Edwards beats Busch in Sprint All-Star race
Edwards led 29 laps including the entire final 10 lap segment, beating out Kyle Busch to win his first All Star Race and collect a $1million dollar payday as his car was dragged to Victory Lane by a tow truck after wrecking his no. 99 AFLAC Ford Fusion during a victory burnout through the infield grass.
David Reutimann as third, followed by Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle.
Edwards collected a total payout of $1.2 million for winning the race, as well as the second and third segments of the race. It was the first Charlotte win for Edwards in the Sprint Cup Series and the third all star win for Roush- Fenway Racing.
“That’s a million dollars. We just won a million dollars. It’s unbelievable,” said Edwards. “It’s unreal. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”
“My pit crew stepped up tonight. They did an unreal job on that last stop,” said Edwards. “If we wouldn’t have come off pit road first, it would have been a very difficult race. It took me about 10 laps to get by Kyle and those guys, so it would have been a very tough race, so those guys get a lot of credit for this win.”
As Edwards came to the frontstretch on his cool-down lap, he slid his car through the infield grass, catching the front clip in the turf. The car was tossed in the air, and came to rest just short of the start/finish line spewing fire and smoke.
“I messed up the car, guys – sorry about that,” Edwards said on his radio.
“I think some people would like to think that I’m smart enough and savvy enough to come up with some trick and then destroy it like that and make it look like it was an accident, but I’m not that smart,” said Edwards. “It just dug in the splitter and I didn’t expect that. Bob (Osborne, crew chief) has been doing a really good job of keeping the splitter down. It helps on the race track and it doesn’t help in the grass. I guess that’s the bottom line.”
It was an all Roush-Fenway Racing all star race as the team swept both the Sprint Showdown with David Ragan - earning Ragan a transfer spot into the All Star field – then Roush-Fenway driver Greg Biffle won the opening 50-lap segment, collecting a $25,000 bonus.
The field came to pit road between segments with Edwards’s crew pulling off a two-tire stop to get him out in front to start the 20-lap second segment. Edwards would lead twice for 14 laps before winning the segment, earning $25,000.
On the restart, Edwards spun the tires, giving Kyle Busch an opening to take the lead, taking command for the next 15 laps before Edwards battled back.
With four laps to go in the third segment, Edwards managed to get alongside of Busch on the backstretch and made the pass for the lead coming through turn four, leading the remaining lap to capture the third segment and a $125,000 bonus.
After winning the third segment, Edwards led the entire field to pit road for a mandatory four-tire stop. Edwards' crew got him back out in front, followed by Busch, Biffle, Matt Kenseth - who jumped from seventh to fourth - and Reutimann.
On the last restart, Edwards got a good jump as Biffle dropped under Busch in a bid for second place, but Busch held him off to hold the second position.
The battle for second with Biffle killed Busch’s momentum, giving Edwards a half-straightaway cushion. Busch tried to close the gap in the final laps, but ended up five car-lengths behind Edwards at the finish.
It was only the second time in six starts that Kyle Busch even finished an All Star race, and the third runner-up finish for Joe Gibbs Racing in the million-dollar race.
“He (Carl Edwards) certainly had the best car tonight for sure,” said Busch. “There were some areas that we got by him on some restarts, but then he was able to get a good one there on that last one and kind of got too far away from me.
“Just ran out of time catching him. I was getting there, but just didn’t get there soon enough. Maybe if it was another 20-lapper I would have been there. But, it wasn’t -- it was 10. We finally finished one of these deals so we can learn off that and I can understand what I need to be better next year and try to win one.
Reutimann’s third-place run was his career-best finish in the all star event, coming at the same track where he earned his first victory in last year’s rain-shortened Coca Cola 600.
“We didn’t start very good,” said Reutimann. “But we kept plugging away. The key really was the last (pit) stop - the guys got me out fifth, but we just got outrun.”
Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Ragan, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman made up the rest of the top ten. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who won the Sprint Fan Vote to transfer into the all star field, finished 14th.
Brad Keselowski, who raced his way into the All Star race with a runner-up finish in the Sprint Showdown, came home 18th after losing his brakes in the early laps of the all star race.
Late Pass Gives Ragan Win In Sprint Showdown
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