Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Greg Biffle won the first 20-lap segment of Friday's Sprint Showdown, while Clint Bowyer took the checkered flag for the second 20-lap segment to advance into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Danica Patrick will compete in Saturday night's all-star race as well after she won the online fan vote, giving her the final eligible position in the 20- car field.
Biffle started the showdown in second, but on the opening lap, he passed Paul Menard, the pole sitter, for the lead. The driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford led all 20 laps in the opening segment to give him eligibility for the main event.
As part of the format changes for this year's all-star race, the winners of the first and second segments in the showdown become eligible for the event.
"I'm so excited to be able to race for a million dollars tomorrow night," said Biffle, who will make his 12th appearance in the all-star race. "I'm excited to be in the big show."
Biffle did not compete in the final 20 laps since he had already advanced. While he headed to the garage to call it a night, the remaining 28 drivers in the showdown field pitted. Bowyer made a four-tire change and exited the pits in fifth. Several drivers elected for just a two-tire change. David Ragan came out of the pits first and led the way for the restart of the second segment.
But Ragan quickly faded after the restart.
Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Bowyer were in a fierce battle for the lead before Bowyer pulled away from them with 16 laps to go.
"We took four tires, so I had to go for it on that start," said Bowyer, the driver of the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. "That's what 20-lap dashes are all about, beating and banging and going for it, because you know that after the first four or five laps you get sorted out and it's really hard to pass."
Bowyer also won last year's showdown.
Patrick finished the race in ninth. This will be the second time in three years that she has won the fan vote. Josh Wise collected the most votes in the 2014 fan polling.
"I'm just very, very fortunate that I have such great fans," said Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. "I wanted to race better tonight. I know there is some things we can do to make the car better, so let's hope they work."
Patrick finished 20th in the 22-car field for the 2013 all-star race. She was a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series at the time.