Earnhardt races way into Sprint All-Star race

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't need the fan vote this year.

Earnhardt won the Sprint Showdown on Saturday night to pick up a transfer spot into the $1 million All-Star race. His exemption from his 2000 victory expired last year, and NASCAR's most popular driver needed fans to vote him into the All-Star race in 2011.

This time, he just dominated the 40-lap qualifier to take a spot in the main event.

Pole-sitter AJ Allmendinger had a flat tire headed to the green flag, and was forced to pit at the start of the race. But he drove through the field and passed Jamie McMurray right before the white flag to earn the second transfer position.

Bobby Labonte then won the fan vote to get the third transfer spot.