McMurray used track position and the outside line to seize the lead in the final segment of Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race and take the $1 million prize that goes to the winning team.
McMurray started the 10-lap segment in second place, and stayed with Carl Edwards, who was the leader, through turns one and two on the first lap. After the two battled side-by-side, McMurray prevailed and pulled away for a convincing and not dramatic win over the last eight laps.
The final 10-lap segment is preceded by a mandatory four-tire pit stop for the entire field. The order coming on to pit road for that stop is determined by a driver's average finish over the first four 20-lap segments. Kevin Harvick had the highest average finish and came down pit road first.
However, Harvick came off pit road third, and by the time he got around Edwards for second, McMurray was way too far out in front in the Charlotte clean air for Harvick to make a challenge.
McMurray was second coming on to pit road after his crew chief Keith Rodden made the decision for track position over tires. Before the mandatory pit stop, McMurray last pitted for left-side tires on lap 25. The two-tire stops kept McMurray at the front of the field and, ultimately, in position to overtake Edwards.
Larson, a rookie, has garnered a lot of attention this season for the speed he's shown throughout the year's first 11 races. He finished second at California, had the pole at Richmond and is 13th in the standings. McMurray has had much of the same speed, he just hasn't had the finishes to show for it. A potentially good run went up in flames after a flat right-front tire last week at Kansas, and an incredibly fast car at Bristol ended up crashed and in 38th place.
Kasey Kahne might have had the best car of the entire night and won the second and third segments of the race. However, he smacked the wall off turn four in the fourth segment and pancaked the left side of his car, ruining any chances he had at a win.
Kyle Busch won the first segment and he too was eaten by the wall. OK, he was tasted by the wall and devoured by Joey Logano's car. Busch got a run on Clint Bowyer while diving to the inside of his brother Kurt Busch in the second segment and made contact with Bowyer's rear bumper. Bowyer got loose and then made contact with Kyle Busch, sending him into the wall. After Busch bounced off the wall, Logano smashed into his car.
The All-Star Race win is McMurray's third win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. McMurray's first Cup win came in the fall race in 2002 and he also won the fall race in 2010.
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