Jimmie Johnson wins record fourth NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
CONCORD, N.C. - The Brothers Busch won the first four segments of Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but Jimmie Johnson took the one the counted - the 10-lap dash to the finish - and continued to build his legacy, not to mentioned his bank account.
Speeding away from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne after a restart on Lap 81 of 90, Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-star exhibition race for a record fourth time, beating charging Joey Logano to the stripe by 1.722 seconds.
Kyle Busch, who won the second and third segments of 20-laps each, ran third, followed by Kahne and Kurt Busch. The elder Busch brother won the first and fourth segments and was first onto pit road before the final dash but exited fifth with a less-than-stellar pit stop.
Despite changes to his pit crew this week, Johnson's over-the-wall gang performed an 11-second pit stop that got him out of the pits on the front row, beside Kahne, for the final restart. Ultimately, that made all the difference.
With the victory, Johnson broke a tie with teammate Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for most wins in the non-points race, won his second straight All-Star Race and collected $1 million for his efforts.
"To beat Jeff and Earnhardt, two guys I've looked up to my whole life - two massive icons of our sport - this means the world to me," said Johnson, who started 18th after sliding through his pit box and drawing a penalty for a loose lug nut during Friday's qualifying session.
"I really didn't think we had a shot at winning tonight, starting (18th), but we had a great race car and worked our way through there and got the job done. Over time, honestly, it's just dedication and drive from every member at Hendrick Motorsports, every member on this No. 48 team. We're very proud of what we've accomplished, but we know we've got to keep pushing harder and pushing one another."
Kyle Busch thought he had the fastest car, but a slower-than-usual four-tire stop put his No. 18 Toyota on the second row for the final restart.
"We just didn't get the best pit stop there at the end to get us out on the front row, and when you're back behind cars, you're getting beat up on," Busch said. "It is what it is. We'll just take this as a good learning day and hopefully bring back some speed like this to the (Coca-Cola) 600 (May 26)."