Sunday, June 22, 2014

Carl Edwards Wins the Toyota/Save Mart 350

Originally written for CLNS Radio. 

Carl Edwards won his first career road course race on Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Sonoma Raceway.

Edwards had to outrun Jeff Gordon over the last green-flag run, and he said it was a little intimidating with him in the mirror.

Photo courtesy Jerry Markland/Getty Images
“I grew up watching Jeff Gordon do well here, so to have him in my mirror, that is very special,” Edwards said.

Edwards had never won on a road course in his Sprint Cup career, and he made sure to thank those who helped him in victory lane.

“It’s really tricky, and that’s the best I’ve got, and it almost wasn’t good enough,” Edwards said.  “I’ve got to thank Boris Said, all my teammates, Mark Martin and everyone through the years who has helped me.”

Jamie McMurray started on the pole, and he jumped out to the lead when the green flag fell.  He pulled ahead of AJ Allmendinger, but he stayed right with McMurray over the first few laps.  On lap 9, Allmendinger finally got around the No. 1 to take the lead.

On lap 22, Kevin Harvick took the lead during green-flag pit stops.  He led until the first caution of the day came out when Landon Cassill blew up on the frontstretch.

Under the caution, Harvick pitted to give the lead back to Allmendinger.  He led the field back to the green flag on lap 35, and he held off a hard-charging McMurray.  On lap 54, McMurray was finally able to get around Allmendinger for the lead.

McMurray pitted on lap 56, and that allowed Gordon to take the lead.  When Gordon pitted, Harvick resumed the lead on lap 58.  He led until the second caution of the day came out when Ryan Truex’s car stalled on lap 61.

Harvick led the field back to the green flag on lap 64, and he was able to pull ahead of Clint Bowyer.  Harvick couldn’t hold off Johnson, and he took the lead on lap 70.  On lap 71, the third caution came out for debris in Turn 10.

Bowyer took the lead away from Joey Logano on the restart, and he led until the caution came back out later that lap.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopped a curb in the esses, and he turned Matt Kenseth into the tire barrier.  Kenseth’s car smashed into the tires, but he was able to walk away from the accident.

The race restarted on lap 80, and Marcos Ambrose was able to beat Bowyer through the first turn to take the lead.  On lap 82, McMurray spun Bowyer in the hairpin corner.  Bowyer stopped in the middle of the track, and he was drilled by Harvick, ruining both of their days.

Edwards jumped ahead of Ambrose for the lead when the race restarted.  He was leading when the final caution of the race came out on lap 91 when Brian Vickers spun Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Edwards pulled away from McMurray on the final restart, and he pulled away from the other leaders by over two seconds.  Gordon got around McMurray for second, and he closed in on Edwards, but he was never able to get around the 99, and Edwards won his second race of the season.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Carl Edwards
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Paul Menard
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Marcos Ambrose
9. Greg Biffle
10. Clint Bowyer
11. Ryan Newman
12. Kurt Busch
13. Casey Mears
14. Brian Vickers
15. Martin Truex Jr.
16. Joey Logano
17. Austin Dillon
18. Danica Patrick
19. Tony Stewart
20. Kevin Harvick
21. David Gilliland
22. Brad Keselowski
23. Aric Almirola
24. Michael McDowell
25. Kyle Busch
26. Denny Hamlin
27. Cole Whitt
28. Kyle Larson
29. Alex Bowman
30. Michael Annett
31. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Justin Allgaier
34. J.J. Yeley
35. Boris Said
36. David Ragan
37. AJ Allmendinger
38. Tomy Drissi
39. Alex Kennedy
40. Josh Wise
41. Ryan Truex
42. Matt Kenseth
43. Landon Cassill

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400.  The race can be seen Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST, only on TNT.

Photo courtesy Robert Laberge/Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment