Edwards Breaks Winless Streak in the Desert

Edwards and his crew celebrate in victory lane Photo- Getty Images
Edwards and his crew celebrate in victory lane Photo- Getty Images

It took almost two years but, Carl Edwards finally got back to victory lane Sunday afternoon in Phoenix. Edwards stayed up front for most of the race and he controlled the final seventy laps from the lead. Next week at Las Vegas would have been the two year mark since Edwards’ last win but, now that stat is thrown out the window since Edwards has finally got back to victory lane. The race played out fairly calm but, definitely competitive and the last restart with two to go was stand-on-your-feet worthy.

Mark Martin (No.55) started on the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 out in the desert in Avondale, Arizona and he stayed up front for a good part of the first fifty laps. The first caution of the day came out on lap 21 for Scott Riggs (No.44) who blew a tire and hit the turn 4 wall. The second yellow flag of the day came out on lap 49 for Kyle Busch (No.18) who spun out in turn 2 and slightly tapped the outside wall. Busch would never recover from this incident since he went a lap down and he was never a threat for the win.

Juan Pablo Montoya (No.42) and Greg Biffle (No.16) swapped the lead many times between laps 57 and 65. When the third caution of the day flew on lap 66, Juan Pablo Montoya was out front. The caution flew for Dave Blaney (No.7) who had David Stremme (No.30) get into the back of him as they went into turn 1 and Blaney spun up the track and hit the wall on the driver’s side. Once the restart came, Juan Pablo Montoya swapped the lead with Greg Biffle one more time and Biffle took control of the top spot for about the next twenty-five laps.

The fourth yellow-flag of the day waved on lap 97 for Ryan Newman (No.39) who blew a tire and hit the turn 4 wall. Brad Keselowski (No.2) would lead for a short period of time before the next caution which involved Newman again. On lap 141, Newman blew another tire and he hit the turn 1 wall hard and that impact ended his day. Carl Edwards (No.99) came to the lead for the first time of the day on the restart following Newman’s incident. At the halfway point in the race, Edwards led followed by Johnson (No.48), Earnhardt Jr. (No.88), Harvick (No.29) and Hamlin (No.11).

The sixth caution of the race flew on lap 185 for a vicious wreck involving Danica Patrick (No.10) and David Ragan (No.34). Patrick blew a tire as she entered the front straightaway and when she hit the wall, she bounced back off of it right into the path of Ragan and she and Ragan collided. Patrick was hit on the driver’s side by Ragan and the two slid down the frontstretch in a pile of debris. Patrick went to the garage as Ragan attempted to fix the damage to his machine on pit road. Both drivers were okay.

The second to last caution of the day came out with 76 laps to go for David Gilliland (No.38), who blew a tire and hit the turn 2 wall. Edwards got off pit road first under that caution and he gained the lead that he wouldn’t give back for the rest of the race. The final caution of the day shook things up when Ken Schrader got into the turn 3 wall with three to go. That caution set up a green-white-checker finish that we knew would be exciting. On the restart, the cars ran side-by-side all the way around the track and Edwards was able to remain in front and take home the victory.

Denny Hamlin (No.11) dived into the dog leg on a last ditch effort to gain some positions on the final lap and he got in front of Keselowski but, couldn’t clear Johnson. Johnson and Hamlin battled side-by-side to the line and Johnson just barely edged Hamlin out for second place.

Carl Edwards did his usual victory celebration on the frontstretch when he did a back flip off of his car and he then climbed up into the grandstands to celebrate with the fans. Edwards was very proud of himself for breaking the winless streak and for winning the Subway sponsored race in a Subway sponsored car. Edwards said in victory lane that this was “One of the coolest wins of my life.” This win is a great way to start off the season for Edwards and he will be looking for more victories throughout the season. Edwards will be a threat next weekend as we head to Las Vegas where he has won numerous times before. Things will get dicey next week in Las Vegas as another true test of the Gen 6 car will take place.

By Jason Schultz

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER CAR MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Carl Edwards 99 Ford

316

15

122

48

5

0

2 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet

316

3

1

43

1

0

3 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota

316

8

0

41

0

0

4 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford

316

11

16

41

1

0

5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 Chevrolet

316

21

47

40

1

0

6 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota

316

13

0

38

0

0

7 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota

316

9

0

37

0

0

8 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet

316

6

0

36

0

0

9 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet

316

5

0

35

0

0

10 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet

316

20

0

34

0

0

11 AJ Allmendinger 51 Chevrolet

316

22

0

33

0

0

12 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet

316

29

12

33

1

0

13 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet

316

7

0

31

0

0

14 Casey Mears 13 Ford

316

40

0

30

0

0

15 Aric Almirola 43 Ford

316

18

0

29

0

0

16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 17 Ford

316

12

0

28

0

0

17 Greg Biffle 16 Ford

316

17

39

28

1

0

18 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford

316

23

0

26

0

0

19 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet

316

2

0

25

0

0

20 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet

316

16

0

24

0

0

21 Mark Martin 55 Toyota

316

1

75

24

1

0

22 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet

316

19

0

22

0

0

23 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota

316

4

0

21

0

0

24 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota

315

33

0

20

0

0

25 David Reutimann 83 Toyota

315

34

1

20

1

0

26 Joey Logano 22 Ford

315

32

0

18

0

0

27 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet

315

25

0

17

0

0

28 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet

315

27

0

16

0

0

29 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota

313

30

0

15

0

0

30 David Stremme 30 Toyota

313

38

0

14

0

0

31 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota

311

42

0

0

0

0

32 Landon Cassill 33 Chevrolet

309

41

0

12

0

0

33 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet

306

26

0

11

0

0

34 Ken Schrader 32 Ford

300

39

0

10

0

0

35 Josh Wise 35 Ford

295

36

0

0

0

0

36 Martin Truex Jr. 56 Toyota

284

14

0

8

0

0

37 David Gilliland 38 Ford

237

31

0

7

0

0

38 David Ragan 34 Ford

186

24

3

7

1

0

39 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet

184

37

0

5

0

0

40 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet

137

10

0

4

0

0

41 Scott Speed 95 Ford

88

28

0

3

0

0

42 Mike Bliss 19 Toyota

34

35

0

0

0

0

43 Scott Riggs 44 Ford

19

43

0

1

0

0

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s