Carl Edwards snaps 70-race winless streak


Carl Edwards survived a green-white-checkered finish to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway for his first Sprint Cup victory in nearly two years.

“I can’t say enough about everybody believing in me,” Edwards told FOX Sports in Victory Lane. “I’m telling you, we’re back…Whatever it is you’re doing out there, don’t lose hope. Just keep digging and things can work out — I’m proof. This is just awesome, one of the coolest wins of my life.”

A tense fuel mileage situation in the final stages for Edwards and the leaders got even tougher when Ken Schrader hit the wall in Turn 4 to bring out the caution flag with three laps to go. That sent the second race of the Sprint Cup season into overtime, with Edwards leading Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin at the restart.

But Edwards managed to pull away from Johnson, who was forced to defend second place from Keselowski and Hamlin. In an attempt to grab P2 at the finish, Hamlin shot through the backstretch apron but narrowly lost out to Johnson at the stripe, with Keselowski settling for fourth place as his fuel ran out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five.

Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix

Top 10 Finishers

1. Carl Edwards, Ford

2. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

3. Denny Hamlin, Toyota

4. Brad Keselowski, Ford

5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Chevrolet

6. Clint Bowyer, Toyota

7. Matt Kenseth, Toyota

8. Tony Stewart, Chevrolet

9. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet

10. Jeff Burton, Chevrolet

NASCAR Sprint Cup Points

Top 10 (Through 2 Races)

1. Jimmie Johnson, 90 points

2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., -8

3. Brad Keselowski, -8

4. Denny Hamlin, -18

5. Clint Boywer, -18

6. Greg Biffle, -24

7. Mark Martin, -25

8. Jeff Gordon, -30

9. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., -30

10. Aric Almirola, -30

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

Follow @JerryBonkowski