Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Denny Hamlin won Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite late race challenges from Stewart-Haas Racing teammates and front row mainstays Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

The victory was not only Hamlin's first All-Star Race win, but also the first time Joe Gibbs Racing has ever won the annual non-points paying event.

"You want to win the Daytona 500," Hamlin said. "You want to win the Brickyard 400. You want to win the Coke 600. You want to be an All-Star. It's just an unbelievable experience."

At one point in the race's final ten lap segment, Harvick pulled to the back bumper of Hamlin but was not able to challenge for the lead. Harvick was forced to settle for a second-place finish.

"I'm not frustrated," Harvick said. "I've been on the other side of this deal and our days where we have something go wrong, the recovery from starting last and having a chance to win the race today. That was a recovery day - a day that goes smooth and hopefully you can win the race. It's been a great start, and I feel like we're competitive every week."

Kurt Busch won the race's fourth segment but finished in third place. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

With the power of an efficient pit crew, Hamlin was able to win the race, as well as qualify on the pole. The Sprint All-Star Race's qualifying format makes teams run four laps as well as change four tires with time elapsed being the deciding factor.

Hamlin believes pit road was the deciding factor in the win.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina (Photo by Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)

"I mean, that's all there is to it," Hamlin said. "My pit crew just did an amazing job. I don't know what the time of the pit stop was, but it was fast as I've seen all year and, obviously, that number one pit stall helped us. If we had to get up to speed, we were probably going to come out third or so, but being right there by that camera line, it allowed us to come out first. I knew it was fast when they went over the left side, so, gosh, these guys have been with me for so long and they switched over teams with me with Dave Rogers, so it means so much to me to be a part of that and win it with them."

Brad Keselowski, winner in two of the race's five segments, had his chance for the $1 million dollar prize slip away on the same pit stop which propelled Hamlin to victory. Keselowski entered pit road first but penalized by NASCAR for speeding in trying to beat Hamlin off of pit road.

Keselowski, who salvaged a ninth place finish, believed beating Hamlin off pit road was the only option for victory.

"Whoever gets the clean air with this format and this rules package is going to drive away," Keselowski said. "We've seen that for the last three years and with this particular car it's probably even more so. I thought the #41 and the #4 were probably two or three tenths faster than everybody without clean air, and it doesn't matter. I knew when I came out of my pit stall, and the #11 was pulling out with me that I either beat him to the line or lose the race.

"On the penalty, I was three-tenths of a mile an hour over the speed limit, but I told my crew chief I'd rather go down swinging than take a strike and wonder what might have been. I swung and missed."

Saturday night's race also saw the return of Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, who had missed every point-earning race this season following injuries suffered during Daytona's Xfinity race. Despite a pit road speeding penalty, Busch returned to form with a sixth place finish.

"I'll be sore for a couple of days," Busch admitted. "There's just muscles that haven't been woken up like this in a little while. It's nothing new. Typically I get that in the beginning of the year anyway. It takes a few weeks to kind of get warmed up to things, your body to kind of settle in. Being out of the race car the longest I've ever been in my career, it's a wake-up call for myself to get back rolling."

NASCAR announced after the race their officials are investigating a possible rules violation during the Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night related to Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 team. The investigation focuses on an alleged modified side skirt to their Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet during the race.

Johnson struggled with the handle throughout the race and finished in 15th place.

Unofficial Race Results for the 31St Annual Nascar Sprint All-Star Race
- Friday, May 15, 2015
Charlotte Motor Speedway - Concord, NC - 1.5 Mile Paved
Total Race Length - 110 Laps - 165 Miles - Purse: $3,150,588
Fin    Str    Car    Driver    Team    Laps    Driver Rating    Winnings    Status    Tms    Laps
1    1    11    Denny Hamlin    FedEx Express Toyota    110    114.2    $1,045,009    Running    3    26
2    20    4    Kevin Harvick    Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet    110    109.1    $249,784    Running        
3    16    41    Kurt Busch    Haas Automation Chevrolet    110    129.0    $149,735    Running    2    24
4    9    24    Jeff Gordon    Axalta Chevrolet    110    93.7    $119,705    Running        
5    17    20    Matt Kenseth    Dollar General Toyota    110    78.9    $114,705    Running        
6    19    18    Kyle Busch    M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota    110    69.9    $108,705    Running        
7    5    5    Kasey Kahne    Time Warner Cable Chevrolet    110    105.6    $102,555    Running    1    11
8    11    22    Joey Logano    Shell Pennzoil Ford    110    80.4    $101,555    Running        
9    3    2    Brad Keselowski    Miller Lite Ford    110    111.0    $100,555    Running    2    49
10    7    88    Dale Earnhardt Jr.    Mountain Dew Baja Blast Chevrolet    110    64.9    $99,555    Running        
11    13    47    AJ Allmendinger    Kingsford Chevrolet    110    59.5    $98,530    Running        
12    4    15    Clint Bowyer    Cherry5HrEnergy/SpecialOprtnWarriorFndtn Toyota    110    61.0    $97,530    Running        
13    2    16    Greg Biffle    Ortho Ford    110    43.3    $96,530    Running        
14    8    43    Aric Almirola    Smithfield Ford    110    31.7    $96,030    Running        
15    12    48    Jimmie Johnson    Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet    110    59.7    $95,430    Running        
16    14    1    Jamie McMurray    Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet    110    41.9    $95,155    Running        
17    10    19    Carl Edwards    ARRIS Toyota    110    45.4    $95,030    Running        
18    18    31    Ryan Newman    Cat/Quicken Loans Chevrolet    110    30.8    $94,930    Running        
19    15    14    Tony Stewart    Bass Pro Shops/Arctic Cat Chevrolet    110    34.1    $94,830    Running        
20    6    10    Danica Patrick    Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet    78    30.0    $94,730    Running        
 Race Comments:    Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his first win in the annual non-points race. Prior to the start of the race, the following car dropped to the rear of the field for the reason indicated: No. 10 (engine change).
 Failed to Qualify:    N/A
 Time of Race:    01 Hrs, 33 Mins, 00 Secs.    Average Speed:    106.452 MPH    Margin of Victory:    0.923 Seconds
 Caution Flags:    4 for 0 laps: Laps: 25-25 (Competition [None]); 50-50 (Competition [None]); 75-75 (Competition [18]); 100-100 (Competition [15]).
 Lead Changes:    7 among 4 drivers: D. Hamlin 1-14; K. Kahne 15-25; B. Keselowski 26-32; Kurt Busch 33; B. Keselowski 34-75; D. Hamlin 76-77; Kurt Busch 78-100; D. Hamlin 101-110.
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Next Race:    May. 16, 2015 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
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