Edwards Ends Long Drought at Phoenix

3 years 9 months 3 days ago March 03, 2013 Mar 3, 2013 Sunday, March 03 2013 Sunday, March 03, 2013 8:33:41 PM CST in Sports
By: Associated Press

AVONDALE, AZ (AP) - Carl Edwards climbed from his car, stood on the door and landed a backflip near the finish line. He then hopped up on the wall in front of the grandstand, grabbed the checkered flag and waded into the crowd, trading high-fives with fans.

After a miserable week at Daytona, Edwards had plenty to celebrate.

That it came at Phoenix International Raceway only seemed fitting.

Coming through on his promise to dominate after his Daytona disaster, Edwards pulled away on a late restart and snapped a 70-race winless streak on Sunday, the second long drought he's ended at Phoenix.

"This win feels as good or better as any win I've ever had," Edwards said.

Edwards had a rough 2012 season, missing the Chase for the championship. His downward spiral continued at Daytona, where he wrecked five cars. On his way out of Florida, Edwards said he was ready to dominate and win at Phoenix.

He did just that, leading the final 78 laps on the 312-lap race around PIR's odd-shaped oval in the first non-restrictor-plate race with NASCAR's new Gen-6 car.

Edwards got a good push from defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski on the restart with two laps left and pulled away from there, winning for the first time since Las Vegas in 2011.

After parking his car at the finish line, Edwards landed his first backflip in nearly two years and celebrated with the fans - just like he did at PIR after ending another 70-race winless streak in 2010.

"I'm sure it's a relief for someone like Carl," said Denny Hamlin, who finished third and had a long winless streak end at Phoenix last year. "He's now relevant again, he really is and it's a good sign for their race team for things to come."

The big duel came behind Edwards.

Despite struggling with his car most of the day, Hamlin made a bold move on the last lap with a pass on the apron below the dogleg. He popped up alongside Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson and the two drag-raced to the finish, where Johnson edged him by a few inches.

Keselowski, who was outside Johnson during Hamlin's move, finished fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up fifth.

"As far down as I was, I was committed, there was nothing that I was going to do where I would back out," Hamlin said. "I just hoped I would have just slid in front of the 48, then you risk getting punted and spun, and your whole day you've worked everything for is taken away in a corner. I held my line and thought I really did the right thing and gave those guys room to pass me back - and one of them did."

The last Phoenix race, in November, set up Keselowski for his first Sprint Cup title after Johnson blew a tire. It also featured quite a sideshow.

A running feud between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon boiled over late in the race, setting off a brawl in the pits and Bowyer on a WWE-style dash to Gordon's hauler.

The drivers tried to downplay the confrontation after arriving in the desert this week, but it's been hard to avoid, with video of the scrap-and-dash being shown all over in promos for the race and replays.

Ryan Newman had the only dash this time around, running across the track and away from his car after it blew a right-front tire for the second time in 140 laps.

Inside his car, Mark Martin failed in his bid to become the oldest Sprint Cup winner.

The 54-year-old became the second-oldest driver to start on the pole in a Sprint Cup car, a few months short of Harry Gant's mark. Martin led the first 49 laps and 26 more later on, but couldn't sustain it in his bid to become the oldest Sprint Cup winner, finishing 21st.

"Obviously, it's a disappointing result for a great effort on the weekend," Martin said. "The car was pretty fast, but we had multiple problems today."

So did Danica Patrick, who had a rough follow-up to her breakthrough week at the Daytona 500.

Patrick became the first woman to win a pole and lead green-flag laps during NASCAR's season opener, sending her popularity to a new level.

But she couldn't stay with the leaders at Phoenix, ending her day with one of the hardest hits of her career. It happened with about 100 laps left, when the right-front tire on Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet went down and slammed her into the wall.

Patrick's car careened back into David Ragan, flipping her hood over the windshield and shredding the left front fender as protective foam from the driver's side door flew onto the track.

She came to a stop along the inside wall with a trail of debris covering about half the home straightaway behind her. She climbed from the car and was quickly cleared by the medical center.

"Whenever those right-fronts go, they always hit hard because you don't broadside, you hit more straight on," said Patrick, who finished 39th. "It took a hard hit both sides and I'm fine, so NASCAR is doing a good job at safety. But no real good warning. The car wasn't all that tight and most of the (problems) were in the rear, so there was no real vibration that told me that was going to happen."

Edwards set himself up for this victory with a late-night call to new crew chief Jimmy Fennig, knocking on his door around midnight Saturday to go over some last-minute details. For race morning, Edwards went for a hike to clear his mind and focused.

It paid off, ending two years of frustration and self-doubt that grew as the streak grew.

"Last year we didn't even make the Chase," Edwards said. "For me to sit home while everybody was at the Chase stuff and in Vegas, that was a little bit of a shock to me and I did not like that at all. To get a victory puts us in better position to be in the Chase, it just feels good to win and I'm just very glad to be here."

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A man with a history of violent sex offenses dating back to the 1960s has been... More >>
27 minutes ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:35:57 AM CST in News
WARRENSBURG (AP) — At a time when reports of anti-Muslim sentiment are rising, members of a west-central Missouri Islamic Center... More >>
49 minutes ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:14:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Schurz and McDavid residence halls on the University of Missouri's campus could close indefinitely after the 2016-17 school... More >>
1 hour ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:57:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — St. Louis County police are searching for a man who allegedly tried to run over officers with... More >>
1 hour ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:16:00 AM CST in News
CRESTWOOD (AP) — Officials in St. Louis County's Rockwood School District are investigating after a school bus caught fire on... More >>
1 hour ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:09:47 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) A 24-year-old Missouri woman is accused of causing a wreck last weekend that killed a passenger in her... More >>
1 hour ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:03:54 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A rock-loving orangutan named Rubih is suspected of going ape on the observation windows of her... More >>
2 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 9:16:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents in the Columbia area will be able to speak their minds Tuesday at a public hearing about... More >>
9 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 2:35:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who wished to remain anonymous, told KOMU 8 News Monday night... More >>
12 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 11:33:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor-elect Eric Greitens' wife Sheena was robbed at gunpoint Monday night. According to KSDK, St. Louis Police... More >>
14 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 9:49:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is seeing an increase in the number of state highway fatalities, and MoDOT is worried it's... More >>
16 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 7:19:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A group of University of Missouri students exceeded everybody's expectations in gift giving this holiday season, and the... More >>
17 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia is looking to cut down on traffic deaths and serious injuries, and is looking to join a... More >>
17 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council voted 5-2 in opposition to an ordinance that would have revised some licensing regulations... More >>
17 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:10:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Engineering crews kicked off three months of work on Nifong Blvd. on Monday as part of the road's... More >>
18 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 5:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The fourth annual CoMoGives Campaign has some lofty goals for the 2016 holiday season, hoping to raise more... More >>
21 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 2:19:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police grew furry faces during a No Shave November fundraiser to benefit a local children's home. ... More >>
22 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 1:59:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — A single-car crash left a Fulton woman dead on Interstate 70 near Highway 40 and the Midway Travel... More >>
22 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 1:53:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
12pm 39°
1pm 39°
2pm 40°
3pm 41°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
No Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld