CONCORD, N.C. — Jamie McMurray started his day at home with his young son, who vowed to spend the day playing in his sand box.
Then Carter McMurray asked his dad what he had planned for Saturday.
“I’m going to race for a million bucks,’ “ McMurray told him.
Race for it? Sure. Win it? With his Las Vegas odds at 40-1, McMurray was one of the biggest long shots Saturday night in the Sprint All-Star race.
But he pulled off a masterful upset, staging a tense door-to-door battle with Carl Edwards to grab the $1 million prize with his first All-Star victory.
McMurray was second on the restart for the 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Lined up outside of pole-sitter Edwards, McMurray flirted several times for the lead on a frantic lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Although he surged slightly ahead several times, and the two cars appeared to touch more than once, McMurray finally cleared Edwards for the lead two laps into the fifth and final segment.
“As a kid, that is what you grew up wanting to do, is have a shootout like that and have a possibility to race for 10 laps,” McMurray said. “He got a little bit of a jump on me on the restart and I was able to hang on to his quarter panel, and when we kept entering Turn 1 and 3, I was like, ‘It is for a million bucks. If we wreck, it’s not that big of a deal.’
“It’s so cool to come out on top.”
Once he cleared Edwards, McMurray easily pulled away for the victory. McMurray’s first career victory came at Charlotte in 2002 in his second start with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Kevin Harvick finished second, Matt Kenseth was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who complained earlier he was driving a dump truck, was fourth.