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Carl Edwards make it two-in-row in Vegas

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, March 02, 2008

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Carl Edwards is all smiles after winning two-in-row
Jason Smith / Getty Images for NASCAR

Carl Edwards is one cool customer.  Overcoming adversity in several different forms, the Missouri native charged home the winner Sunday of the UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was Edwards' second NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in a row.... actually in a week since he won the weather-delayed race Monday in California.

Edwards held the top spot for the last 29 laps of the race after passing Matt Kenseth for the lead.

Twice during the race, Edwards raced his way back into contention after being forced to start the race twice, way back in the field.

Problems in the pits seemed to be the order of the day for Edwards and his pit crew, but at least one incident during a pit stop played out in his favor. A tire rolled across the pit road off his car after a television cameraman interfered with the crew. The cameraman blocked a crew member's path and NASCAR officials, who would normally invoke a penalty for a tire rolling out of control in the pits, deemed it unavoidable on the part of Edwards' crew.

Edwards beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. across the finish line after a wild wreck involving four-time champion Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth.

Bunched up after a restart, Gordon and Kenseth were attempting to pass Earnhardt going into the first turn. Coming off the second turn, Gordon nudged Kenseth. The contact turned Kenseth around and sent Gordon speeding toward the inside retaining wall. The ensuing impact knocked the radiator out of Gordon's car.

The four-time champion was unhurt.

Greg Biffle finished third, Kevin Harvick fourth, and Jeff Burton fifth.

Kasey Kahne was sixth, followed by David Ragan, Travis Kvapil, Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin.

Kyle Busch, an early contender, was 11th after struggling in the final stages of the race with his car's setup.

Kenseth was also relegated to a poor finish (20th) after running up front through the race.

Edwards is leading the Sprint Cup point standings for the first time in his career. 

Pole-sitter Kyle Busch streaked away at the start, but Edwards passed him for the lead before 30 laps had been compiled.

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds had roared across the blue, cloudless skies to get the race off to a spectacular start.

David Reutimann and Jamie McMurray encountered early problems and fell way behind. David Reutimann scraped the wall, and McMurray spun, which brought out the first caution of the race. 

By the time the field had covered 60 laps, four drivers had been penalized for speeding on pit road, Biffle, Kurt Busch, Mike Skinner and Elliott Sadler.

Debris -- an exhaust pipe piece -- on the track brought out the second caution of the day on lap 70. When things resumed under racing conditions, the running order had Burton in front of the field.

Earnhardt Jr., was second, followed by Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Scott Riggs, Tony Stewart, Kenseth, Edwards, Ryan Newman and Gordon.

Another caution waved on lap 109 when Stewart blew a right front tire and slammed hard into the retaining wall between turns three and four. The impact was the hardest Stewart said he could remember.

Kyle Busch had the lead on the restart with Kenseth right behind him. Kenseth, however, took the lead a lap later and Gordon moved to second spot. Jeff Burton was fourth behind Busch. Earnhardt Jr. was fifth.

Defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson wrestled with an ill-handling car from the git-go and sputtered around in the back of the pack, way off the leading pace.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Dish Network 195/10 267 Running
2 8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / AMP Energy 175/5 267 Running
3 6 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 165/0 267 Running
4 17 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 160/0 267 Running
5 24 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 160/5 267 Running
6 38 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 150/0 267 Running
7 37 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 146/0 267 Running
8 29 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Yates Racing 142/0 267 Running
9 27 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Kinko's 138/0 267 Running
10 3 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 139/5 267 Running
11 1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 135/5 267 Running
12 10 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 127/0 267 Running
13 11 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Pop-Tarts / CARQUEST 124/0 267 Running
14 15 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 121/0 267 Running
15 18 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 118/0 267 Running
16 23 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 115/0 267 Running
17 39 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios "Circle of Helping Hearts" 112/0 267 Running
18 35 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 109/0 267 Running
19 31 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Texaco / Havoline 106/0 267 Running
20 13 17 Matt Kenseth Ford USG Sheetrock 108/5 267 Running
21 19 49 Ken Schrader Dodge Qtrax.com 100/0 267 Running
22 40 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Johns Manville / Menards 97/0 266 Running
23 34 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditReport.com 94/0 266 Running
24 43 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 91/0 266 Running
25 36 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Crown Royal 88/0 266 Running
26 26 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 85/0 266 Running
27 30 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 82/0 266 Running
28 21 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 79/0 265 Running
29 33 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 76/0 265 Running
30 5 27 Mike Skinner Toyota Bad Boy Mowers 73/0 265 Running
31 22 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 70/0 265 Running
32 41 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo 67/0 265 Running
33 42 40 Dario Franchitti * Dodge Target 64/0 265 Running
34 28 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet Coors Light 61/0 264 Running
35 4 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Nicorette / DuPont 63/5 262 Off Track
36 7 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 60/5 260 Running
37 14 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 52/0 258 Running
38 9 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 49/0 255 Off Track
39 16 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 46/0 231 Out of Race
40 12 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Valvoline 43/0 182 Off Track
41 20 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 40/0 152 Running
42 32 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Jim Beam 37/0 142 Off Track
43 25 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 39/5 107 Out of Race
* Denotes Rookie Driver

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