NASCAR All-Star: Denny Hamlin wins million-dollar race

Denny Hamlin held off champion Kevin Harvick to take a first NASCAR All-Star win for himself, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night

NASCAR All-Star: Denny Hamlin wins million-dollar race

While Hamlin celebrated his $1million prize from the annual non-championship race, Brad Keselowski and Penske were left bitterly ruing a pitlane speeding penalty that squandered his chances.

The five-part, 110-lap race was broken down into four 25-lap segments, the average results of which decided the running order going into a final pitstop and subsequent 10-lap shootout.

Topping segments two (somehow hanging on in the lead with just two fresh tyres compared to rivals' four) and three gave Keselowski 'pole' for the final part.

But he broke the pitlane speed limit racing to beat Hamlin - whose JGR crew had thrust him up from sixth coming into the pits - to the exit.

That dropped Keselowski to the rear and left Hamlin restarting first under pressure from segment four winner Kurt Busch and Harvick.

Hamlin and his team had begun the night by earning pole in the three-flying-laps-and-a-pitstop qualifying session, then finished second to Kasey Kahne in segment one.

He received a pit-speeding penalty of his own after segment two, but taking only two new tyres in the pitstops before segment four and then clinging on to third behind Busch and Harvick brought Hamlin back into contention.

Though the Stewart-Haas cars on his tail exerted plenty of pressure, Hamlin was able to break free in the final laps and win by 0.923 seconds over Harvick, with Busch a further six tenths back.

Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth were fourth and fifth, while Kyle Busch starred with sixth on his return after a three-month layoff following his leg-breaking Daytona Xfinity Series crash.

Kahne faded after his segment one performance and could only finish seventh.

Keselowski recovered from 18th to ninth in the last 10 laps, finishing between team-mate Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

RESULTS - 110 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team/Car Gap 1. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 2. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +0.923s 3. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +1.537s 4. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet +2.786s 5. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota +5.553s 6. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota +5.851s 7. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet +6.369s 8. Joey Logano Penske Ford +7.865s 9. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +8.100s 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +8.114s 11. AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Chevrolet +8.699s 12. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +9.045s 13. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +9.889s 14. Aric Almirola Petty Ford +10.523s 15. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet +11.005s 16. Jamie McMurray Ganassi Chevrolet +11.677s 17. Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Toyota +12.248s 18. Ryan Newman Childress Chevrolet +12.551s 19. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +13.429s 20. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet -32 laps 
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