Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. gained
eligibility for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after finishing 1-2 in
Saturday night's Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
McMurray took the lead from pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. on the opening lap
and then ran in front for the entire 40 laps in the preliminary event. He will
start 20th in the 90-lap all-star race.
After the first 20-lap segment, McMurray and most of the other front runners
pitted, while Casey Mears was one of those who elected to stay on the track.
McMurray made a two-tire change and came out of the pits first.
Mears led the way for the start of the second 20-lap segment, but McMurray
quickly passed him after the restart to take the top spot for good.
"My car was really balanced tonight, and the track has got a lot more grip
than what we practiced with," McMurray said.
Stenhouse, a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series this season, finished 1.2 seconds
behind McMurray to earn the 21st starting position in the all-star race. It
will be his first appearance in it.
"We did the first part, and we're really looking forward to the all-star
race," Stenhouse said. "It's very exciting. It was the first time running in
the Showdown and making it out. That's good."
Jeff Burton placed third, followed by Paul Menard and Truex. Danica Patrick
finished on the lead lap in ninth. Patrick is the favorite to win the fan
vote, which gives that driver the last position in the 22-car field.
The Sports Network