CONCORD, N.C. – Jamie McMurray put on a clinic in the Sprint Showdown Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway to advance to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race later in the evening.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second and also advanced to the All-Star Race. Danica Patrick won the fan vote and was the final driver to advance to the All-Star Race.
McMurray started second and took the lead from polesitter Martin Truex Jr. at the start of the 40-lap event. He easily led the first 20 laps of the event before the halfway intermission. Teams were given the option to pit between the first and second segments, with everyone but Casey Mears opting to pit.
Mears started the second segment with the race lead, but that didn’t last long. McMurray, who pitted for two fresh tires between the two segments, blew by Mears coming out of turn two on the outside after the restart to retake the lead for good.
“When the 13 (Mears) chose the inside on the restart I felt really good about being able to get around him on new tires,” McMurray said. “It is going to be really hard to pass cars (in the All-Star Race). I think there will be a lot of strategy in the pits.”