Edwards Ends Long Drought at Phoenix

3 years 10 months 2 weeks 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
COLUMBIA – Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug-monitoring program in place, but officials in Columbia are hoping... More >>
14 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - At their Jan. 10 Court en Banc meeting, the judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit elected their new... More >>
15 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 5:39:00 PM CST in News
BOONVILLE - Several Missouri National Guard Specialists are preparing to leave for their final segment of training before departing for... More >>
15 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 5:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man has pled guilty Friday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count... More >>
16 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 4:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
FRANKLIN COUNTY(AP) — Franklin County Sheriff's Office charged a man Friday after Authorities say he killed his ex-girlfriend in Union,... More >>
17 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - All across the country televisions were set to the presidential inauguration to see Donald Trump take office. Craig... More >>
18 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the case of a 53-year-old woman who died while detained in a... More >>
18 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:18:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Students and representatives from more than 15 local organizations gathered at the University of Missouri Friday for a... More >>
18 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:04:00 PM CST in News
TROY, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri woman has been placed on probation for helping stage her son's fake kidnapping... More >>
18 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 2:46:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - One of Columbia's most-traveled roads, Business Loop 70, is set to go through a beautification process. Before... More >>
19 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 1:40:00 PM CST in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A concrete truck driver has been charged in a deadly crash about a mile east of... More >>
22 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 11:23:55 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The FBI is investigating after hackers blocked the St. Louis Public Library's server. The... More >>
23 hours ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 9:34:02 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating an attempted armed robbery at the Eagle Stop gas station on Providence Road at I-70.... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 9:18:00 AM CST in News
KINLOCH (AP) — A 17-year-old St. Louis County resident is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the July... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 9:00:02 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who aids breast cancer survivors in the St. Louis area by creating tattoos of... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 8:11:00 AM CST in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas City man has been charged in the 2013 death of a 22-year-old man... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:53:22 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – On Friday, president-elect Donald Trump will officially take the oath of office in Washington D.C. for President of... More >>
1 day ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:58:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new set of regulations on Wednesday that clarifies standards for living... More >>
1 day ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:49:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
10am 51°
11am 54°
12pm 57°
1pm 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
10:30a
Wilderness Vet
9:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
9:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
10:00a
Save Our Shelter

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Figure Skating
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld