Mar 3, 2013, 6:54 PM EST
Carl Edwards survived a green-white-checkered finish to win the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway for his first Sprint Cup victory in nearly two years.
“I can’t say enough about everybody believing in me,” Edwards told FOX Sports in Victory Lane. “I’m telling you, we’re back…Whatever it is you’re doing out there, don’t lose hope. Just keep digging and things can work out — I’m proof. This is just awesome, one of the coolest wins of my life.”
A tense fuel mileage situation in the final stages for Edwards and the leaders got even tougher when Ken Schrader hit the wall in Turn 4 to bring out the caution flag with three laps to go. That sent the second race of the Sprint Cup season into overtime, with Edwards leading Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin at the restart.
But Edwards managed to pull away from Johnson, who was forced to defend second place from Keselowski and Hamlin. In an attempt to grab P2 at the finish, Hamlin shot through the backstretch apron but narrowly lost out to Johnson at the stripe, with Keselowski settling for fourth place as his fuel ran out. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five.
Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix
Top 10 Finishers
1. Carl Edwards, Ford
2. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
3. Denny Hamlin, Toyota
4. Brad Keselowski, Ford
5. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Chevrolet
6. Clint Bowyer, Toyota
7. Matt Kenseth, Toyota
8. Tony Stewart, Chevrolet
9. Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
10. Jeff Burton, Chevrolet
NASCAR Sprint Cup Points
Top 10 (Through 2 Races)
1. Jimmie Johnson, 90 points
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., -8
3. Brad Keselowski, -8
4. Denny Hamlin, -18
5. Clint Boywer, -18
6. Greg Biffle, -24
7. Mark Martin, -25
8. Jeff Gordon, -30
9. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., -30
10. Aric Almirola, -30
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