NASCAR »

Edwards finally back to winning ways

"Obviously I blew a right front. No real warning. I wasn't that tight either; I was sliding a little bit," she told reporters afterwards. "It was a little unexpected. I took a hard hit to the right, and then on the left. I'm fine.

"Probably Daytona was a little bit bigger," she continued when asked if that was her biggest hit so car in stock car racing. "And it was on the right and the left. So whenever those right-fronts go, they always hit hard because you don't broadside. You kind of hit more straight on. I took a hard hit on both side, but I'm fine. NASCAR is doing a good job with safety."

David Gilliland was the next driver with a blown tyre, bringing out the seventh caution on lap 237. This was good timing at last for Kyle Busch, who finally got the free pass back onto the lead lap with this latest yellow after repeatedly missing out since his own spin nearly 200 laps before; but it was less ideal for the rest of the field, who had to make a tactical decision on whether they were in range to try running a fuel strategy from here to the finish or not.

Carl Edwards won the race off pit road this time and lined up alongside Earnhardt for the green flag; but the #88 spun its wheels at the restart, gifting the uncontested lead to Edwards who needed no second invitation to run with the opportunity. Johnson took over second place and Brad Keselowski claimed third from Earnhardt, who at least managed to hold off Denny Hamlin in the #11.

While Hamlin had shared his JGR team mate's pre-race misfortune with his engines requiring him to start from the back, unlike Busch he'd kept his nose clean ever since and quietly worked his way back through the running order during the afternoon to make it into fifth place. However, Hamlin afterwards denied that he'd actually achieved all that many passes in the new Generation 6 Toyota, crediting his pit crew for winning him most of his track position on Sunday.

"Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 to go, I would have stayed there, I wouldn't have moved up," he said. "I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Generation 5 cars. This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn't figured out how to get the aero balance right."

Edwards was feeling rather more kindly disposed toward the Generation 6 cars as it kept him more or less untouchable out in the front. The last thing Edwards wanted or needed with three laps to go was another caution closing things up, but that's just what he got when Ken Schrader had a tyre go down, sending the race into green-white-chequered overtime. For drivers already anxious about making their fuel stretch to the finish, this was a crucial moment: the leaders all stuck to their gambit, while Mark Martin now running in 12th position was the highest-placed driver to pit.

"Fords get great fuel mileage, so I wasn't too worried about that," insisted Edwards afterwards. "But I was really worried about Jimmie Johnson and Brad and all those guys behind me."

Before the final restart, Hamlin was allowed to pass Earnhardt for fourth place after the #88 was thought to be struggling to maintain sufficient pace and possibly running dry. At the green flag, Hamlin also managed to get past Brad Keselowski for third place and then laid siege to Johnson for second place. Ultimately the #48 retained the advantage, and meanwhile Edwards had things well in hand over both of them to claim the chequered flag a second ahead of last week's Daytona 500 winner.

It breaks a 70-race winless streak for Edwards, who had abysmal an 2012 championship after finishing the previous year in the runner-up position to Tony Stewart for the title. The relief of finally resuming business as usual with a welcome return to victory lane was evident on Edwards' face even as he performed his trademark backward flip off the driver's door of the #99.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, hits the wall during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, jumps out of his car and walks across the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Danica Patrick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS, hit the wall after her front right tire blew out on lap 184 Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Subway Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 3, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, applies the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits along with the rest of the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, races to win with Kyle Larson, driver of the 42 Target Chevrolet SS beside him finishing in eighth place Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win with a burnout Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase.  (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, take the chequered flag during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.