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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Series NASCAR
Drivers Greg Biffle , Clint Bowyer
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