Carl Edwards says he retains hope of lifting the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup, despite seeing Jimmie Johnson extend his lead in the standings at Atlanta.

While Edwards took victory in the Pep Boys Auto 500, Johnson battled back from a pit lane speeding penalty to finish second - extending his advantage over the remainder of the Chase in the process.

Edwards' win sees him move up to second place although he is still 183 points behind the defending champion with only three races remaining on the schedule.

However, the #99 Office Depot Ford man was quick to point out that anything could still happen and he would continue to do all he could to reign in Johnson at the top.

"Listen guys, anything can happen," he said. "If there's one thing this season has shown me and all of us I guess here is that every time you think you've got it figured out, who is gonna be the guy to beat, I think it can get turned on its head quickly. I'm telling you, as long as we're within 130 points going to Homestead, or whatever, we're still going there to win a championship and it can happen.

"It would have been hard for me to believe that there would be one guy that would have that big of a lead right now, but if I had to pick a guy, I'd say it's Jimmie Johnson. Those guys are really consistent. They do their jobs, but they can have the same luck that we've had, that's for sure.

"We came here and did what we had to do. We won the race and, man, that's all we can do. I would be a fool to go home and be discouraged about that. You've got to build on that, move on, and hopefully win it the next year. It's just amazement at how well Chad and Jimmie and those guys keep rebounding."



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