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Johnson wins All-Star race in Charlotte

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, May. 19, 2013

Jimmie Johnson may not win races that count as often at Charlotte Motor Speedway any more, but he still wins the ones that pay.

For the second consecutive season and the fourth time in his career, Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, holding off Joey Logano to win the $1 million first prize on Saturday night.

Johnson, who shares the record of the most Sprint Cup Series wins at CMS (six), now sits alone as the driver with the most all-star victories.

“We put ourselves in a bit of a hole with our qualifying effort on Friday but everybody did a great job today,” said Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus. “It was a great week.”

Kyle Busch finished third, Kasey Kahne was fourth and Kurt Busch was fifth.

To start the 90-lap all-star event, pole-winner Carl Edwards got passed on Lap 1 by Kurt Busch.

Before the race was a lap in, Brad Keselowski broke his transmission and had to go immediately to the garage.

“Something just broke in the back half of the drive train, either the transmission or drive shaft gear – I’m not sure which one – but it’s one of those deals, unfortunately,” Keselowski said.

Kurt Busch was in the lead when the first segment was brought to a halt by rain.

Following a more than 40-minute rain delay, the race returned to green on Lap 16 with Kurt Busch leading, followed by Kyle Busch and Edwards.

Kurt Busch won the first 20-lap segment, followed by Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Edwards and Kahne.

A three-wide move put Bowyer in the lead on the first lap of the second segment, followed by Kyle Busch and Edwards.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slapped the wall on Lap 25 and then hit Mark Martin, sending Martin into a spin on the frontstretch and bringing out the second caution.

On the restart on Lap 29, Bowyer remained in the lead followed by Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch.

Kyle Busch quickly made his way around Bowyer to take the lead on Lap 30.

Kyle Busch won the second segment, followed by Bowyer and Edwards.

To start the third 20-lap segment, Bowyer led the way followed by Edwards, Martin, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Kyle Busch made his way around Bowyer to retake the lead on Lap 44.

At the halfway mark of the race, Kyle Busch remained out front followed by Kurt Busch and Johnson.

Kyle Busch wrapped up the win in Segment 3, followed by Kurt Busch, Johnson, Earnhardt and Logano.

All of the lead lap cars pit for fuel and tires during the break.

Kahne was the first off pit road and took over the lead on the start of Segment 4 on Lap 61, followed by Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Debris brought out the third caution on Lap 64 with nine cars electing not to pit. On the restart on Lap 71, Kahne led the way followed by Kurt Busch and Harvick.

Kurt Busch made his way around Kahne for the lead on Lap 72.

Busch stayed out front and won Segment 4, followed by Kahne and Johnson.

All drivers had to make a four-tire mandatory pit stop after Segment 4. Kahne led entering the final 10-lap segment, followed by Johnson, Kyle Busch, Logano and Kurt Busch.

Earlier in the night, Jamie McMurray led all 40 laps of the Sprint Showdown and Stenhouse finished second as both transferred into the all-star field.

The final entry in the main event went to the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, which was won by Danica Patrick.

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