NASCAR All-Star: Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer win Showdown races

Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer earned places in NASCAR's $1million All-Star race by winning the two segments of Friday evening's Showdown qualifying heat at Charlotte Motor Speedway

NASCAR All-Star: Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer win Showdown races

Previous Cup series champions, Cup race winners since the start of 2014 and past All-Star winners all qualified directly for Saturday's main event, leaving a 29-car field vying for the three grid spots available through the Showdown.

In previous years the top two finishers had gone through, but for 2015 the driver at the front at the end of the first 20-lap segment took the first All-Star position and was then allowed to retire while the rest fought it out in a further winner-takes-all 20-lap run.

Roush Fenway racer Biffle jumped polesitter Paul Menard at the start of the first part and was never headed, quickly establishing a 1.5-second lead.

Bowyer passed Menard for second a few laps later but could not catch Biffle.

Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Larson then moved to the front by only taking two new tyres in the pitstops between segments.

But a yellow just two laps into part two - caused by JJ Yeley spinning - led to a wild restart at which Bowyer burst his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota to the front.

He escaped thereafter to take a second straight Showdown win by 1.5s from Menard, as Larson brushed the wall and had to pit, while Truex slid back to third. That means the Furniture Row driver will miss out on the All-Star despite currently being second in the Cup standings.

Danica Patrick only finished ninth, but won the fan vote that decided who got the third and final extra spot in the All-Star field.

Results - 40 laps:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                   Time/Gap
 1.  Clint Bowyer       Waltrip Toyota           35m10.000s
 2.  Paul Menard        Childress Chevrolet         +1.521s
 3.  Martin Truex Jr    Furniture Row Chevrolet     +5.277s
 4.  Sam Hornish Jr     Petty Ford                  +6.264s
 5.  Chase Elliott      Hendrick Chevrolet          +7.013s
 6.  Austin Dillon      Childress Chevrolet         +7.046s
 7.  Trevor Bayne       Roush Fenway Ford           +8.823s
 8.  Justin Allgaier    HScott Chevrolet            +9.644s
 9.  Danica Patrick     Stewart-Haas Chevrolet      +9.760s
10.  Casey Mears        Germain Chevrolet          +10.990s
11.  David Ragan        Waltrip Toyota             +11.907s
12.  Michael McDowell   Leavine Ford               +12.718s
13.  David Gilliland    Front Row Ford             +13.549s
14.  Cole Whitt         Front Row Ford             +15.234s
15.  Matt DiBenedetto   BK Toyota                  +17.142s
16.  Jeb Burton         BK Toyota                  +17.555s
17.  Jose Wise          Parsons Ford               +20.752s
18.  JJ Yeley           BK Toyota                  +21.366s
19.  Jeff Green         Motorsports Group Chevy    +21.917s
20.  Alex Kennedy       Hillman Chevrolet          +28.357s
21.  Tanner Berryhill   Premium Toyota               -1 lap
22.  Brendan Gaughan    Premium Toyota               -1 lap
23.  Ricky Stenhose Jr  Roush Fenway Ford            -1 lap
24.  Kyle Larson        Ganassi Chevrolet           -2 laps
25.  Michael Annett     HScott Chevrolet            -3 laps

Retirements:

     Alex Bowman        BK Toyota                   22 laps
     Greg Biffle        Roush Fenway Ford           20 laps*
     Landon Cassill     Hillman Chevrolet           20 laps
     Mike Bliss         Go FAS Ford                  6 laps

* Winner of segment one so did not have to contest part two

BUSCH SETS PACE ON RETURN

The drivers already in the All-Star had a 90-minute practice session on Friday afternoon, in which Kyle Busch announced his return to the track by setting the pace.

In his first appearance since his leg-breaking crash in the Daytona Xfinity Series race three months ago, Joe Gibbs Toyota driver Busch was quickest by 0.074s over 2014 All-Star winner Jamie McMurray's Ganassi Chevrolet.

The All-Star itself takes place on Saturday night, with a qualifying session in which each driver is timed across three flying laps and a pitstop followed by a 110-lap race broken down into five segments.

FINAL ALL-STAR FIELD:

Jamie McMurray - Ganassi Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr - Hendrick Chevrolet
Jeff Gordon - Hendrick Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson - Hendrick Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne - Hendrick Chevrolet
Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Toyota
Carl Edwards - Joe Gibbs Toyota
Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Toyota
Matt Kenseth - Joe Gibbs Toyota
AJ Allmendinger - JTG Daugherty Chevrolet
Clint Bowyer - Michael Waltrip Toyota
Brad Keselowski - Penske Ford
Joey Logano - Penske Ford
Ryan Newman - Richard Childress Chevrolet
Aric Almirola - Richard Petty Ford
Greg Biffle - Roush Fenway Ford
Kurt Busch - Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick - Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Danica Patrick - Stewart-Haas Chevrolet
Tony Stewart - Stewart-Haas Chevrolet

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Kyle Busch set for NASCAR return in Charlotte All-Star race
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