NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Strategy Earns Johnson Third All-Star Win and $1M

Jimmie Johnson used a carefully planned strategy of driving his No. 48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet hard for the first and last segments, and coasting for the three in between, to capture his third NASCAR Sprint All-Star race plus a cool $1 million. With this third All-Star checkered, Johnson joined the late Dale Earnhardt and teammate Jeff Gordon as the only three-time winners of this annual non-points paying race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour.

The five-time champion won the first 20-lap segment of the event the then deliberately faded to the back for the next three 20-lap segments at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19. His plan was to keep the No. 48 Chevy out of trouble, then make his play for the win in the fifth and final segment. Johnson's win in the first segment meant he was guaranteed to be the first driver down pit road.

A nice bonus for him was that he had the first stall, which was the prize for his Hendrick Motorsports team winning Thursday’s Pit Crew Competition.

“I'm so proud of the Lowe's 48 pit crew,” said Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus. “Last year we made a pretty big transition to a pretty young group of guys, guys that came from another team or two, put these guys together. I haven't seen a group of guys that have worked so hard to have good, solid pit stops in my life. These guys are just fantastic.

“We had a meeting after we were able to win at Darlington last week, and we said, Look, if we can go out and win the Pit Crew Challenge, get that No. 1 pit box, get a solid car, win the first segment, the rest would be up to Jimmie, we knew we could win the race. It played out perfectly.

Knaus had high praise for his crewmembers saying, “Those guys did such a fantastic job at the Pit Crew Challenge Thursday night, beat the defending champions, not only once, but twice. I think it speaks volumes about how good those guys are.”