Carl Edwards and David Ragan get into each other and collide with the wall in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, leaving Ragan frustrated with some of the racing taking place.
Victory is first for Edwards with Joe Gibbs Racing SHOP: Edwards gear " RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings CONCORD, N.C. – Will the mystery winner of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 enter and sign in please? Hint: It's the guy who does back flips every time he takes the checkered flag. But for the first 370 of 400 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway , no one would have picked Carl Edwards or his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as the likely winner of the season's 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Martin Truex Jr ., Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin had spent the lion's share of time at the head of the field, but none of that mattered when Edwards got 62 laps out of his last tank of fuel and took the checkered flag 4.785 seconds ahead of Greg Biffle , who also was on a fuel-saving strategy. In fact, the top four finishers all stretched their gas mileage after pit stops under caution on Lap 337. Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran third, followed by polesitter Matt Kenseth and Truex, who led a race-high 131 laps. Ryan Newman , Brad Keselowski , Hamlin (53 laps led), Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch (118 laps led) completed the top 10. Kyle Busch came home 11th in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race of the season, after missing the first 11 races of the season because of injuries sustained Feb. 21 at Daytona. The victory was Edwards first of the season, his first for Joe Gibbs Racing , his first at Charlotte and the 24th of his career. "It's so cool to get this win—we've had such bad luck," said Edwards , who joined Joe Gibbs Racing as the organization's fourth Sprint Cup driver after the 2014 season. "And we were the slowest of the (JGR cars) tonight, but we had (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) on the box. He made the right call, he put us in a position to win, and it worked. ... "This is truly a gift. I took advantage of it to win, and we'll get better." In all likelihood, the victory will propel Edwards into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . It was also Toyota’s 300th national series victory in the manufacturer's 300th Sprint Cup start. But after the very early stages of the race, Edwards wasn't a factor until fuel strategy came into play in the closing laps. Soon after Jimmie Johnson spun off Turn 4 on Lap 90 to cause the second caution of the afternoon, the race evolved into a two-car contest between the Chevrolets of Kurt Busch and Truex. Within two laps of a restart on Lap 95, Busch drove from ninth to the lead, passing Joey Logano for the top spot on Lap 97. From that point, Busch and Truex swapped stints at the head of the field, and by the time Johnson spun off Turn 4 and smacked the inside wall on Lap 273 to bring out the caution flag for the fifth time, Busch had racked up 118 laps led and Truex 59. But another quick yellow flag on Lap 282 for Ryan Blaney 's blown engine created the opportunity for divergent strategies and scrambled the running order. Truex was one of nine drivers who stayed out under the caution, but both Harvick and Kurt Busch came to pit road for fresh rubber and restarted 10th and 11th, respectively, on Lap 292. Gradually, methodically, Harvick and Kurt Busch drove back toward the front, but the contrarian strategies introduced another major player into the mix. Denny Hamlin surged to the front of the field and led 53 laps before pitting with a loose wheel on Lap 363 and giving up the lead. That put Truex back in front, with Harvick chasing, and both drivers needing one more pit stop to get to the end of the race. Edwards , Biffle, Earnhardt and Kenseth, on the other hand, stopped with 62 laps left, and the decision to come to pit road and gamble on fuel proved decisive—and stole a victory from Truex's dominant car. Biffle put pressure on Edwards in the closing laps, until he momentarily lost fuel pressure with two circuits left. "Running where we were running, it gave us the opportunity to try and stretch the fuel window and make it," Biffle said. "I was putting a lot of pressure on Carl there. I started going with about 10 laps to go. The crew chief (Matt Puccia) told me 'Save all you can, just stay in front of the 88 (Earnhardt),' and I made a decision that I was going to try and beat Carl . I got pretty close to him there, and then with two to go, the fuel light came on that the fuel pressure was low, and so I came around and had to start pushing the clutch in and shutting it off and coasting and try and preserve what fuel I had to make it back. "So excited to see the checkered flag. I wasn't sure I was going to stretch two laps of gas out of it. But it was probably on the straightaway it sucked some air and started flashing the fuel pressure. I was able to run it around the corners and didn't have any more issues, but stayed in front of the 88, finished second, big boost for the team, but probably a bigger boost for the team was how we ran tonight on the race track.” If Biffle had mixed feelings about finishing second, Truex was disconsolate. "Hell, I didn't even know guys could make it on gas," Truex said. I didn't know what was going on. Just can't catch a break there. I'm proud of the guys for an awesome race car. All my guys in Denver (where Furniture Row Racing is based) are putting a great car together. I don't know what to do about that. "We had a great car. Had a chance at it and it stinks to come up short like that on fuel mileage. I've never once in my whole career gained positions on a fuel mileage deal. I don't know what I have to do to catch a break on them deals. It is what it is. Just proud of my guys for what they brought--we will get one." Note: Late in the race, Hamlin reported feeling ill in his car and complained of a severe headache. He was taken to the infield care center after the race, and team owner Joe Gibbs said his driver was dehydrated, was given an IV and was feeling better after the treatment. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Carl Edwards celebrates his first NSCS win with Joe Gibbs Racing and snapping a 31-race winless streak.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson, Kahne rounded out top three Related: Practice 1 results Carl Edwards soared to the top of the leaderboard late in Thursday's opening practice for the Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway , propelling his No. Joe Gibbs Racing 19 ride at 192.273 mph to snag the premier spot. Reigning Coca-Cola 600 champion Jimmie Johnson -- one of the first to head onto the track for practice -- sat on top of the leaderboard for most the the afternoon, with a high speed of 191.673 mph. He settled into the second-place slot after Edwards' late run knocked him off the top position. Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne came up third-fastest in the field with a high speed of 191.639 mph. Kahne was also one of the first drivers to wheel his No. 5 ride onto the track for practice. Rounding out the top five were 2014 Sprint Cup champion and Stewart-Haas Racing 's Kevin Harvick (191.442 mph) and Michael Waltrip Rac ing 's David Ragan (191.435 mph). Following his 11-race absense from Sprint Cup racing, Kyle Busch returned to the race track last weekend for the Sprint All-Star Race and will be making his first Cup start in a points race this season at Charlotte. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted the 21st-fastest speed (190.081 mph) in his No. 18 Toyota during opening practice. Making his third Sprint Cup start this weekend, part-time Hendrick Motorsports rookie Chase Elliott posted the 27th-fastest time in the field, wheeling his No. 25 car at 189.142 mph. The current XFINITY champion will compete in the series' Hisense 300 on Saturday (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 7:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying with coverage on FOX Sports 1. SHOP: Carl Edwards gear FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR driver: 'It's always been a tough place to pass' SPEEDWAY, Ind. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers don’t run wide-open around Indianapolis Motor Speedway , but there’s very little "off-throttle" time, according to Carl Edwards . That makes passing difficult. The 2015 rules package (lower horsepower, less downforce) thus far hasn't helped. Edwards was one of 12 drivers taking part in an open test at the legendary 2.5-mile speedway Wednesday. The series returns to Indianapolis July 24-26 for the annual Crown Royal Presents the 'Your Hero's Name Here' 400 at the Brickyard. "We haven't figured out exactly where we’re going to set up the car so that we can pass," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said during a break at IMS. "There is a lot of on-throttle time. We're very fast through the middle of the corner; we're coming off the corner at 190 mph earlier today … now it’s 183-184. "When you're literally coming on to the straightaway at 185 or 190 mph, there's just not a lot of change between your high speed and your low speed, there's not a lot of off-throttle time. So it becomes very important to find the places on the track where you can gain an advantage and it gets really tough." NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series teams have been racing at Indy since 1994, and drivers have always had a tough time finding passing opportunities on the fast, flat track. The annual Brickyard 400 has seen as many as 26 lead changes (due to tire problems in 2008) and as few as nine (on three occasions). There's yet to be a last-lap pass in the 400, although five times the race winner has taken the lead with 10 or fewer laps remaining. "Because of the speeds here and the way the track's laid out, it's always been a tough place to pass," Edwards said. "I think that's one of the challenges … you have to come here and you have to deal with it. "But really, the short chutes (between Turns 1-2 and 3-4) are really interesting. The way you drive into those corners, the way you set your car up into (Turn) 1 and into 3 so that you can run to that short chute and set up your exit onto the long straightaways, if you can beat a guy there and get to him and force the issue, that's where I've done the little bit of passing that I've done; that's where the guys that have passed me have passed me." Edwards has 10 career starts at Indy, with a best finish of second in 2008. "Once you get on these long straightaways (and) you're wide open, it becomes a dyno race, whose got the most power," he said. "If you can handle well through that sharp, quick corner, and you can carry and extra mile an hour or two onto the straightaway, that's golden. … "The mid-corner speed, middle of the race when it’s hot, having that car handle well I think is the most important thing. And it's the only thing that can change during the event so that's what we focus on." Four teams, those for drivers Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Sam Hornish Jr . ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), J.J. Yeley ( BK Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) took part in a Goodyear tire test at IMS Monday and Tuesday. The Furniture Row team departed after Tuesday's session. In addition to Edwards , joining Gordon, Hornish and Yeley for Wednesday's test were the teams of Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske ), Casey Mears ( Germain Racing ), Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing ), Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Paul Menard ( Richard Childress Racing ) and Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ). NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series travels to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Sunday's GEICO 500 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jon Housholder recaps the Coca-Cola 600 where Carl Edwards captured his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing, in what became a fuel mileage race to the checkers.
NASCAR.com's Jonathon Merryman talks to Carl Edwards about his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the 2015 season in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ride along with Carl Edwards as he grabs his first win of the 2015 season in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While exiting pit road, Carl Edwards takes a crew member on a ride as he was trying to grab the wrench out of the rear window.
Carl Edwards wins the Coca-Cola 600 to get his 24th career NSCS victory, ending a 31-race winless streak.