Kyle Busch wins All-Star Race on wild restart, takes home $1million


Kyle Busch is $1million richer after winning NASCAR's All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday.

The unique knockout format of the 70-lap exhibition race resulted in a wild 10-driver, 10-lap shootout for the prize.

Brad Keselowski stayed out on older tyres to begin the final 10-lap stage but was quickly passed by Busch on the restart.

Busch, who started the final stage in third, went to the bottom of the track, nearly tearing up his splitter in the grass, to make the pass.

He was able to hold off Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson for the final 10 laps to earn his first All-Star Race win and his first Cup Series win at Charlotte. 

The four-stage format (20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps) rewarded winning and incorporated a strategy component.

Each of the 20 teams had one set of softer tyres - for better grip and, thus, speed - available to use at their discretion in the 70-lap exhibition race.

There was one caveat, however, teams that chose to use the softer tyres to start the final stage had to start behind those 10 drivers that used regular tyres.

That rule was never implemented as each of the 10 finalists used the option tyres before the final stage.

Daniel Suarez showed early how important the special tyres would be as he jumped eight spots in Stage 1 after starting the race on the soft tyres in order to gain track position. 

Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr. used the option tyres in Stage 2 and unsurprisingly jumped ahead, but Larson, still on older tyres held the lead after Stage 2. 

First off pit road after the end of Stage 2, Bowyer and crew chief Mike Bugarewicz apparently found a loophole in the tyre rules.

They elected for two tyres, replacing his right-side soft tyres with regular tyres and leaving the soft tyres on the other half of the car.

NASCAR officials deemed the move legal much to the surprise of other drivers and analysts. The decision did not work out in Bowyer's favour however, as he quickly dropped to eighth just three laps into Stage 3. 

Pole-sitter Larson swept a caution-free Stage 1 and 2 while Johnson won Stage 3.