowed onto the track while trying to get to pit road. The move that Elliott made jumbled up the field coming out of Turn 4 and all chaos broke loose. Brad Keselowski got into the back and Matt Kenseth and sent him up the track and into Tony Stewart. Kasey Kahne was then involved when Stewart slid across the track and made heavy contact in the frontstretch grass. Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick received damage as well.
“We had a really good car until we got our damage there,” Elliott said. “We were trying to play the pit road game. You want to spend the least amount of time you can on pit road and that’s what everybody was doing. I was planning on pitting on that first lap after we got back going and it was just chaotic and if it was my fault and I didn’t do a good enough job getting out of the way, I’ll take the blame. I was just trying to get on pit road.”
Kyle Larson took the lead away from Brad Keselowski on lap 85. Larson, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who raced his way into the event through winning the Sprint Showdown, was able to hold on to win Segment 2 of the Sprint All-Star Race.
The Coca-Cole 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is up next for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The prestigious race will broadcast live on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 29.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas