RELATED: Full practice results Rain interrupted Friday's opening Sprint Cup Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway , and Carl Edwards was awarded the top spot after his No. 19 Toyota topped the charts early in the session. The caution was waved twice for weather around 1 p.m. ET, and NASCAR ultimately called practice at 1:30 p.m. ET after an attempt to dry the track late in the session. The practice was originally scheduled to run from noon-1:25 p.m. ET. Edwards -- who was eliminated from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last week at Phoenix International Raceway after rain ended the race prematurely -- wheeled his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 175.143 mph for the top position. Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski was next on the charts, posting a fast lap of 174.452 mph in his No. 2 Ford. Martin Truex Jr . was the fastest of the four Chase contenders, his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet propelling around the 1.5-mile track at 174.374 mph to nab the third spot. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr . (173.689 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (173.678 mph) rounded out the top five, respectively. Keselowski was also fastest in the 10 consecutive lap average speed at 169.664 mph. Kyle Larson was second, followed by Paul Menard , Jamie McMurray and Austin Dillon . Of the four Chase Contenders, Jeff Gordon came up slowest, his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet ranking 30th on the leaderboard with a top speed of 170.127 mph. Chase drivers Kevin Harvick (173.550 mph) and Kyle Busch (172.177 mph) posted the seventh and 16th-fastest speeds, respectively. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 6:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole qualifying (NBCSN/Live Extra).
RELATED: Kenseth's suspension upheld on final appeal FORT WORTH, Texas -- With so much conversation surrounding the Matt Kenseth / Joey Logano debacle this week, one term that continues to be thrown around is "driver code." Certainly a subjective concept, driver code is interpreted differently from driver to driver, a gray area not unlike baseball's "unwritten rules." The complexity hasn't cleared up much for Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Carl Edwards . "Not really, no. I don't know what it all means," Edwards said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway , site of Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM) "… There's so many factors in this situation with so many different things happening, it's really difficult to line it all up and say, 'Okay, this is why this happened and this is how to proceed going forward.' It seems pretty complex. I'm just going to focus on my deal and we'll move on." RELATED: Hamlin says Kenseth upheld 'driver code' While driver code may still not be the clearest of pictures for Edwards -- or any one else on the track or around it, for that matter -- he did get his first lesson in it about a decade ago from a potential future NASCAR Hall of Famer. His hero -- Mark Martin . " Mark Martin , very early on … we were racing at Bristol in 2004 maybe or 2005, and Mark is a mentor of mine, he is one of my heroes and helped me a ton in my career and during that race he ran into the back of my car -- it was all I could do to not wreck," Edwards recalled. "At the time, I wondered what happened and didn't know what was going on. On Monday, I called him, 'Hey Mark.' He said, 'Hey Carl .' I said, 'Remember that race when you ran into the back of me and I didn't know if there was something that I needed to know there?' He said, 'No, for the last few races you've been racing me hard and I thought you were taking a little more and I just figured if that's how you want to race, that's how you want to race.' I was like, 'Whoa, no I don't want to race like that.' He said, 'Okay, fine then don't and we won't.' 'Okay, cool.' He said, 'See you next week.' That was it." Perhaps the conversation was only so cordial because, you know, they were teammates at Roush Fenway Racing at the time, but it was a significant lesson that Edwards holds true and lives by to this day, as a contender for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "Car racing … everybody drives their car and you just have to do what you think is the best and what is the right thing to do at the time and all of us have done all sorts of things. Some of them were right, some of them definitely weren't right," said Edwards . "You just have to go out there and race everybody the way you want to be raced. In some ways you have to demand the same in return."
Carl Edwards went from interviewee to interviewer during FS1's "Race Day" pre-race show, turning the tables on a photobombing Tony Stewart . 'Smoke' approached Edwards in his golf cart during a live shot, startling the Joe Gibbs Racing driver … before granting him an interview. Looks like another classic Stewart move. Classic @TonyStewart ! Smoke #VideoBombs #CarlEdwards during his live interview with #NASCAR #RaceDay . https://t.co/QebiKKspMh — AtTheBuzzer (@TheBuzzerOnFOX) November 15, 2015
RELATED: Race results " Updated standings " Bubble watch AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A green-flag pit stop and subsequent caution nearly undid a season's worth of work for Martin Truex Jr . and his Furniture Row Racing team here Sunday evening. But when the skies opened up again and brought an end to the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway , Truex found himself officially locked in, one of four drivers that will compete for NASCAR's Sprint Cup championship next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "I feel like we've overcome a lot of obstacles, a lot of odds," Truex said of the Cole Pearn-led No. 78 team. "Just proud to be a part of this group and looking forward to having the opportunity to do something we've dreamed about our whole lives next weekend." He'll be joined by Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in next weekend's title determining race. Truex, 35, entered Sunday's race fourth in the points standings and six points ahead of Carl Edwards ( Joe Gibbs Racing ). Once the race, which was initially delayed for seven hours due to rain, got underway, the two drivers were never separated on the track by more than a couple of cars. Shortly after the race had passed the halfway mark, Edwards had managed to trim the deficit to three points. Green-flag pit stops began and both drivers had come to pit road when the second caution flag of the race appeared for a crash involving Joey Gase and Ricky Stenhouse Jr . What initially looked to be a devastating turn of events wound up being only a minor setback for Truex and the No. 78 team. Both drivers were among those caught a lap down, but Edwards , the first driver not on the lead lap, was the beneficiary of the free pass, putting him back on the lead lap. Truex, however, was one of the "wave-around" cars and because he had already completed his pit stop, rolled back into line in 14th, just two spots behind the JGR entry. Subsequent attempts at a restart were delayed by rain, and when the skies eventually opened up, officials declared the race over. Officially, 219 of the 312 scheduled laps were completed. With no restart, no positions changed hands and Truex was officially scored in 14th, edging Edwards (12th) to secure the final Chase spot by five points. "I was real concerned until I looked at the scoreboard, and then I was like 'OK, we're going to be fine. We're going to be back on the lead lap if we get going here,' " Truex said of the fallout front the caution flag. "Really the only guy we were racing was one car ahead of us. We felt OK about it, but you never know who could have (gone) up there and snuck out a win. "It was just one of those deals where I couldn't believe we got caught by the caution after running almost 200 laps almost green the whole race. We pitted a lap before the caution came out and that's a tough deal. That's happened to us … I can't believe how many times it's happened to us this this year. It's got to be 15 or plus times. We pit, the caution comes out and you're stuck a lap down. "It's really frustrating because we were having a solid night up to that point, certainly not as good as we'd hoped, but solid. It's always frustrating when those things happen." Edwards was hopeful that officials would get the track dry and allow the race to continue. "We want to race for sure," he said. "I don't care if we do this thing with row boats or on foot or whatever we got to do. I want to go race." Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas. Truex, moves on, still in contention. For Edwards and the No. 19 team, ousted after coming so close, there was the understandable disappointment. Disappointment, crew chief Darian Grubb said, because of "how hard they've worked all year to come down to something as simple as a rain out." His team was a first-year outfit added to the JGR stable for 2015 with Edwards coming on board. The group won twice, at Charlotte and Darlington. "We feel like we could have raced our way back in there and have a shot at it," Grubb said. "We were still five points out, just like we were five points (out) coming in. We knew that was going to be a tough situation, but it ended up that bit us and I hate it for these guys."
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings Trouble hit two Chase contenders at Martinsville Speedway with Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards getting involved in a Lap 171 wreck that brought out the eighth (out of 18) yellow flag of the day. Busch's No. 18 got into the No. 3 of Austin Dillon , initiating the multi-car wreck. "Rowdy" thought this was due to water on the track and had some choice words about the incident on his scanner: "Just want to say thanks to NASCAR for the water on the apron there. Appreciate it." Edwards was involved as he got into the back of AJ Allmendinger 's No. 47 after Allmendinger braked as Busch and Dillon wrecked in front of him. Busch, who was racing up front early in the race, was 26th while Edwards was in 29th after the incident. The pair are the only two JGR drivers remaining in the Chase after Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin failed to qualify to the Eliminator Round. With a strong comeback, and multiple cautions later, Busch ended up with a fifth-place finish and is second on the Chase bubble, only behind Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 winner Jeff Gordon . Edwards wasn't so lucky and ended up 14th and fifth in the standings out of the contenders, one spot below the cutoff. He is right behind Kevin Harvick and ahead of Brad Keselowski , Kurt Busch and Joey Logano .
KANSAS CITY, Kan -- The restart zone at Kansas Speedway is demarcated by yellow paint on the walls with two red stripes at the leading end and one red stripe at the end. It's still a hot zone for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers as they prepare for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 some (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). Jamie McMurray , who was bumped from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the Challenger Round, said he thought the expanded restart zone worked out well at Charlotte. "The one thing that I like that Charlotte did is they painted it across the race track," McMurray said. "So, when you were a guy further back in the pack, you could tell when the leaders were there so you have a pretty good idea of when they were going to go. Some of the tracks, Indy is probably the worst track because of how long the straightaway is and the fact that you're literally just going straight. You can't tell where the restart zone is." The restart zone at Kansas this weekend is 180 feet. It had been only 70 feet at Dover in the past, but was increased to 140 feet for the Oct. 4 race there as the rule evolved. The sanctioning body lengthened the restart zone for the 2015 season's remaining races post-Dover, generally taking pit road speed (in Kansas' case, 45 mph) times four. Carl Edwards added that restarts and track position will be crucial in Sunday's race. And Kansas is crucial in the Contender Round as tumultuous Talladega looms as the last race in this leg of the Chase. The top eight drivers move on to the Eliminator Round after next week's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega. RELATED: Is Kansas as much of a wildcard than Talladgea? "This race can be really tough because the restarts are going to be insanity," said Edwards , who enters Sunday's race at sixth place in the standings, nine points behind Charlotte winner Joey Logano . Fellow Chase driver Ryan Newman isn't as concerned about the restart zone itself. Newman sits on the Chase bubble in ninth place after Charlotte. "I don't really worry about it," Newman said after Saturday's second Sprint Cup Series practice session. "I don't usually see them." It is the leaders under the most scrutiny on restarts as Brad Keselowski found out at New Hampshire when he was black flagged for jumping the restart while Greg Biffle was leading. WATCH: Keselowski black flagged after restart at New Hampshire But some of the impetus for any rule changes on restarts was concerns about cars bunching up mid-pack as the leader waits, gaming the restart for any possible advantage. McMurray says that’s why it's a key concern when drivers can’t see the restart zone. "You're kind of basing on your spotter; and when you spotter says 'Go,' that's not when you go because it's delayed depending on where you are in the pack," McMurray said. "But, I think some of what you saw last week was because it was expanded a little bit and guys were just anticipating that. But I thought it worked out really well."
When the schedule rolls around to drivers' home tracks, they're often asked what they'd give up for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in front of their home fans. Other than offering their children -- as Kansas native Clint Bowyer noted Friday at Kansas Speedway -- it turns out drivers will give up pretty much anything to land in Victory Lane at the track they call home. Even their airplanes. "I can't think of a possession that I wouldn't trade and I have a really nice airplane," Joe Gibbs Racing driver and nearby Missouri native Carl Edwards said Friday. "For a win here right now, I can't think of anything I wouldn't trade. What we do and everybody at the shop does and everybody at JGR, what we do is go try to win these championships and we give everything we've got. "If it were that easy, for me personally there is no amount of money that a win right now and especially here would be worth or wouldn't be worth." In the past, Edwards has said that a Kansas win would mean more to him than even a Daytona 500 win. He's come close a handful of times, with six top-five finishes in 16 races, but that victory continues to elude him. But if he gets it in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2:15 p.m. ET, NBC/Live Extra)? Well, that'd be pretty … wait for it … fly.
RELATED: Race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Edwards gear DARLINGTON, S.C.-- On a night when throwback paint schemes recalled NASCAR's past in vivid color, and a low-downforce aerodynamic package suggested the future direction of the sport, Carl Edwards overcame early misfortune to win an exhilarating race at "The Lady in Black." Grabbing the lead thanks to a blisteringly fast pit stop under the track-record 18th caution of Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway , Edwards pulled away after a restart with eight laps left and beat polesitter Brad Keselowski to the finish line by .902 seconds to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the venerable 1.366-mile speedway. An outspoken proponent of the low-downforce configuration, Edwards was thrilled with the quality of the racing and elated with his second victory of the season and the 25th of his career. "I don't think I can get in trouble for how much I liked it, but I loved it -- this is as good as it gets," Edwards said. "This is what it's about. We're sliding cars, tires are falling off -- this is the style of racing -- if there's any chance we can run this in the Chase, I hope we can do it. It was an awesome day." For the record, NASCAR will run its standard 2015 competition package throughout the Chase, but the low-downforce configuration got rave reviews from a wide array of competitors. "I loved it," Keselowski said. "It separates the race car drivers from the pretends, and that's the way it should be." Edwards' victory didn't come without significant adversity. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota lost two laps after staying out on old tires when the rest of the lead-lap cars came to pit road under caution on Lap 62. That decision forced Edwards to pit early on Lap 89, and a subsequent caution for Michael Annett 's crash in Turn 2 trapped him two laps down. Edwards spent the next 200 laps working his way back to the front. Edwards was locked in an intense three-way battle for the lead when caution for Jeb Burton 's spin in Turn 2 on Lap 355 of 367 took fuel mileage out of the equation and set up the final round of pit stops. WATCH: Final laps of Edwards' dramatic win at Darlington Edwards edged Keselowski for the top spot leaving pit road and parlayed that advantage into a hard-earned victory. Denny Hamlin came home third, followed by Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick . It was a late duel with Keselowski and Harvick during a 43-lap green-flag run preceding the final caution that made an indelible impression on the Missouri driver. "A win like this is really special, especially leading into the Chase," Edwards said. "This is what we needed. We just needed a shot in the arm and needed to have a good night like this. All over, it's cool. "I hope I never forget those last 25 laps. That was really fun, and the restart was fun, but truly racing with Brad and Kevin was a blast. I really had a good time." In what was a banner night for Joe Gibbs Racing , Kyle Busch completed his journey back from an 11-race injury absence with a seventh-place finish that locked Busch into the top 30 in the series standings and clinched a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the four-time winner. MORE: Busch Chase Watch "Making the Chase was something we weren't all sure was possible after my injuries," said Busch, who broke his right leg and left foot in a wreck during the Feb. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona. "It's a great opportunity to be with these guys on this M&M'S Crispy team. They're working really hard at Joe Gibbs Racing -- we've got a lot of speed, and I think all four cars have a really good shot at this championship. "I had my hands full tonight. I think I just got a little behind on what our adjustments needed to be for the race, but our whole team just really turned this thing around, and it turned out to be a solid finish for us."
RELATED: First practice results " Complete weekend schedule Making a late run in Friday's opening practice session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , Carl Edwards soared to the top the leaderboard, his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota turning a fast lap of 136.894 mph. Jimmie Johnson paced the field the majority of the session, taking the lead in the first 30 minutes of the session. As drivers began to make mock qualifying runs, Johnson's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet tumbled down the charts, until a late run put him back in the second spot (136.311 mph). Brad Keselowski 's No. 2 Team Penske Ford briefly led the field, ultimately settling into the third spot on the leaderboard by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour session with a fastest lap of 136.155 mph. Kyle Larson 's impressive 136.058-mph lap late in the session sent the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet to the fourth spot on the speed charts. Kurt Busch rounded out the top group, wheeling the fifth-fastest speed (136.019 mph) in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick 's fast lap of 135.434 mph put him 11th on the leaderboard in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 4:45 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (NBCSN).