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DATE News (chronologically)
05/21/11
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David Ragan, Brad Keselowski Race Into All Star Field
David Ragan rallied from a early miscue on a restart to pass Brad Keselowski and earn himself a spot in the 27th NASCAR Sprint All Star race with a win in Saturday's 40-lap Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Keselowski held on for second, earning the second transfer spot into the All Star race. Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger and Joey Logano rounded out the top five.

Ragan held the lead from the pole position through the end of the first segment on lap 20, which brought most of the field to pit road while the top six, including Ragan and Keselowski, stayed out.

On the restart, Ragan spun the tires, allowing Keselowski to pull off a daring three-wide pass in the inside to move past Ragan and into the lead.

Ragan stayed in the hunt, slowly closing back to within striking range of Keselowski.

With two laps to go, Ragan powered past Keselowski on the inside through turns one and two, sliding up and into the lead as they came to the backstraight.

Once out in front, Ragan pulled out to a five car-length lead and easily beat Keselowski to the line.

Ragan earned his first trip to the all star race with the win - his first victory of any kind in Sprint Cup.

"I just spun the tires a little bit," said Ragan of the restart. "We thought we may have some cautions there at the end and once Brad (Keselowski) and I got out I knew I had a little bit better car than he did.

"I would have been happy with second for a little while, but when we got that close, I said 'Hey, let’s go win this thing'".

Keselowski will be making his third start in the all star event, and will join his Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch as the only two Dodges in the field.

"Our goal was to transfer (to the All Star race), but we wanted to win the Showdown," said Keselowski. "I got lucky - made the right move on the restart and didn't wreck. I just wish I had a little more speed to keep the lead.

"I thought I had the race won on the last restart when I ad clean air and was really shocked to see David (Ragan) run that much faster."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the NASCAR Sprint Fan Vote to claim the 21st and final transfer spot into the All Star field.
Pete McCole/AR1.com
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