In what may prove to be a season-saving performance, Carl Edwards rallied from two laps down to finish ninth in Sunday’s Eliminator Round middle race at Texas Motor Speedway.
With that, the Chase contender all but erased his deficit behind the cutoff to advance to the Sprint Cup Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
What was a 15-point gap going into Sunday has now been whittled down to one point behind Jeff Gordon, holder of the fourth and final advance position to South Florida.
Considering how much Edwards struggled over the first half of the race, the Top-10 finish is a small miracle for him and the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team.
Edwards started 11th but a tight condition on his car caused him to fall back during the opening stint. At Lap 102, he was running in 24th position when he was put one lap down by eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson, and on Lap 165, Johnson passed him again to knock him two laps off the pace.
That led to a bit of needed strategy to help Edwards climb out of the hole.
On Lap 222, a caution came out for debris and Edwards was advised to stay out on the track to take the wave-around and pull within one lap down. Through continued adjustments on the car and several other cautions, Edwards was able to put himself in position for the free pass (first car one lap down), and he got it thanks to a yellow on Lap 295.
Edwards was back on the lead lap, but now had to charge from 25th position and get as much as he could over the final 40 laps. With the help of several late restarts, Edwards was able to do just that.
Now, remarkably, he’ll have a chance to make the Championship next weekend at Phoenix, where he’s won twice in his Cup career.
“We got super luck there at the end and my guys never quit,” he said. “I am so proud of my guys…We certainly finished better than we should have tonight. It was a great night, when for awhile it didn’t look like it was going to be.
“We get to move on to Phoenix now and we will know what we have to do there. We will take it. My guys didn’t quit and I know they won’t quit and we are going to go next week and go for this thing.”
Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”.
At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.
Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California.
Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.
“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”
805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”
Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life.
The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general.
“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said. “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”
While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself.
“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”
Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.
Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg.
“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle.
“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”
The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective.
“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.
“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”