Edwards Takes Checkered Flag At Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. – After two rain delays lasting greater than 5 hours, a slick race monitor wasn't going to cease Carl Edwards from celebrating his first win of the season.
He pulled his car to the start/end line at Bristol Motor Speedway, climbed out to his window ledge and prepared for his celebratory backflip.
Then, Edwards had a brief second of clarity.
"Oh, man, I thought, `That is stupid. I should not do this.. It is awfully shiny. It is perhaps slick,' " he said. "I did not need to stick it completely and have my toes go that way and break my arm on the concrete. That would have been horrible. I used to be really really nervous about that."
But on this rain-soaked Sunday night, Edwards was going for the massive finish to a different lengthy day for NASCAR.
The start was delayed by nearly two hours, racing began and the sector obtained to Lap 124 earlier than the sky opened once more, and the race was stropped for an additional 3 hours, 18 minutes.
Much like the season-opening Daytona 500, which was stopped by rain for nearly six hours, the specter of more dangerous weather bringing a sudden halt to the race pressured the drivers to go onerous every single lap.
So when a warning with 77 laps remaining sent a lot of the field to pit street, Edwards' crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, made the decision to depart his driver on the track. The move gave Edwards the lead on the restart with 70 laps remaining.
"I believed when Jimmy stated we'll stay out, I thought, `Nicely, that is a good idea,' " Edwards stated. "After which no person stayed out round us, and I believed, `Oh boy, which may not be the best factor.' It turned out to be perfect."
He had no hassle pulling out to a simple lead and had victory in sight when the yellow caution lights got here out right earlier than the scheduled white flag lap. No one was sure what the warning was for and Fennig even wondered if water injury might need inadvertently prompted the lights to turn on.
Then the sky suddenly opened and NASCAR had no alternative however to declare the race over.
NASCAR said after the race that someone within the flag stand accidentally leaned on a switch to set off the lights. NASCAR was pressured to challenge a full caution "as a result of operation of the lights was comprised."
"No hurt, no foul, let's act like it simply did not occur," Edwards told NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton.
Edwards led Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. across the end line. Aric Almirola from Richard Petty Motorsports was third as Ford drivers swept the highest three spots – one day after a Ford workforce received the Twelve Hours of Sebring sports automotive race for the primary time since 1969.
It was Edwards' twenty second career victory, third at Bristol, but first of the season – and the one that ought to clinch him a spot in the Chase for the Dash Cup championship beneath NASCAR's new qualifying format.
"We're within the Chase and we're going to go win this championship," stated Edwards.
It was an eventful day for Kevin Harvick, whose day ended with a fireplace. He finished 39th.
Stenhouse was disappointed he did not get a shot to race his teammate for the win.
"I was pondering that I might use the bumper if the chance was there," he stated. "In the event you get the win, you're within the Chase and you'll let the remainder handle itself later. That's what I was actually thinking if we went back green. I used to be enthusiastic about doing no matter I could to win."
And Almirola also was having trouble accepting the ultimate final result.
"It is frustrating because I had one shot to race Carl for the lead, and these races are so onerous to win," he mentioned. "It was a terrific day for us, I'm not dissatisfied at all with third, however if you see it and you'll style it and it is that shut, you surprise what might have went totally different."
Tony Stewart salvaged a horrific begin to the weekend – he certified thirty seventh – by finishing a season-best fourth.
"I am fairly enthusiastic about that," Stewart said. "All people just labored exhausting all weekend. We had an extended way to go from Friday, when we weren't excellent and day by day we simply bought higher and higher. So, I'm actually pleased with this workforce."
Marcos Ambrose was fifth as each of RPM's drivers finished inside the highest five.
Polesitter Denny Hamlin was sixth in the highest-finishing Toyota and was adopted by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. Brian Vickers was ninth and rookie Kyle Larson rounded out the highest 10.