Carl Edwards hasn’t won a NASCAR race since March 6th at Las Vegas 70 races ago, but that streak is over. Carl Edwards wins the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The big question was does Carl remember how to do his signature back flip. That has also been answered.
The race started with Mark Martin who had won the pole, he led the race until the second caution. Varying pit strategies put many of the fast cars on different sequences. This led to many lead changes at every caution flag. There were twelve lead changes among nine drivers. Carl Edwards led twice; he got the lead last at lap 239 of 312 and led the rest of the race. Carl led 122 laps, the most of the race.
This is Carl Edwards’s first race with his new veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig. Carl didn’t qualify well and started the race 15th but Jimmy had a plan. Carl thought that Mark Martin was faster but didn’t realize how good Jimmy’s plan would work.
When Jimmy was asked if he thought they could win today he said, “Well, you never — you don’t feel victory. I don’t feel victory — the only thing I know is yesterday I felt pretty good about the race car studying lap times, things we did. We make adjustments every Sunday morning and we didn’t have to really dig deep in the bag because we think our car was pretty good, and it ended up to be okay. We made one air pressure adjustment and one other adjustment, and Carl did the rest.”
They used pit strategy by only changing two tires throughout the race in order to get to the front and stay there.
Carl said, “I try to be real honest about how fast my car is, but sometimes I’m a little too optimistic, but today I felt really good about it. Jimmy and the guys did a great job. The pit crew is unreal. Every time we came on pit road we would pass a bunch of people and that’s what won this race. Track position was key.”
The Irony of this race is that Carl has now broken two 70 race winless streaks at Phoenix International Raceway and this race driving the title sponsor of the race’s car.
Jimmie Johnson was second, Denny Hamlin third, Brad Keselowski fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest finishing rookie finishing 16th.
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