Joey Logano emerged victorious from Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race’s unique format caused confusion throughout the night, putting many cars off the lead lap and causing confusion among the fans, racers and announcers.
This year’s Sprint All Star Race was split into three segments. In the first segment, the competitors were to race 50 laps and pit for a minimum of two tires before taking a 3-5 minute break. In segment 2, racers again must race 50 laps and take a minimum of two tires, however the pit stop must occur before Lap 85. The numbers 9, 10 or 11 are then drawn, which determines how many cars take fresh tires before Segment 3. The cars that get fresh tires are then shuffled to the back of the field, while the cars on old tires restart out front.
As Jalopnik reports, when the end of the first segment came around, race leader Matt Kenseth had yet to take tires. This put the field one lap down and made the race hard to follow for just about everyone involved. NASCAR Senior VP of Competition Scott miller described the situation as “unique,” and said Kenseth’s pitting late “hurt the whole race.”
That didn’t stop some good racing from happening, however. Team Chevy’s Kyle Larson found himself locked in an intense battle with Logano in the final segment of the race. As he attempted to block the Ford on the second to last lap, Larson dove deep into Turn 1, got loose and hit the outside wall. This allowed Logano to take the lead while his teammate Brad Keselowski moved in and stole second.
The highest-finishing Team Chevy driver was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who slotted in behind Logano and Keselowski in third. The usually strong Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Carl Edwards was fourth, while the Chevys of and Kurt Busch and rookie Chase Elliott were fifth and sixth.