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Johnson Shows Winning Form At All-Star Race

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 19 2012

Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus talk strategy at Charlotte. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

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Jimmie Johnson pulled away from Brad Keselowski over the final 10 laps to win Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Johnson won $1 million for his efforts.

Five-time Cup champion Johnson took the lead when he beat the field out of the pits after the mandatory stop prior to the final 10-lap segment of the race.

Keselowski finished second, Matt Kenseth was third, Kyle Busch was fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fifth.

The race this year was divided into five segements – four of 20 laps and the final 10-lap shootout.

Busch jumped to the lead in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the first segment but was caught and passed by Johnson, who went on to win the segment.

Kenseth, of Roush Fenway Racing, won the second segment when he passed Denny Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota three laps from the end.

Penske Racing’s Keselowski beat Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports to the finish line by inches to win the third segment.

In the fourth segment, Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports passed leader Phoenix Racing’s Kurt Busch two laps after the green flag and held it until Greg Biffle’s RFR Ford caught fire on lap 67. Earnhardt didn’t pit, jumped to a big lead and easily won the fourth segment.

Johnson won the race out of the mandatory pits stop after the fourth segment and started the final segment from P1. He and Keselowski pulled away from the field and then, Johnson pulled away from Keselowski.

The All-Star race was preceded by the Sprint Showdown qualifying race.

Earnhardt Jr. won the Showdown – which featured two 20-lap segments separated by a mandatory caution – and AJ Allmendinger was second. That transferred both into the main event All-Star Race.

Earnhardt’s victory over Allmendinger, who passed Jamie McMurray for second with two laps to go, was 2.3 seconds.

Bobby Labonte was voted into the All-Star Race by fans.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 19 2012
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