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Allmendinger Scores Sprint Showdown Victory!
A.J. Allmendinger scored his first career NASCAR victory on Saturday night in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The former open-wheel standout beat Sam Hornish Jr. to the checkered flag by a .154-second margin of victory to advance into the Sprint All-Star Race that immedately followed.
Sprint Showdown Race Winner A.J. Allmendinger (no. 84 Red Bull Toyota) advances to Sprint All-Star Race with runner-up Sam Hornish Jr., no. 77 Penske/Mobil Dodge with fan vote winner Kasey Kahne, no. 9 Gillett Evernham Budweiser Dodge. Allmendinger said, "It means a lot to me. All these guys on this team have stuck behind me through everything this team has been through. Feels like the Daytona 500 to me. That's the most pressure I've gone through. If he had cleanly got underneath me, I was going to let him go. I didn't mean to get into Elliott [Sadler]. It was my fault. I don't want to be known for that."
Hornish Jr. was pleased with his effort.
Sam Hornish Jr. - "I'm super-excited about making it. We felt like yesterday we had a fast car. I was trying to get there, for sure. I didn't want to take a chance of wrecking the car."
The third driver to advance into the Sprint All-Star Race was Kasey Kahne who was voted in by the fan vote.
Fan Vote Winner Kasey Kahne - "That's awesome. I would love to race my way in, get in that race by winning races or whatever. We have great fans. And it's pretty cool that they voted for us and we got into that race. We need all the fan support we can get, and they have stuck behind us. I was going to head home and have a couple of Budweisers and watch the All-Star Race, but thanks to the fans we get to race. We should be loading up and going home. The fans have put us into a race that they are a big part of. They are a big part of the All-Star weekend here at Lowe's, and it's cool they put us into it. We get to race. We get to go out there and have some more fun. We'll see what happens. The car will be fine. We just have to pull a fender out there a little. As far as the handling, we need to work on that. I don't think we will have time to do what we need to do to win the million, but we'll get enough time here to work on it and get it good enough to hopefully get in the top-10 in the million-dollar race."