EDWARDS WINS THRILLING KOBALT TOOLS 500

Win Snaps 70-Race Winless Streak at Phoenix International Raceway

EdwardsKobalt325
Share:

Carl Edwards staged a fierce battle with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Denny Hamlin for six thrilling laps and won a fuel gamble in the closing stages to win the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon.  Edwards locked up a victory when the fuel mileage held up in his Aflac Ford and Hamlin had to pit for fuel with 14 laps to go. 

Edwards giddily dashed into a stunned but overjoyed crowd of grandstand fans as he celebrated the end of a 70-race victory drought. Edwards of course treated the faithful fans to his signature victory back flip on the front stretch.

Ryan Newman finished second and Joey Logano third when second-running Juan Pablo Montoya ran out of fuel on the last lap.

Hamlin, in position to create a considerable points lead over contenders Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, finished 12th and, despite a dominant FedEx Toyota for most of the day at PIR, saw his Chase lead trimmed to 15 points over Johnson, who finished fifth, and 46 points over Harvick, who finished sixth.   One race remains -- the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday.

All three championship contenders moved up in virtual unison in the early going, Hamlin to seventh, Johnson to 12th, and Harvick to 15th by lap 25.  All appeared on the PIR scoring pylon’s top 15 by lap 40, but it was Hamlin really on the move at that stage.  He charged to the lead over pole sitter Edwards on a lap 65 restart.

By the midway point on lap 156, Chase qualifiers made up 10 of the 12 leading positions with Hamlin in first, followed in order by Edwards, Kyle Busch, Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Kurt Busch.

Kyle Busch, driving the M&M’s Toyota, was gradually closing on his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Hamlin until the caution flag waved on lap 222. Busch’s team got him out first, but Hamlin had the lead again before the first green flag lap was complete.

On the same round of stops, Harvick seemed to effectively be removed from contention.  He had to bring his Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet to pit road on consecutive laps to tighten a loose lug nut on the left rear tire.  But, he fought back while others suffered with fuel dilemmas.

Harvick said, “We dodged a bullet [with the pit stop mistake] and it’s great we still have a chance next week.”

Montoya dealt himself all the way to fifth place by taking two tires on the next-to-last pit stop and passed Johnson, who had four prior career victories at PIR, for fourth on lap 269.  But, he had insufficient fuel at the end.

The disappointed Hamlin tried to understand the stunning disaster that puzzled his team, saying, “We’ve had the best fuel mileage of anybody, so I don’t know what happened.  I was sitting pretty; we had a car that could win.”

If Sunday afternoon was any indication of the kind of NASCAR drama produced at PIR twice every year, race fans will have a short wait for the next edition.  Phoenix International Raceway will host the 2011 season’s second race weekend next February.  For more information about the Subway Fresh 500 race weekend, visit www.phoenixraceway.com/tickets or call 866-408-RACE (7223).

Related PIR News

  • 11/13/16

    WILD FINISH GIVES LOGANO CAN-AM 500, SPOT IN NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP 4

    Joey Logano needed a good finish to advance to the championship finale of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next weekend. The semi-final race was extended by 12 laps due to two late collisions that significantly effected both the race and the championship battle. Logano got the best finish possible at Sunday's Can-Am 500, grabbing the lead on a late restart and never looking back.

  • 11/13/16

    KYLE BUSCH BECOMES FIRST DRIVER TO WIN 10 RACES IN ONE DIVISION AT PIR

    Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, another win for Kyle Busch. The driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota dominated yet again in Saturday's Ticket Galaxy 200 for his 10th win at PIR, a track record for a single series. Busch led 190 of 200 laps, the fourth-consecutive XFINITY race at Phoenix where he has led at least 175 of the 200 laps. But even though he lost the lead on the final restart to Justin Allgaier, Busch wasn't worried about the outcome.

  • 11/12/16

    DC SOLAR SIGNS ON AS TITLE SPONSOR OF SPRING NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACE AT PHOENIX RACEWAY

    Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that DC Solar has been named the title sponsor of the track’s spring NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017 and 2018. The DC Solar 200 for the upcoming NASCAR season will take place on Saturday, March 18.

  • 11/12/16

    DANIEL SUÁREZ SCORES LATE VICTORY IN LUCAS OIL 150

    Friday's Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway was setting up to be a dominant win for 18-year-old William Byron. But with 10 laps to go, both the race win and the hope of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship went up in smoke for the driver of the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra.

  • 11/11/16

    PHOENIX RACEWAY’S PARK ‘N RIDE PROGRAM OFFERS NASCAR FANS TRAVEL OPTION FOR CAN-AM 500

    Phoenix Raceway has announced the operating schedule for its Park ‘N Ride program – encouraging race fans to take advantage of the convenient shuttle service when traveling to and from the Can-Am 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Upcoming Events

  •   No Events Found

Facebook

© 2016 Phoenix International Raceway

FacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnorati

ISC Track Sites