The win instead went to Kyle Busch, his first in a Cup auto at Charlotte.
Lap Leaders: K. Larson 1-40; R. Blaney 41; J. Johnson 42-60; Kyle Busch 61-70.
"It was a race borne off bold moves and I made a bold move to win it", Busch said.
"It means a lot, first of all, to finally win at Charlotte", Busch said. "Just so relieved, elated, proud and excited all at the same time". "We were just hoping to finish in the top eight".
There would not be much down time for the competitors, though, as the Open began less than an hour later.
"Taking home a million bucks is not such a bad payday", he said. In lieu of the victor being decided by talent or moxie, the race was about who could gain the most spots on pit road and get the better restart. He executed a risky pass on the start of the closing 10-lap shootout, led all of the remaining laps and pocketed a $1 million check. There was plenty of contact on the final restart, and Busch jumped to the lead for good in the aftermath as the 10 competitors jockeyed for position.
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Meanwhile, there will be a new driver behind the wheel of the No. 43 Ford at Charlotte. But, Kevin Harvick will win himself a million dollars when the night is over.
Larson said he isn't sure when he will run on the softer tires. "Tonight, we just weren't 100 percent ideal - we were nearly there and we'll get better and try and win again next year". I just wanted to do everything I could to get to every position I could.
"Now we go with the big guys".
Bell said he was "bummed" that he finished third in what he called a "second-place vehicle". "We learned quite a bit in the first 50 laps".
Quotable: "We run the same speed".
They'll be joined in the 20-car field by Chase Elliott, the victor of a fan vote. You know we weren't quite the fastest vehicle, but we made the right changes when it mattered most. But the strategies on when to use the softer option tire in concert with the three sets of primes the teams were given created some intrigue.
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16 drivers have already been locked in to this year's Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race field with four more needing to qualify to get in.
This year's All-Star race will feature four stages: Three 20 lap stages and one final 10-lap 10-car round to crown a champ.
He quickly slumped down the order, with Larson and Johnson attempting to chase Busch but failing to do so, having to settle for second and third. It slowed the stop down enough that we got beat off pit road by three cars. He again led the entire segment, then took his softer tires for the third segment. He finished eighth in the third stage and advanced to the final round.
That's what set up the final chaotic restart. Neither would be successful, though, as Busch cruised to victory with more than a one-second lead.
"I went into turn three a little bit hesitant to try to just see what was going on with the auto and it just - it was backward as soon as I let out of the gas - really weird", Hamlin said. Initially I thought our pit crew struggled on that last stop but our jack post broke off at some point throughout the race, so the jackman had to make a couple more pumps to get the vehicle up and it just slowed the stop down enough we got bat off pit road by three cars.
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