Allmendinger wins Sprint Showdown

AJ Allmendinger claimed his first ever NASCAR win by taking victory in the Sprint Showdown, which qualified him for the Sprint All-Star Challenge

Allmendinger wins Sprint Showdown

Allmendinger held off a charging Sam Hornish Jr in what turned to be a former 'open-wheeler' affair for victory. The Red Bull driver did not pit at the end of the first 20-lap segment and overtook Roush Fenway Racing's David Ragan to take the lead and never surrendered it.

"I feel like I won the Daytona 500," said an emotional Allmendinger, who moved into the main event of the night as well as Sam Hornish Jr. "Nobody understands how much this means to me after what we went through as a team.

"It may be just an All-Star Showdown, but this means the world to me. These guys - everybody at Red Bull Racing Team and Toyota - they've stuck behind me. We had a good test here.

"I have to thank Sam (Hornish Jr). He was quicker than me at the end. He may have had a chance to go out there and get his win, and he raced me clean knowing that we were both in. I thank him for that.

"For both it has been probably their most competitive outing thus far, even if it was not a points scoring event."

David Ragan finished third and in the end would be the only Roush Fenway driver not taking part in the main event of the day, while Brian Vickers was fourth after leading the early part of the race ahead of his teammate Allmendinger.

Kasey Kahne finished fifth and although his result didn't qualify him for the All-Star Challenge, fans voted him into the race, through the Sprint Fan vote.

"That's awesome," said Kahne after getting the news. "I would have loved to have raced my way in, but we have great fans and it's cool they voted for us and got us in the race. We need all the fan support we can have. They've stuck behind us.

"I was going to head home, drink a couple of Budweisers and watch the All-Star race. Thanks to the fans, I get to race."

Polesitter Elliott Sadler finished the race against the wall in the first segment after being tapped on the right rear by AJ Allmendinger while battling for second place. Also crashing early on was Patrick Carpentier, who had also spun during qualifying.

Pos Driver Car Laps 1. A.J. Allmendinger Toyota 40 2. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 40 3. David Ragan Ford 40 4. Brian Vickers Toyota 40 5. Kasey Kahne Dodge 40 6. David Reutimann Toyota 40 7. David Gilliland Ford 40 8. Travis Kvapil Ford 40 9. J.J. Yeley Toyota 40 10. Dave Blaney Toyota 40 11. Robby Gordon Dodge 40 12. Reed Sorenson Dodge 40 13. Chad McCumbee Dodge 40 14. Scott Riggs Chevrolet 40 15. Kyle Petty Dodge 40 16. Paul Menard Chevrolet 40 17. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 40 18. Jeff Green Chevrolet 40 19. Bill Elliott Ford 40 20. Michael Waltrip Toyota 40 21. Regan Smith Chevrolet 40 22. Carl Long Dodge 40 23. Tony Raines Dodge 29 24. Johnny Sauter Chevrolet 27 25. Stanton Barrett Chevrolet 14 26. Elliott Sadler Dodge 6 27. Patrick Carpentier Dodge 2 
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