Edwards survives green-white-checker for win
The back-flipping Edwards is on a roll.
And he's doing it without his regular crew chief, who is sitting out a suspension for rules violations earlier in the year.
Running either at the front, or just behind Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch most of the race, Edwards took the lead on lap 214 of the 339-lap Samsung 500 and practically held it the remaining distance.
Edwards held off Johnson and Busch in a two-lap shootout after the day's sixth and final caution with four laps remaining set the stage for an exciting green, white, checkered flag finish.
Both runner-up Johnson and third-place Busch put up sterling efforts in trying to win the race at this 1 1/2-mile tri-oval Texas Motor Speedway.
Rounding out the top 10 were fourth-place finisher Ryan Newman, winner of the season-opening Daytona 500; Denny Hamlin, winner of last weekend's race at Martinsville; veteran Jeff Burton; Tony Stewart; Mark Martin; Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.
Kevin Harvick battled back to finish 11th after having a very bad-handling car in the early stages of the race. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was 12th after running with the leaders at times in the first half of the race.
Rookie Michael McDowell, who walked away from an horrific qualifying crash Friday afternoon, finished 33rd.
Four-time champion Jeff Gordon had a terrible day, finishing 43rd (last place).
Burton stays in first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, and Harvick is second. Edwards climbed four spots to 10th, and Busch jumped two spots to third.
The sport's most popular driver -- Earnhardt -- led the beginning of the race from his pole position but his Chevy lost the handle quickly. Busch, Edwards and Johnson raced past him.
It was a perfect weather day at the Texas track when Michael Waltrip spun in Turn 2 to bring out the first caution flag. It was a timely caution for Harvick, who had just finished telling his crew his car was really "screwed up. I don't know how in the world it could be this bad."
Harvick's team and others used the stop to make much-needed adjustments, including Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.
On the restart, Junior's team had their guy back out front with Johnson in close pursuit, just ahead of the younger of the Busch brothers. Johnson's No. 48 Chevy took the lead on lap No. 48.
Gordon, a four-time champion, was thrashing back in 34th spot in the third of four Hendrick Chevrolets, almost a second and a half behind his teammates. Casey Mears, in the other, was 24th.
By lap 55, Earnhardt had dropped back to fifth spot, behind Johnson, Busch, Edwards and Greg Biffle.
Gordon has never had any luck at this track. It is one of only two tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit where Gordon has not won. The other is Homestead- Miami Speedway.
The race started again on lap 113 with Kenseth out front, followed by Johnson, Edwards, Busch, Earnhardt, Denny Hamlin, Biffle, Martin Truex, Jr., Stewart and Kasey Kahne.
J.J. Yeley brought out the fourth caution flag when he bounced from the outside wall to the inside wall on lap 175.
All the lead cars pitted, and Matt Kenseth resumed his lead.
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