Jamie McMurray was a 40-to-1 long shot but a late surge helped him to an upset victory in the million-dollar NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night. It was the first big event in 2014 Race Week.
McMurray was in second place as the race restarted for the 10-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Lined up outside of pole-sitter Carl Edwards, McMurray waged a door-to-door battle with the leader for a lap before he finally cleared Edwards for the lead two laps into the fifth segment.
Kevin Harvick finished second, Matt Kenseth was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth. Edwards faded to fifth at the end.
Race Week continues this week and Memorial Day Weekend with a variety of events at the speedway and in Charlotte. Activities include the Speed Street Festival in downtown Charlotte, the Nationwide Series History 300 Saturday, and the main event next Sunday, the Coca Cola 600.
3 WEEKEND DEATHS IN CHARLOTTE
Police in Charlotte are investigating three separate deaths Saturday, two in shootings and one a man who died after being struck by a car on University City Boulevard.
Police are talking to a person of interest who is cooperating after a shooting around 3:30 Saturday morning on High Meadow Lane, off Archdale Drive in South Charlotte. Police were called for a report of gunshots, and found thirty-six-year-old Gary Lane Jr. with fatal wounds. He later died at Carolinas Medical Center. Police said Lane knew the person under investigation.
At around 4:16am, a second call came about a shooting on Hidden Forest Drive in the north Tryon Street area, where 26-year-old Markee Watson was found dead of a gunshot. Detectives said the victim and several suspects had been involved in an altercation Friday night. The suspects drove to where the man was staying to continue the argument, and one of the suspects shot him. They fled in a car. Later, police stopped the car in the 400 block of The Plaza. One man was charged with murder and three others were charged with being accessories after a felony.
Anyone with information about the two shootings to call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.
And Saturday night around 11:30, a man died while crossing the street in the 10,100 block of University City Boulevard. A 61-year-old driver in a 2004 Honda CRV swerved but was unable to avoid the man, who was not using a marked crosswalk. The man died at the scene. Police have not released his name.
SWIMMAC TO BUILD IN MOORESVILLE
Hundreds of top swimmers have been in Charlotte this week for the Arena Grand Prix meet. Fans have seen some fast competition, and they’ve gotten a preview of a development that could boost Charlotte as a national and international center for elite swimmers. Our news partner DavidsonNews.net reports that Charlotte-based team SwimMAC Carolina announced plans to begin a 6 million dollar fundraising campaign to improve existing pools and to build a new multi-million dollar aquatic center in Mooresville. SwimMAC CEO David Marsh said the new facility will address a major space shortage for area swimmers. Officials and local recruiters say the new 50,000 square foot center eventually could attract dozens of events every year, including international competitions. The new center will be built starting next year at LangTree Lake Norman, off I-77 Exit 31.
DANGEROUS HEROIN REPORTED
Authorities in High Point and Guilford County are investigating a dangerous strain of heroin circulating in the county. Police say there were seven heroin overdoses in a 24-hour period last week. On Friday, one recent victim was in critical condition at High Point Regional Hospital. Major Jim Albright, director of emergency services for the county, said a spike so high in a single day raises concerns. Statistics from the police department show that through Friday, there had been 34 drug overdoses so far this year, with 31 involving heroin.