McMurray claims Showdown victory
Jamie McMurray took most of the excitement out of the Showdown which sent the top two finishers to the All-Star race Saturday night.
McMurray led every lap, his domination interrupted by a break after the first 20 laps of the 40-lap event in which all but Casey Mears made pit stops. McMurray stopped long enough for a change of two tires and restarted the second segment on the outside of Mears.
McMurray had the lead by the time they completed the first lap after the restart and ran off to a lead of more than a second while a trio of drivers had trouble getting past Mears. Ricky Stenhouse Jr, was the first to get past Mears, couldn’t get the margin below a second and finished 1.226 seconds back.
“When (Mears) took the inside, I felt good because I was on new tires and on the outside,” McMurray said.
McMurray was just as dominant in the first segment after zipping past pole winner Martin Truex Jr.
“Being out front was massive,” McMurray said. “Even running at 80 percent, clean air was huge.”
Stenhouse made the main event as a rookie and said his car was much better in the second segment than in the first.
“We couldn’t keep up in the first segment but the crew made some great changes and we were able to get in,” Stenhouse said.
Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top five. Juan Pablo Montoya took sixth after being sent to the rear of the field for the second segment restart as penalty for speeding on pit road. Bobby Labonte was 12th.
Danica Patrick, who finished ninth, got into the main event by winning a fan vote.