By: Adam Niemeyer
CINCINNATI (FOX19)—Carl Edwards made winning a cool million bucks look easy. Edwards beat Kyle Busch in a ten-lap shootout at the end of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge, a 100-lap event that pays the winner $1 million.
The race, which is open to all NASCAR race winners from the previous year as well as winners of the All-Star race from the past ten seasons, is one of only two non-points paying NASCAR races. Edwards currently leads the Sprint Cup Series points standings.
Edwards tried to slide through the grass after the win and busted his front bumper up.
"I messed up the car guys, sorry about that," he radioed to his crew, before getting out of his car and doing his traditional backflip celebration.
Edwards became the eighth driver in the past eight years to win the All-Star race.
Busch recorded his career-best in the event, and was just happy to finish. "A few more laps and I could have got him," he said after the race. Busch altered his line late, but it was too late to catch Edwards.
Greg Biffle won the first, 50-lap segment, which featured a green flag, four-tire pit stop. Biffle led almost the entire segment, and pocketed $25,000 for winning the segment. Edwards won the race off pit road during the optional pit stop on lap 50, a common theme for the evening.
On lap 59 Kasey Kahne got out of shape and slapped the wall, ending his evening. Kahne and Mark Martin were the only two drivers to not finish the event.
Edwards battled Jimmie Johnson for the lead late in the second, 20-lap segment, and passed Johnson on lap 69 to win the second segment, taking home $25,000 of his own.
Edwards also won the third segment, another 20 lapper, and the $125,000 bonus money that went with it. After the third segment cars came to pit road for a ten-minute break. Then, drivers had to come down pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop.
Edwards again beat everyone off pit road for the final restart.
David Ragan and Brad Keselowski transferred into the field by finishing first and second in the Sprint Showdown. The fan vote from the Showdown was NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., a surprise to no one who follows the sport.
Next Sunday is the season's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, also at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Coke 600 will be on FOX19 at 5 p.m.
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