Jimmie Johnson won his record setting 4th All-Star Race Saturday night after passing Kasey Kahne for the lead with about 8 laps remaining. There was some good, hard racing throughout the event but 5-time was able to steal the show from the Busch brothers in the final 10 lap dash.
The transmission broke on Keselowski’s car very early in the race and both David Ragan and Jimmie Johnson had to take evasive action to avoid a crash. After a 45 minute rain delay at lap 14, Kurt Busch dominated the first segment leading every lap and things got pretty tense on the Segment 2 restart. In almost a repeat of what happened in 2007, Kurt Busch slid up the track just about wrecking himself and his brother Kyle. Clint Bowyer took advantage of the mistake and they went three wide for the lead with Bowyer coming out with the top spot. A few laps later, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall hard sending him into the side of Mark Martin who went spinning wildly through the infield. On the restart, Kyle Busch drove by Bowyer winning the second segment of the night.
The 3rd segment saw some risky strategies played by Bowyer, Edwards and Martin who all opted to stay out on old tires. It was not a good idea as they would get freight-trained by the field basically ruining their nights and killing their average finishes. With those three moving road blocks in front of the pack, things certainly got dicey and we came very close to a pileup on the backstretch. Ryan Newman hit the Nitrous button or something on the restart because he roared by 5 or 6 cars in turn 1 before setting his sight’s on Dale Jr. down the backstretch. Kyle Busch got hooked sideways by Logano at the same time Ryan slammed into the back of Earnhardt who got very sideways. Ryan dove down underneath him making it 4 wide and making heavy contact with the front of Kyle Busch’s car. Everyone amazingly held on and Dale Jr. found himself getting hit again just a couple laps later. Greg Biffle traded some paint with Earnhardt damaging his No.16 and forcing a caution for debris.
After the Busch brothers winning all four segments, the field got lined up to make the final 4-tire pit stops. Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne won the race off of pit road with Kyle and Kurt made up row 2. Johnson and Kahne battled fiercely on the restart for 3 laps or so before 5-time finally cleared his teammate. Johnson was able to drive away and win the race while Joey Logano moved into 2nd and Kyle Busch 3rd. This is his 4th All-Star victory for Jimmie which is the most all-time surpassing 3x winners Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. He has back-to-back ASR wins too which hasn’t been done since Davey Allison in 1991 and 1992. Sprint Showdown transfers Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 8th and 16th while Fan Vote Winner Danica Patrick came home 20th. Two cars were unable to finish the race (Keselowski & Martin) while the other 20 all finished on the lead lap. NASCAR sets their sights on the longest race of the year now; the historic Coca Cola 600 which will cap off an epic day of racing that will also feature the Monaco Grand Prix and the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.