SPRINT NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race XXIVFinal
Fan favorite Kahne wins Sprint All-Star RaceMay 18, 2008 - 4:55 AM CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Kasey Kahne feels like a million bucks.
Kahne took the checkered flag at the Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday.
In a Dodge Charger, Kahne collected just over $1 million ($1,012,975) to become the first winner of this race to be voted into the event by the fans.
"I can't believe it," Kahne said. "I can't believe we won $1 million."
This race was open to any Sprint Cup winner in between the previous all-star race and this one, any past Sprint Cup point's champion of the last 10 years and one driver from an online fan vote.
Kahne, who finished with an average speed of 175.484 miles an hour, was the people's choice.
"It feels so good to get back to victory lane," said Kahne, who last won in a Sprint Cup car in the Bank of America 500 at this track in October 2006. "It feels like we did a lot tonight to pass every car. It gives me a ton of confidence as a driver."
Starting 24th of 24 drivers, Kahne worked his way through the field in the four different segments of the race to become the 16th different racer in the 24-year history of the event to enter victory lane.
Jeff Gordon, a three-time winner of the all-star race, was impressed by what Kahne accomplished.
"I loved it," said Gordon, who finished 15th. "Kasey is a great guy and a heck of a race car driver. And it's unbelievable. I mean he wasn't even that good in the Showdown and to go up there and do that, that's impressive. His team did a great job and congratulations to them."
It was also the first time a Dodge came in first in the all-star race.
Greg Biffle, in a Ford Fusion, was second while Matt Kenseth's Ford came in third.
"I tell you what, we were just a mediocre car," Biffle said. "I was running third, fourth right there and I was just way too tight, way, way too tight.
"My car was off or I would have been able to pass Kasey I wouldn't say easy, but without him taking tires, if I wouldn't have been too tight, I think I could have got by him."
Kenseth was a little more diplomatic.
"I'm just happy to run that good," Kenseth said. "With the All-Star race, honestly, you guys might remember for a day or two, but I don't think anybody else really remembers anybody except for the winner that got the million dollar check, so to finish third is great, but it's not like we finished third and got a lot of points and all that."
Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, in a Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Camry respectively, rounded out the top five.
A.J. Allmendinger, who won the preceding NASCAR Sprint Showdown, finished 17th and Sam Hornish Jr. - who also qualified to be an all-star by finishing second in the showdown, ran seventh.
Current points leader and pole sitter, Kyle Busch, led for the first 38 laps at this 1.5-mile tri-oval, but suddenly lost a cylinder in the second segment and had to pull out of the race on lap 50, finishing dead-last.
"We just didn't make it," said Busch before his crew pushed the No. 18 car to the garage. "We'll have to go back to the shop and work on some things."
Dale Jarrett, who at 51 is in the final race of his 23-year career, came in 21st in a Toyota.