The drought is over. Carl Edwards ended his 70-race winless streak and dominated the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. It was Edwards victory first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since March 6, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“When you're struggling it seems like time slows down,” Edwards said. “You're working harder. You're trying more. You're questioning yourself more.”
Edwards dominated the field at PIR and lead a race high 122-laps. Last weeks Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson finished second with Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounding out the top five.
2013 is the first season that Edwards has been paired up with crew chief Jimmy Fennig. Fennig has been a crew chief for Rousch Racing since 1997. Edwards has been with Rousch Racing since 2003.
“Every win means a lot but this is a pretty special one,” Fennig said. “Winning the first time with Carl Edwards and the number 99 team. It feels good. I can't say enough about the guys back at the shop.”
The Subway Fresh Fit 500 was Edwards' 20th career NSCS victory and his second win at PIR. Edwards won the 2008 Kobalt Tools 500, now the Advocare 500, at PIR.
“This win feels as good or better than any win I ever had,” Edwards said. “I'm very excited about it.”
Edwards' struggles were evident in 2012 as he finished the season in 15th place and did not qualify for the Chase for the Cup. In 2011 he finished second overall and fourth in 2010. Despite last year's struggles Edwards has continued to work hard and chase perfection.
“We (racecar drivers) all have pretty fragile egos,” Edwards said. “That's probably one of the things that makes us perform well is that you're always questioning yourself. You're always working harder. I never feel like I have had a perfect race. A perfect year. I'm always trying to be better.”
The NSCS heads to Las Vegas next week for the Kobalt Tools 400. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday March 10.