News & Media

Ragan wins Showdown; Keselowski advances

May 21, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

CONCORD, N.C. -- Pole-sitter David Ragan passed Brad Keselowski for the lead on the next-to-last lap of Saturday night's Sprint Showdown, as both drivers advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race that followed the 40-lap qualifier.

Marcos Ambrose came home third, followed by front-row starter A.J. Allmendinger and Joey Logano, who started from the rear after changing engines.


2.Brad Keselowski Dodge
3.Marcos Ambrose Ford
4.A.J. Allmendinger Ford
5.Joey Logano Toyota

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a late pit stop to adjust the handling of his car and worked his way from 16th to sixth in the final 13 laps.

As expected, Earnhardt won the Sprint Fan Vote to claim the final position in the field for the All-Star Race.

Ragan led every lap of the first of two 20-lap segments but surrendered the top spot to Keselowski on the restart of the second segment, when Keselowski dived to the inside and passed both Ragan and Paul Menard before the cars reached Turn 1 on Lap 21.

Menard slipped past Ragan for the second position on Lap 23, and Keselowski, Menard and Ragan ran 1-2-3 until David Stremme's Chevrolet slammed the Turn 4 wall on Lap 27 to cause the third caution of the race.

Earnhardt, who had slipped back from the fourth spot, brought his No. 88 Chevy to the pits under the yellow for four tires and restarted 16th on Lap 28. The field didn't complete the lap before Brian Vickers spun in Turn 2 to bring out the fourth caution.

The restart, however, cost Menard, who fell back to 11th at the finish.

A frightening crash interrupted the Showdown barely more than two laps into the race. The left rear tire on Landon Cassill's Chevrolet blew as Cassill entered Turn 1. The car spun out of control and slid up the track into the path of Derrike Cope's Ford.

With nowhere to go, Cope broadsided Cassill in the driver's-side door, destroying both cars. Both drivers walked away from the wreck.

Kasey Kahne won the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge burnout competition that preceded the race.