Carl Edwards snaps 70-race winless streak

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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

F1 2017 driver review: Lewis Hamilton

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Following on from the driver reviews from the Verizon IndyCar Series, MotorSportsTalk kicks off its Formula 1 recaps by looking back on Lewis Hamilton’s championship year.

Lewis Hamilton

Team: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Car No.: 44
Races: 20
Wins: 9
Podiums (excluding wins): 4
Pole Positions: 11
Fastest Laps: 7
Points: 363
Laps Led: 527
Championship Position: 1st

Lewis Hamilton may have wrapped up his fourth Formula 1 world title with two races to spare, but his margin of victory was far from representative of what was arguably his greatest championship victory yet.

Mercedes entered 2017 bidding to become the first team to defend its titles across a seismic regulation change, and appeared to be on the back foot early on after Ferrari impressed in pre-season testing and won the opening race through Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton was left wrestling with a “diva” of a car, as coined by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, but was able to get on top of it by the second race of the year in China, taking a dominant win in wet-dry conditions.

The win was representative of Hamilton’s form through the first portion of the season. When he won, he won in style – as in Spain, Canada and on home soil in Great Britain – but the off weekends saw him struggle.

Heading into the summer break, Vettel’s championship lead stood at 14 points, with the pair’s on-track rivalry having already spilled over in Baku when they made contact behind the safety car.

But Hamilton then produced the form that propelled him to titles in 2014 and 2015, breaking the back of the season through the final flyaways. As Vettel and Ferrari capitulated over the Asian rounds, picking up just 12 points when a full score of 75 for three wins was certainly in reach, Hamilton capitalised and put himself on the brink of the title.

While Hamilton’s run to P9 in Mexico was a messy way to wrap up his hardest-fought title to date, getting across the line and the job done was a significant result.

Unlike his last two titles, Hamilton was tasked with an enemy outside of the team in this title race and a car that arguably wasn’t the fastest on the grid.

But his unquestionable talent and ability to dig deep to get himself out of tough situations – Singapore and Brazil being two key examples where the result was far from expected – proved crucial once again.

Hamilton is now in the annals of F1 history as one of its all-time greats. The pole record is his, and only two drivers can boast more world titles than him (Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio).

Depending on how long he wants to continue racing, going down as F1’s statistical all-time great is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

Season High: Charging from the pit lane to P4 in Brazil, a race he could have even won.

Season Low: Dropping out in Q2 in Monaco, only recovering to P7 in the race.