Kevin Harvick leads after fourth segment of Sprint All-Star Race; one 10-lap sprint to $1 million prize remains

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With one final 10-lap sprint still to go, Kevin Harvick was in front of the field after the fourth and final 20-lap segment of Saturday night’s 30th annual Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Harvick took over the lead from Jamie McMurray midway through the fourth segment.

Heading into the final 10-lap segment, McMurray was in second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Brian Vickers.

Sixth through 10th were Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards.

Kasey Kahne led at the end of the second and third segments, but then lost the lead during an early pit stop in the fourth segment.

Kahne then hit the outside retaining wall hard, dropping him to 12th after the fourth segment.

Seven of the 22 cars that started the race had early endings on the evening due to wrecks: Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman.

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NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.