Carl Edwards Takes Home a Cool Million
David Ragan (in the UPS Ford) won the Sprint Showdown followed by Edwards victory in the Sprint All-Star race. This marked the third time that Ford Racing has swept both races during All-Star Weekend (photo courtesy: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images Sport)
Carl Edwards confessed that he was “nervous” before the start of the final 10-lap segment of Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte.
He needn’t have been.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver, winner of two previous segments of the special non-points race, was nearly perfect for the final 10-lap dash, leading wire-to-wire for his first victory in the prestigious event. Edwards was a popular preseason pick to unseat five-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson this fall when NASCAR crowns a Champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 20. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Edwards pulled away from Kyle Busch during the closing segment, and although the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was able to close slightly near the end, still crossed the line with a 0.443 second margin of victory.
“Anytime you have grass on the windshield after the race, it’s not good,” a slightly embarrassed Edwards said after a post-race slide through the infield grass resulted in heavy damage to the front end of his No. 99 Ford.
Using a fast car, Edwards led a total of 29 laps, including all 10 in the final segment en route to the win in the 27th annual event.
"We just won a million dollars," said Edwards, who actually took home $1,203,300. "That's unbelievable."
Edwards' Aflac Ford will not be loaded in the hauler the same way it crossed the finish line. Following taking the checkered flag, Edwards spun across the infield grass to celebrate and hit a drain cover, which heavily damaged the front end.
"I had no clue that drain was there and I guess NASCAR is mad. They think we're hiding something with that car, but that was a pretty big accident."
The winning move for Edwards came after the 10-minute break prior to the final segment when his team got him off pit road first.
"That was all the pressure in the world for those guys," Edwards said about his pit crew. "They performed a flawless pit stop and we got out in front of Kyle (Busch)."
Busch, who led three times for 19 laps, tried to adjust his line in the closing laps in his attempt to catch Edwards, but in the end he was forced to settle for second - his best finish in his six All-Star attempts. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
“We definitely had a car that was coming there, but Carl just got so far out there on that last restart,” Busch said. “It took me too long to find a lane that would really start helping me run him back down. I was trying to make sure I didn’t get passed from behind, but as soon as I got a gap behind me, I would move around and try to make some ground up elsewhere. I was making it, but not fast enough."
Zephyrhills native David Reutimann, who started 18th, finished third after a solid pit stop by his crew on the final stop.
“We had a great Aaron’s Dream Machine all night," Reutimann said. "We were just so far back that you couldn’t really tell it. I was telling the guys that our pit crew might not have won the Pit Crew Challenge the other night, but they did it when it mattered and they got me out and made an excellent pit stop that picked us up a lot of spots."
Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.
The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will resume the quest for a Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway this fall with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte this weekend. Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
Edwards continues to lead the Sprint Cup points standings, by 24 ahead of Jimmie Johnson, 37 ahead of Kyle Busch and 52 ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Next up for the Sprint Cup drivers is Charlotte on Sunday, May 29 (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend—Nov. 18-20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway—are on sale NOW. For ticket information, click [HERE] or call (866) 409-RACE.
MotorRacingNetwork.com contributed to this report.