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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