Carl Edwards took the checkered flag at Phoenix International Raceway just one week after being involved in five accidents at Daytona. Edwards finished 33rd in the Daytona 500, which included one of his five wrecks for the week. Not only does the win erase Edwards bad start in Florida, but also snaps a 70 race winless streak. Edwards last win came March 6, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, almost two years ago.
A sight Nascar fans haven’t seen in a long time, Carl Edwards stopped at the line and did his classic back-flip off the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion. Edwards then went on to grab the checkered flag and proceeded through a gate and right into the stands. Edwards greeted and gave high-fives to fans for a few moments before returning to his car.
“This is just awesome, one of the coolest wins of my life,” Edwards said about the win at Phoenix.
Carl Edwards led the final 78 laps of the race, taking the lead during final pit stops for the drivers still in contention. Jimmie Johnson edged out Denny Hamlin for second after Hamlin dived extremely low on the track to pick up a few spots on the last lap. The two cars connected off the last turn and Johnson picked up momentum off the high side, taking Hamlin by a nose.
Brad Keselowski finished fourth, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer. Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-10.
Danica Patrick had a rough day which ended when her right front tire blew, sending her into the wall with about 100 laps to go. Patrick was cleared from the Medical Center shortly after the wreck.
Mark Martin had the pole after recording some of the fastest laps in practice all week, but couldn’t maintain the lead after 49 laps. Martin fell back in the pack before leading another 26 laps. At 54 years old, Mark Martin became the second oldest person of all-time to start from the pole in a Sprint Cup race.
Jimmie Johnson will continue to hold the top spot in the standings with his first and second finishes in the first two races of the season. It was great to see the Carl Edward’s back-flip once again, and the win could give him some momentum going into next week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.