|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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|19||31||42||Juan Montoya||Dodge||Texaco / Havoline||106/0||267||Running|
|20||13||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||USG Sheetrock||108/5||267||Running|
|22||40||15||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Johns Manville / Menards||97/0||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|
|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|
|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