Carl Edwards broke a 70-race winless streak Sunday when he stretched the fuel in his No. 99 Subway Ford far enough to beat Jimmie Johnson to the finish line and win the Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Edwards stopped at the start-finish line and performed his signature back flip from the window of his car.
This is the second victory and 11th top-10 finish in 18 races at Phoenix International Raceway for the Jack Rousch driver and his 20th victory in 303 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
“I don’t even know where to start,” said Edwards. “I have a lot of people to thank; first and foremost Jack Roush and of these guys at Roush Fenway.”
The pit crew gave Edwards good pit stops to help him maintain track position during the race and as many of the leaders were trying to conserve fuel to get to the scheduled finish, a caution came out and forced the race to overtime.
“(Crew chief) Jimmy Fennig is the man,” said Edwards. “This pit crew is unreal; they won this race for us. This is huge. It’s a Subway race – we won it and we are back.”
Johnson, winner of last Sunday’s Daytona 500, crossed the finish line second to post his 16th top-10 finish in 20 races at Phoenix International Raceway. Denny Hamlin was third, Brad Keselowski was fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish line in the fifth spot.
Edwards’ teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was the highest finishing rookie. Danica Patrick, who was the highest finishing rookie last week in the Daytona 500, blew a right front tire and hit the wall hard. She finished 39th and Stenhouse finished 16th after an uneventful day.
Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings by eight points over Earnhardt, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.
The NASCAR drivers will next head to Las Vegas for Sunday's running of the Kobalt Tools 400.