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Johnson collects fourth All Star win - and a million dollars

Jimmie Johnson is a million dollars richer after winning the 2013 All-Star Race for the fourth time in his career, setting a new record in the process.
NASCAR's top drivers have been taking the week off the usual grind of the never-ending 2013 Cup championship battle, and instead been racing just for the fun of it. Fun - and a couple of million dollars in total prize funds in the offing as well, shared between the winners of the four 20-lap segments and the ultimate victor in a final 10-lap sprint to the chequered flag.

But before the main event could get underway, there was the small matter of the Sprint Showdown support race to take care of. The winner and runner-up in this 40-lap event would get to compete in the All-Star Race that followed, so there were at least a million reasons for the 23 drivers involved to race flat-out for the prize.

Starting on the front row alongside Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray immediately went into the lead at the green flag - and stayed there. When the scheduled yellow came out at the midway point, McMurray made track position his priority and went for a two-tyre stop only, duly coming back out to take the restart on the front row alongside Casey Mears who had stayed out. McMurray made quick work of him when the green flag came out and immediately leapt away into the lead, never to be caught again before the chequered.

McMurray's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team mate Juan Pablo Montoya was not so lucky and was penalised for speeding in the pit lane which meant he could recover to no better than sixth in the remaining 20 laps. That left the second spot wide open and it was Roush Fenway's Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who slid into that spot by the end to claim the second All-Star spot on offer. The third and final transfer spot went to the winner of the fan vote not already locked-in, and it was to no one's surprise that this turned out to be Stewart-Haas' Danica Patrick.

That completed the field for the All-Star race, with Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch leading them to the green flag at the start of 90 laps in total of the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. The start was slightly delayed by rain passing through the area pushing it past half nine at night, but even when showery rain pushed in again a few minutes later and led to a 40 minute red flag there were no concerns about getting the race in - Charlotte's floodlights were blazing brightly and the track president talking about how they'd gone as late a 1.30am in the past.

One person not having to worry about a late night was reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski, however. The #2 team had fitted a new radiator to the car prior to the race, but three laps in and he was already off the pace. A broken transmission was diagnosed, and even with the rain delay that followed there was no chance of getting the car patched up in time to take part in the evening's entertainment.

"Something just broke in the back half of the drive train, either the transmission or drive shaft gear, I'm not sure which one. It's one of those deals, unfortunately - we'll try to learn from it and move on," he said, ruing the lost opportunity for some quality track time at Charlotte ahead of next weekend's Coca-Cola 600. "You'd like to learn a little bit more about the track and the race, but I've got a team mate out there in Joey Logano and hopefully he can learn something."

With Keselowski and the rain out of the way, the rest of the competitors got underway and soon the first segment was in the books, with Kurt Busch emerging as the winner for Furniture Row Racing narrowly beating his kid brother Kyle to the first of the night's pay-outs. The second segment saw the only accident-related caution of the night, caused when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall in turn 4 and ended up collecting Mark Martin in the aftermath, sending the #55 through the infield grass as a result. Both cars were able to continue, albeit not in the same pristine state in which they'd started.

The winner of the second segment was also named Busch, but this time the younger brother claimed the cash. As most cars streamed onto pit lane for new tyres, Clint Bowyer stayed out to assume the lead for Michael Waltrip Racing, but in no time at all Kyle had resumed his position at the front and continued there for the remainder of the third segment, but when it came to the start of the next phase of the race Kyle found himself on the bruising end of a three-wide battle that left him displaced by his hold sparring partner from Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne; however, when the end of the segment loomed it was Busch to the fore once more - although this time in the interests of fraternal balance it was Kurt rather than Kyle who positioned himself for the cash pay-off.




Related Pictures

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Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members cover the #18 Snickers Bites Toyota of Kyle Busch as he looks on during a rain delay in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet, leads a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, races to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2013 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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