A.J. Allmendinger and Sam Hornish Jr. earned spots in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star event at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. They finished one-two in the preliminary event, a 40-lap race called the Sprint Showdown.
Allmendinger and Hornish Jr. along with Kasey Kahne, the fan-voted driver, were added to the 21 cars already in the Sprint Cup All-Star race.
Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers started on the first row and were still there when the first caution flag flew. But on the restart, Allmendinger, in third, got loose and slid into Sadler - quickly ending his run for the main event.
Allmendinger was OK and it left the two Red Bull drivers (with Vickers) at the top of the charts. When the got back to green, David Ragan looked sharp, able to keep the No.6 Ford at the bottom of the track. He slid underneath Allmendinger for second with still plenty of time to go. At the mid-point it was still Vickers and Ragan showing the way.
Vickers chose to lead a group down pit lane for new tires, while Ragan took a different strategy and stayed out to inherit the lead. Seven other drivers also bypassed pit lane. Allmendinger, Hornish Jr. and Johnny Sauter would restart behind Ragan.
Allmendinger edged ahead of Ragan through 25 laps and they held a two-second edge over third-place Reed Sorenson. Vickers was moving up, but slowly. He was up to fifth after 27 of 40 laps. Then Johnny Sauter brought out caution flag No.4 to close the field on the two leaders.
Ten laps to go and Hornish Jr. was challenging Ragan for second, but the No.6 held him off. Vickers was fourth, but one second behind the final "transfer spot."
Hornish Jr. was fast than Ragan and on lap 32 he got around the No.6 who looked like his tires were going away. Hornish Jr. was closing on Allmendinger, but he didn't have to catch the leader since the top-two cars got into the finale. Allmendinger held off Hornish Jr., but it made no difference since both drivers made it into the "big" race. Ragan finished third.
- Sports Network