CUP: Dinger Wins Showdown Pole

AJ Allmendinger gets the first shot at earning a spot in the Sprint All-Star Race.

Allmendinger ran a fast lap of 192.465 miles per hour Friday to win the pole for Saturday’s Sprint Showdown, the last-chance race for drivers not already qualified for the Sprint All-Star Race, the big-money event on Saturday night’s program at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger edged Martin Truex Jr., who ran 191.049.

Third was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led practice earlier in the afternoon.

Completing the top five were Jeff Burton and Aric Almirola.

In the second five were Landon Cassill, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bobby Labonte, Travis Kvapil and David Stremme.

The top two finishers in Saturday’s 40-lap Showdown will advance to the All-Star Race.

Qualifying for the All-Star event is scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday and will be televised by SPEED, as will Saturday’s events.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.