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'Concrete Carl' Edwards wins 2nd in row at Bristol

Sprint Cup Series
Sunday, August 24, 2008

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Edwards wins on the concrete again
'Concrete Carl' Edwards has a knack when it comes to concrete race tracks.  On Saturday night bumping him on the cool-down lap at the high banked concrete Bristol 1/2-mile oval Edwards bump-passed race leader Kyle Busch after the last restart to win his 9th race on a concrete track, 2nd race in a row and 2nd race at Bristol. 

“They keep talking about rivalries -- we might have one now,” Edwards said after beating Busch to the finish line by 1.969 seconds. He led the final 31 laps after executing an adroit bump-and-run to pass Busch through Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 470. From that point, Edwards pulled away for his second consecutive victory.

“That was one of those deals where I couldn’t get by him,” said Edwards, who combined with Busch to lead 499 of the 500 laps. “I had to ask myself, ‘Would he do that to me?’ And he has before, and that’s the way it goes.

“I just kind of ran into him. That’s what happened ... I have a lot of respect for the guy, and he was real fast, but we can’t give up points when they’re right there for us to take.”

Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, as all three drivers posted much-needed top-five finishes to solidify their positions in the top 12 in the points standings with two races left before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set Sept. 6 at Richmond.

With the win, his sixth of the season and the 13th of his career, Edwards secured a position in the Chase and trimmed Busch’s bonus points margin to 30. Unhappy with the way Edwards passed him for the lead, Busch bumped Edwards’ No. 99 Ford after the checkered flag.

Edwards bumped back, and Busch’s No. 18 Toyota went spinning. To make matters worse, NASCAR summoned Busch to the sanctioning body’s transporter after the race. Busch said it made no difference that Edwards admitted bumping Busch to win the race.

“No, because he does that, and he’ll always come back and say he’s sorry,” said Busch, who finished second to Edwards for the second straight race. “He did it at Milwaukee (in the NASCAR Nationwide Series), and he’s done it a few other times. It’s just his normal fashion. That’s fine. I’ve grown to know that.

“I tried to get him back, but I thought better of it and tried to pull down and pass him back. But I didn’t have a good enough car to stick, and Denny got to his outside, and he got by me, and then I had to battle with him (Hamlin) toward the end.”

On Lap 216, contact between the No. 5 Chevrolet of Casey Mears and the No. 55 Toyota of Michael Waltrip -- an accident Mears blamed on misinformation from his spotter -- ignited a multicar wreck in Turn 1 that had significant implications for the Chase.

Running at the front of a large pack of cars, Mears moved up the track near the entrance to Turn 1 after being cleared by his spotter, clipped the nose of Waltrip’s car and slammed into the outside wall. Unable to avoid the wreck, Clint Bowyer hit Waltrip with the right front of his Chevrolet but was able to continue. Bowyer rallied to finish seventh and move back into the top 12, 12 points ahead of 13th-place David Ragan, who finished 10th after starting 43rd in a backup car.

Kasey Kahne wasn’t as lucky. Unable to dodge the melee in front of him, Kahne plowed into the middle of the wreck and ultimately retired from the race after attempts to repair his No. 9 Dodge proved fruitless.

“I like my spotter -- he’s a good guy -- but, man, this is ridiculous,” said Mears, who earlier in the day announced he had agreed to drive a fourth car for Richard Childress Racing next year.

“We took a bunch of cars out for no reason. I was just running along, heard, ‘Clear, clear, clear,’ and went up -- and there was someone still there. We just took out a bunch of cars for no reason -- and ourselves.”

The wreck did considerable damage to Kahne’s Chase hopes, dropping him out of the top 12. Kahne fell three spots to 14th and trails Bowyer by 56 points.

“We had a good racecar, and it’s a shame we got caught up in that mess,” said Kahne, who finished 40th. “I just saw cars wrecking in front of me, and there was nothing I could do.”

Notes: Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost a lap early because of a penalty for jumping the start of the race. He never regained the lap and finished 18th but passed teammate Jimmie Johnson for third place in the standings. Johnson tore the right front of his car after contact on Lap 26 with the Chevrolet of Sterling Marlin and finished 33rd, 18 laps down. … Edwards and Busch have run 1-2 in five races this season, with Busch finishing first at Darlington, Dover and Daytona (in July).

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 1 99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 190/5 500 Running
2 9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 180/10 500 Running
3 21 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 165/0 500 Running
4 6 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Pennzoil Platinum 160/0 500 Running
5 3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 160/5 500 Running
6 11 12 Ryan Newman Dodge Alltel 150/0 500 Running
7 22 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Jack Daniel's / "Driven to the Outdoors" 146/0 500 Running
8 28 20 Tony Stewart Toyota The Home Depot 142/0 500 Running
9 25 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 138/0 500 Running
10 27 6 David Ragan Ford AAA Insurance 134/0 500 Running
11 14 16 Greg Biffle Ford DISH Network Turbo HD 130/0 500 Running
12 41 26 Jamie McMurray Ford Sharpie Pen 127/0 500 Running
13 23 8 Aric Almirola Chevrolet U.S. Army 124/0 500 Running
14 4 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 121/0 500 Running
15 19 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 118/0 500 Running
16 16 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Quaker State / Menards / "Driven to the Outdoors" 115/0 498 Running
17 20 70 Tony Raines Chevrolet Hunt Brothers Pizza 112/0 498 Running
18 40 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 109/0 497 Running
19 39 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Juicy Fruit Slim Pack 106/0 497 Running
20 26 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 103/0 497 Running
21 7 96 Ken Schrader Toyota DLP HDTV 100/0 497 Running
22 15 38 David Gilliland Ford Ford. Drive one. 97/0 497 Running
23 37 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 94/0 497 Running
24 32 28 Travis Kvapil Ford "Knight Rider" 91/0 497 Running
25 2 44 David Reutimann Toyota UPS 88/0 496 Running
26 5 21 Bill Elliott Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane 85/0 496 Running
27 38 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 82/0 495 Running
28 33 00 Mike Skinner Toyota Champion Mortgage 79/0 495 Running
29 43 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row/ DenverMattress.com 76/0 493 Running
30 42 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 73/0 491 Running
31 29 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Wells Fargo 70/0 490 Running
32 10 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Stanley Tools 67/0 489 Running
33 34 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 64/0 481 Running
34 8 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota Red Bull 61/0 399 Running
35 12 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Red Head / "Driven to the Outdoors" 58/0 395 Running
36 30 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge TUMS Quik Pak 55/0 382 Running
37 35 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Mobil 1 52/0 297 In Pit
38 36 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 49/0 279 Running
39 31 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Planet Color / Barrett Jackson 46/0 227 In Pit
40 13 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 43/0 215 In Pit
41 17 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Pop-Tarts / CARQUEST 40/0 214 Running
42 18 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 37/0 195 In Pit
43 24 109 Sterling Marlin Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 34/0 184 Running

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