After a 70 race winless streak Carl Edwards is back doing his signature back-flip. Edwards drove his #99 Subway Ford to victory at Phoenix International Raceway for the 9th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, after leading a race high of 122 laps. This is Edwards’ 20th victory in 303 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
“This is huge it’s a Subway race and we won it and we’re back,” Edwards said in victory lane. “We really, really like winning; I can’t say enough about everyone believing in me, I’m telling you we’re back, this is going to be good.”
“Whatever it is your doing out there don’t lose hope, you just keep digging and things could work out,” Edwards said. “I’m proof! This is just awesome one of the coolest wins of my life.”
Edwards was able to hold off the Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, who took second place by just barely beating Denny Hamlin, who took third, to the finish line. Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finish fifth.
On the 239th lap while under caution, Earnhardt Jr. and Edwards were coming down pit lane side by side as Casey Mears turned down in front of Earnhardt Jr., causing Jr. to slow and give up the miniscule lead over Edwards.
Edwards said he felt that could be the race, saying too it had to be difficult for Earnhardt Jr. “I’m not exactly sure how this was going to work out, and then he (Mears) turned left and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) could have run me up into the wall and spun Casey out,” said Edwards during the post race interview. “I could tell he thought about it. I mean, I think he did because there was that little pause, and I thought, he’s (Earnhardt Jr.) going to do it. And then he stood on the brakes and kept from tearing all the cars up.”
It was Edwards race after that mishap, but with only three laps left in the race, Ken Schrader’s spin brought out a caution, setting up for a ‘green-white-checker’ shootout.
Keselowski set up behind Edwards on the inside, with Johnson and Hamlin on the outside, with a push from Keselowski’s car Edwards took off, with Johnson and Keselowski battling for position on the final lap Hamlin dove under both drivers and came back up in second, but Johnson wasn’t to be left in the dust.
“I felt like I still had a chance if I just hung on,” Johnson said. “On the outside around turns 3 and 4 and I was able to do that and just kind of beat him back to the finish.” Johnson hung on and beat Hamlin by 0.012 seconds to the line.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest finishing rookie of the race finishing 16th.
Danica Patrick blew a tire and hit the wall during Sunday’s Phoenix race, severely damaging her car. Patrick was running in the mid-to-high 20s most of the day, when her tire exploded coming off of Turn 4 on lap 185. Patrick finished 39th.
The next race will be a Las Vegas Motor Speedway; it will be televised on Fox with a start time at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.