To no one's surprise, Danica Patrick won the fan vote to earn the 22nd and final starting position in Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Patrick, running her first full-season in the Sprint Cup Series this year, will make her maiden start in the all-star race. She finished on the lead lap in ninth in the Sprint Showdown (40-lap preliminary event). The top-two finishers in the Showdown -- Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Patrick's boyfriend) -- secured the 20th and 21st starting spots, respectively.
Earlier this week, NASCAR officials noted the fan vote winner had to finish the Showdown and have his or her car in "raceable" condition as determined by Sprint Cup Series director John Darby. The rule change for the fan vote winner not having to finish on the lead lap was considered as a benefit for Patrick, who has finished on the lead lap in just two races this season -- the Daytona 500 and Martinsville.
Kasey Kahne is the only driver to win the all-star race after advancing into it by winning the fan vote. Kahne accomplished the feat in 2008.