by Garrett Horton
Jimmie Johnson’s margin of victory over second place finisher Brad Keselowski.
With his victory Saturday night, Johnson has become the only driver to have won NASCAR’s All-Star race under its three different names: The Winston, the Nextel All-Star Challenge, and the Sprint All-Star Race.
Excluding the pre-planned cautions for the end of each segment, there were two caution flags in Saturday’s race, both for the blown engines of Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle.
Jimmie Johnson now has three All-Star victories, tying him with Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon for most all-time.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown, but that hasn’t exactly produced good things for previous winners. Since 2004, the winners of NASCAR’s preliminary running of the All Star race have combined for FOUR wins in the following weeks and years. 2005 winner Brian Vickers has scored two victories since, while Martin Truex, Jr. has posted just one win since his 07 triumph and last year’s victor David Ragan’s lone trip to victory lane come months later at Daytona.
Defending Nationwide series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. scored his fifth career victory by winning in Iowa on Sunday. Three of his five wins have come at the .875 mile speedway.
Matt Kenseth has finished eighth of better in the last six race All-Star events.
There were seven lead changes amongst seven different drivers Saturday night.
Through ten races this season, rookie Austion Dillon’s average finish has been a 7.3 in his rookie year in the Nationwide series.
If Kurt Busch choose to be eligible for Nationwide points instead of Cup points this year, he would be sitting 12th in the standings despite competing in only six of the ten events run. Instead, he is sitting 25th in the Cup series standings having run every race.
With the exception of Johnson, there has been a different All-Star winner going back to the 1999 season, 13 years ago. Mark Martin, the 2005 victor, won his first All Star event back in 1998.
Brad Keselowski led a race high 20 laps in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race.
Last year’s Sprint All-Star Race winner Carl Edwards finished 23rd after losing an engine on lap 25, finishing in last place. Ironically, Edwards also finished last in this race two years ago, finishing 21st.