A.J. Allmendinger and Kyle Busch will lead their respective fields to the green flag in tonight’s Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Allmendinger won the pole for the Sprint Showdown by more than two-tenths of a second over outside polesitter Martin Truex, Jr., turning a fast lap of 192.465 mph in his No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge. Truex will start second tonight, with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Burton in Row Two. Aric Almirola, Landon Cassill, Juan Pablo Montoya, Terry Labonte, Travis Kvapil and David Stremme completed the Top-20.
The remainder of the field – in order of qualification – is Casey Mears, David Reutimann, Joey Logano, Stephen Leicht, Scott Speed, David Gilliland, Mike Bliss, JJ Yeley, Jamie McMurray, Joe Nemechek, Josh Wise and Tony Raines, who substitutes for Dave Blaney tonight in the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing machine. The winner and runner-up from the Sprint Showdown will transfer to the Sprint All-Star Race.
Kyle Busch won the $50,000 All-Star pole bonus last night, with a time of 119.112 seconds. Ryan Newman qualified second, followed by Denny Hamlin, point leader Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick. The remainder of the Top-10 shows Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Regan Smith. Trevor Bayne will start 11th. Trailed by Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski and Kasey Kahne, who crashed on his final qualifying lap and will start at the rear of the field in a backup car.
As of this morning, nearly two million votes had been cast in the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote, which will add one final driver to the rear of the All-Star field. The Top-5 drivers , in alphabetical order, are A.J. Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte and Joey Logano. Voting will continue until 5 pm/et tonight. Fans can vote by visiting Sprint.com/Speed, using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on Sprint Android devices, or by texting "VOTE" to 229466 on any wireless carrier (standard text messaging and data rates apply).