CONCORD, N.C. — With his Las Vegas odds at 40-1, Jamie McMurray was one of the biggest longshots in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race Saturday night.
But he pulled off a masterful upset, staging a tense door-to-door battle with Carl Edwards to grab the $1 million prize with his first All-Star victory. McMurray, who led a race-high 31 laps, had never before led a lap in the All-Star race, and his previous best finish in seven appearances in the exhibition was eighth.
McMurray was second on the restart for the 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Lined up outside of pole-sitter Edwards, McMurray flirted several times for the lead on a frantic lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Although he surged slightly ahead several times, and the two cars appeared to touch more than once, McMurray finally cleared Edwards for the lead two laps into the fifth and final segment.
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“As a kid, that is what you grew up wanting to do, is have a shootout like that and have a possibility to race for 10 laps,” McMurray said. “He got a little bit of a jump on me on the restart and I was able to hang on to his quarter panel, and when we kept entering Turn 1 and 3, I was like, ‘It is for a million bucks. If we wreck, it’s not that big of a deal.’
“It’s so cool to come out on top.”
Kevin Harvick finished second, Matt Kenseth was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth. Edwards faded to fifth. Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was 14th and Greg Biffle from Vancouver, Wash., was 19th.
• Ed Carpenter (230.661 mph), Carlos Munoz (230.460) and Helio Castroneves (230.432) had the best runs as qualifying began for the Indianapolis 500. The pole will be decided Sunday.
• Ryan Blaney won the pole for the NASCAR Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Sunday.
• Alexis DeJoria topped Funny Car qualifying, and fellow female racer Erica Enders-Stevens led the Pro Stock field in the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.