NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race 2016 results: Winner and Recap at Charlotte

May 21, 2016; Concord, NC, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) does a victory burnout during the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

May 21, 2016; Concord, NC, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) does a victory burnout during the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

A night of confusion and carnage led to Joey Logano winning the All-Star Race for the first time in his young career. The showcase event was puzzling from the opening segment to the checkered flag, but led to a 1-2 finish for Team Penske with Logano cashing a $1 million check.

It all makes perfect sense, given the fact that Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski came up with the format. Even the No. 2 driver was questioning the rules after the conclusion of the first segment that saw only 11 cars remaining on the lead lap.

Cole Pearn, Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief, sounded off on the confusion for the crew behind the wall.

Before being asked about the race, Pearn told the North State Journal, “Listen, if you’re going to ask me about the format, I don’t have anything good to say about it.” So, your thoughts Cole?

“I thought it was terrible,” Pearn said. “We couldn’t get answers on any of the rules. it was too complicated. I don’t know. If we can’t figure it out, I don’t understand how fans can figure it out.

“It was just really odd all the way around.”

The lone wreck of the night saw Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth all involved. All three drivers went straight to the garage and wouldn’t return to the track.

Stewart’s thoughts on the night and the format? Let’s just say he wasn’t too happy.

Suffice to say, the format didn’t go over swimmingly with, well, anyone. The final result was hard racing for the final portion with Logano coming out on top. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished third, stuttered for exactly eight seconds before responding to the media with his thoughts.

“I think that the intent was really positive,” Junior said. “But I think the simpler we make it, the easier it is to follow. You just have to root for your guy. I was pretty confused right up until there were 13 laps to go, then I knew, ‘Well, we’re racing from here to the end. it’s all pretty normal rules. But everything before that, I was pretty out of my element. …

“I think they ought to go back to the original format that they started with that are simple and make the cars race better. You know? Gimmicks and all that stuff to try to trick up the race is going down the wrong path. The way to make the racing exciting is to make the cars exciting.”

How does that happen, exactly? While it’s not what Charlotte wants to do, going back to day racing with short segments appears to be the answer. Just ask anyone who watched Saturday’s Sprint Showdown.

 

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