May 17, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT
Jamie McMurray took off like a rocket ship at the start of the final 10-lap segment and pulled away to a roughly 10 car-length lead to win the 30th Sprint All-Star Race and its $1 million prize at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After taking four tires on the final pit stop following the fourth segment, McMurray had an outstanding restart in the 10-lap sprint, banging fenders several times with pole-sitter Carl Edwards, and then pulled away as if his Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth were standing still.
It was McMurray’s first win in the All-Star race, as well as team owner Chip Ganassi. The 20th winner of the All-Star race in its 30-year history, McMurray is now guaranteed a berth in the next 10 All-Star events.
“Awesome job by our pit crew at the end,” McMurray said. “I can’t believe I’m here. This is unbelievable now. … For me and the car, that was as much fun as you can have side-by-side in a 10-lap sprint.”
McMurray’s rookie crew chief Keith Rodden, who took over after last season, plotted outstanding pit strategy.
After bringing his driver in to change tires during a caution on Lap 25, Rodden kept McMurray on the track without changing tires until after the fourth segment.
That was in stark contrast to most other drivers like Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne, who changed tires after every 20-lap segment.
“Keith did an unbelievable job,” McMurray said. “He was a big secret in the garage and I’m glad I have the opportunity to work with him.”
Added Rodden, “We just did an unbelievable job that last stop, going back out there. Those 10 laps, it was like 10 perfect laps, man. I wouldn’t want anybody else driving our cars. This is awesome.”
Although it was a non-points race, it was the third time McMurray has visited a Sprint Cup victory lane at Charlotte. He won his first career race there back in fall 2002, substituting for the injured Sterling Marlin. He also won the fall 2010 race there, as well.
To his credit, Harvick made a race of it, but ran out of time, finishing .7 of a second behind McMurray.
However, Harvick may have ruffled some feathers with his team, blaming his pit crew for coming up short.
“We recovered from the first bad pit stop on pit road and then we didn’t recover from the second bad pit stop on pit road,” Harvick said. “We just didn’t get it done on pit road.”
Matt Kenseth finished third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and pole-sitter Carl Edwards.
“I’m really happy for Jamie,” Kenseth said. “If we couldn’t win, it’s always nice to see good guys win.”
Added Earnhardt, “I’m happy for Jamie, it’s a pretty cool deal for him. They’ve been needing something like that the last several years. I’m confident we’ll come back next week and do it.”
Edwards also gave credit to McMurray for getting the best of him on the final restart and then pulling away to the win.
“Jamie just did a perfect job on the restart,” Edwards said. “He ended up sweeping around me and dragging me down and it was a drag race.
“My hat is off to him. He did a great job, he earned it, I drove as hard as I could while he’s on the outside and he gave just enough room not to wreck me but still enough to beat me.”
Kyle Busch won the first 20-lap segment, while Kahne led following the second and third segments, and then Harvick led after the fourth segment.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
Jul 29, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Chase-eligible teams will have to send a driver not qualified for the post-season to an Aug. 26 tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Jul 29, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
IndyCar heads to Mid-Ohio this week. Here’s how telemetry readings from the track looked 20 years ago.
Jul 29, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
After a group of laid-off employees from Caterham announced their intent to pursue legal action against the team’s new owners, Caterham has said they’ll push for a lawsuit against the ex-employees over “gross misrepresentation of the facts.”
Jul 29, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
MotorSportsTalk catches up with Milwaukee IndyFest general manager Kevin Healy of Andretti Sports Marketing for a primer on the level of IndyFest promotion you’ll see at the Wisconsin State Fair, which starts Thursday.
Jul 29, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
It’s been a character-building season for the defending World Champions, but things are looking up for Red Bull going into the summer break.
Jul 29, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Two charity cars and three comeback efforts highlight the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Mid-Ohio.
Jul 29, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
English rookie Jack Hawksworth has impressed more often than not during his first IndyCar season, and could bag his first win before the year’s out.
Jul 29, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT
Reports Tuesday indicate Bernie Ecclestone could attempt to pay his way out of his corruption case.
Jul 29, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT
Bernie Ecclestone speaks out against standing starts, and wants them gone for 2015 before they even get the chance to debut.
Jul 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Roush Fenway Racing faces a period of uncertainty with its younger lineup for 2015, alongside Greg Biffle.
Jul 29, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
There have been some massive rises and falls in the F1 points tables comparing the 2014 standings post-Hungary to the 2013 ones.
Jul 28, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
Among the possible options: A new steering damper, a thumb/wrist brace adapted from motocross, and energy-absorbing material for steering wheels.
Jul 28, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Jeff Gordon reflects on fifth Brickyard victory; Joe Gibbs Racing starting to peak; the impact of Carl Edwards’ exit from Roush Fenway Racing.
Jul 28, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
All the notes and numbers to keep in mind as the Sprint Cup Series makes its second visit to Pocono.
Jul 28, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Coming up today: Highlights from Jeff Gordon’s fifth win at Indy; Carl Edwards on his upcoming exit from Roush Fenway Racing; Kasey Kahne’s missed opportunity.
Jul 28, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The NASCAR AMERICA crew talks about Gordon’s history of success at Indianapolis and throughout his NASCAR career.
Jul 28, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
Chase hopefuls target the Glen’s road course event on Aug. 10 as a chance to get into the post-season.
Jul 28, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
No one was injured Sunday night when a Joe Gibbs Racing plane clipped a parked Stewart-Haas Racing plane while returning home from the Brickyard 400.
Jul 28, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Joey Logano finishes fifth, while Brad Keselowski (12th) and IndyCar’s Juan Pablo Montoya (23rd) falter after starting toward the front of the grid.
Jul 28, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
The winners of the last six IndyCar races haven’t had much in the way of results in subsequent races.
- Chase-eligible teams – but not drivers – allowed at Homestead tire test 1
- Q&A: Kevin Healy on Milwaukee IndyFest activation heading into Wisconsin State Fair 0
- Report: Ecclestone says no to standing restarts in 2015 3
- What’s next for Roush Fenway Racing? 0
- No one deserved to lose the 2014 Hungarian GP 2