Look out Kyle Busch, here comes Carl
Edwards completed a weekend sweep at Michigan International
Speedway on Sunday, beating NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Busch
off pit road on their last stops and driving off to his fifth Cup
win of the season and second in the last three races.
Busch, who has eight Cup wins, was just ahead of Edwards when
they pitted under caution on lap 180 of the 200-lap 3M Performance
400, but Edwards beat the 23-year-old star out of the pits.
David Ragan and June Michigan winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. had
stayed on track and were running 1-2, but Edwards easily passed
them on the restart on lap 183 to retake the lead, then held off
Busch on another restart with two laps to go and gave Roush Fenway
Racing co-owner Jack Roush his 20th overall victory on the 2-mile
Edwards, who turned 29 on Friday, also won the Nationwide Series
race Saturday, becoming only the second driver to win both races.
Former Roush driver Mark Martin did it in 1993.
"The key was my crew today," Edwards said. "My guys did an
unbelievable job getting me off pit road.
"This is unbelievable. We're winning races. We're gearing up
for the Chase. I'm feeling stronger than ever. We're here to win
championships. That's what we're shooting for.
With just three races left until the start of the Chase for the
championship, Edwards moved a little closer to Busch in the seeding
process, which gives drivers making the 10-race postseason a
10-point bonus for each victory. Edwards lost one of those 10-point
bonuses to a penalty early in the season, but would still be just
40 points behind Busch if the Chase began next week.
"That's a part of it," Edwards said. "Ten points is 10
points. The beauty of it is keeping Kyle from getting 10 points.
He's so fast you can't give him any room."
Edwards was pulling away at the end, building a lead of nearly
1.5 seconds before Denny Hamlin's blown engine brought out the
seventh and final caution flag of the day on lap 195 of the 200-lap
event. That moved Busch's Toyota right up to the rear bumper of
Edwards' Ford as the green flag waved for the final time for the
start of lap 199, but it wasn't close as Edwards pulled out to a 15
"It was a decent run for us," Busch said. "We just didn't
have enough for the (No.) 99 there at the end. We weren't able to
get through the corners as fast as Carl was."
Asked about the championship, Busch said, "Carl's right there.
He has been all year. Yeah, it's a 20-point swing. We've got to
live with it. Hopefully, we can make it up someplace else."
Ragan held on to finish third, followed by Roush Fenway
teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, who bounced off the wall
passing Martin, now driving a Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., on
the last lap.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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