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Johnson collects fourth All Star win - and a million dollars

Four segments down, two-all to the Busch brothers with no one else getting a look-in: which of them was to get the ultimate prize at the end of the final ten-lap dash? Although Kurt and Kyle formed the front row going into this last part of the event, the action started with a mandatory four-tyre pit stop for all cars - and neither Busch won the race off pit road, the prize of track position for the restart going instead to Kasey Kahne.

"We didn't have a good stop and came out too far behind," admitted Kyle, unusually since the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing crew is known for putting their man out ahead of the competition during the regular Cup season. "We came out third, but still you got to be on the front row if you're going to win this deal in 10 laps.

"A little slow on the stop and then getting beat around on the restart," he continued. "Everybody running into me, knocking me around and sucking on my door and spinning me out. Can't get going on any of the restarts with everybody crowding me.

"That's the All-Star race," he shrugged. "That's what happens. That's fine. Had plenty of speed tonight, but as always, the best car here with me behind the wheel don't win."

Nor did his brother Kurt fare much better, the #78 ending up down in fifth place for the green flag. "We were one tick slow on our pit stop and one tick off on the chassis adjustment. That was the difference. You have to be perfect to win this race. We weren't. It was an A- overall performance."

So Kahne was in the box seat for the final restart - only to lose it to his Hendrick team mate Jimmie Johnson, who had taken the green on the front row after recovering from a poor qualifying (a dropped lugnut in the mandatory pit stop that is a part of the unique format of deciding the grid for the All-Star race) and from a slow start to he evening (he'd picked up to just 15th place in the first segment and appeared to slog his way up through the field over the remainder of the race.)

Benefiting from a great pit stop from the #48 Hendrick crew, he blitzed his team mate and scampered away to collect the night's big prize - the fourth time he's managed it in his 12 appearances in the event. It breaks a three-way tie with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr. who have won it three times in their careers, and puts Johnson in a class of his own - much to his surprise, he admitted.

"That's crazy. Gosh, to beat Jeff and Earnhardt, two guys that I've looked up to my whole life and two massive icons of our sport, this means the world to me," he said.

“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," said Johnson. "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 of Hendrick Motorsports, and every member on this #48 team," he continued. "We're very proud of what we've done and what we've accomplished, but we know we've got to keep pushing harder and keep pushing one another and we did it again here tonight."




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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS qualifies in third position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Smoke pours from the #2 Miller Lite Ford, driven by Brad Keselowski, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Kellogg/Cheez-It Ford, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, and Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, and Landon Cassill, driver of the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet, race three-wide during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is interviewed in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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