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ICYMI: Amid Confusion, Joey Logano Wins 2016 Sprint All Star Race

LAT Photographic

Kyle Larson got into the wall with two laps left and Joey Logano left him and a confusing and controversial night in his wake to win his first Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson and Logano restarted third and fourth and were among the teams that were required to come in for new tires by a random draw after the Second Segment with 9 other cars. Jimmie Johnson, the leader on the restart, unexpectedly fell off the pace which helped Larson assume the lead, with Logano in pursuit. By the time five laps remained, Larson was experiencing deja vu as the similar move just earlier that day that put him in the all star race cost him a $1 million payday.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was roughly 12 hours removed from rubbing fenders and outlasting Chase Elliott to win the final segment of the Sprint Showdown. The same bold moves didn’t pay off as he made contact with the wall exiting turn 2 while trying to take back the lead from Joey. Joey from there cruised to a $1 Million payday and an All Star Race Win.

“This Shell/Pennzoil Ford was fast when we unloaded; we never showed our full potential,” Logano told Fox Sports 1 in victory lane. “Larson is a hard racer. I watched him in the Showdown earlier today and I knew what I was up against. I knew he was gonna run hard. I’m a hard racer, I knew it was gonna be a fun battle for sure.”

“Joey caught me, he did a really good job of side-drafting me,” Larson said after the race. “I just got really loose as soon as I got down into the corner. We were going so fast I couldn’t correct it and drilled the wall.”

As for the Confusion the reigned in the middle of the 113-lap All Star Race, many drivers and fans are still scratching their heads over a day later. The confusion reached a crescendo when NASCAR penalized leader Matt Kenseth for not pitting before pit road was closed toward the end of the opening 50-lap segment. Even with the penalty, some cars that had pitted for four tires earlier were trapped a lap down to those that stopped later for only two tires as Kenseth had. Several drivers, including All Star Race last timer Tony Stewart, who went on the radio in a rage saying  “I feel like this is the biggest … deal they’ve ever pulled.’’.

Joey Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski finished second, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, and Kurt Busch round out the top 5. Finally, Carl Edwards won the first segment, while Kyle Larson won the Second Segment.

NASCAR’s finest run their longest distanced race of the season Sunday night with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.