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article imageNASCAR: Larson wins thrilling final segment of Sprint Showdown

By John Duarte     May 21, 2016 in Sports
Concord - Weather was a factor in the Sprint Showdown Friday night when events were postponed until Saturday. When it was all said and done, Segment winners Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Larson will be part of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night.
Bayne led only the final lap of the first 20-lap segment, but that was all that mattered. A crash put the field under caution on Lap 16 and the race would not go green again until the penultimate laps when Bayne made his move. He was four cars back on the restart, but cut through the middle to edge Chase Elliott across the finish line by 0.005 seconds.
“We got a good restart,” Bayne said. “Off of (Turn) 2, they kind of fanned out a little bit and I got a little run and I saw a little hole.”
In the second segment of the Sprint Showdown, Biffle rode to victory on relatively fresh tires after his crew swapped two tires at the end of Segment 1.
“I was being as aggressive as I could be. I knew it was 20 laps and I knew that was my chance” Biffle said, adding that he was dealing with a loose race car. “I made some adjustments on my driving style and was able to get by (Austin Dillon).”
Larson won the thrilling final segment in an all-out duel with Elliott. The two drivers bumped each other a couple of times, fish-tailed and crossed the finish line virtually touching sides and spewing clouds of smoke. After the drag race to the finish line, Larson said he did what he had to do to win the segment.
“I knew Chase (Elliott) was likely going to win the fan vote, I knew I had to win,” Larson said. “I am sure Chase is upset with me, and has all the reason in the world to be, but, hey, later tonight we're going for a millions bucks, I've never had the chance to do that before.”
Elliott and Danica Patrick also made the all-star race after winning the fan-favourite vote.
The $1-million NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race entry list features the winners of 2015 Sprint Cup races, the winners of races so far this season, previous Sprint Cup champions and winners of past all-star races. The field is rounded out by the fan-favourite poll winner and the three winners on the Sprint Showdown. The 50-lap showdown is divided into three segments—two 20-lap races and a 10-lap race.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule returns to competition on May 29 with the Coca-Cola 600 at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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