Carl Edwards Wins Bojangles' Southern 500

Carl Edwards
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Carl Edwards came from two laps down at one point Sunday night to win the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Edwards got off pit road first on the night’s final caution – a record 18th – and was able to outrun Brad Keselowski to the checkered flag for his first career Darlington win.

It was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s second win of the season. He became the first driver since Jeff Burton in 1999 to sweep both the Coca-Cola 600 and the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

The race featured a lower downforce aerodynamic package and Edwards was a big fan.

"This is the style of racing that I love,” he said. “If there's any chance we can do it in the Chase, I hope, I hope we can do it.”

Edwards led three times for 15 laps including the final 11.

Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson completed the first 10 finishers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Richmond International Raceway to end the regular season next Saturday night for the Federated Auto Parts 400.

How Edwards Won: After falling two laps down early in the race, Edwards battled back and through hard racing as well as a "Lucky Dog" got back on the lead lap. In the final 50 laps he was able to work his way to the lead pack and battled Keselowski and Harvick for the top spot. But when caution flew for Jeb Burton’s spin with less than ten laps to go, Edwards’ crew turned in a lightning fast stop to get him the lead off pit road, which he was able to maintain to the checkered flag.

Who Had a Good Day: Keselowski and his Team Penske running mate Logano turned in strong performances as the duo gets ready to head into the Chase with a pair of top-five finishes…Harvick has finished in the top five in the last three Darlington races…Hamlin scored his ninth top-five finish of the season.

Who Had a Bad Day: Chase Elliott’s final Sprint Cup Series start of the year before he goes full-time in 2016 ended in disappointment when he got caught in an accident with Cole Whitt early in Sunday night’s race. However, he made a valiant effort to rebound only to have more problems later and a trip into the wal...Danica Patrick slammed the wall hard just past the halfway mark severely damaging her Chevrolet…Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s tough season continued at Darlington when he made hard contact with the inside front stretch wall after spinning around off the fourth turn…David Ragan’s hopes of making the Chase took a hit literally when he spun into the inside wall near the 400 mile mark. To add insult to injury Ragan came back on track and crashed again.

What Else Happened: Once the retro theme pre-race celebration wound down the race settled into the grueling marathon that is the Bojangles' Southern 500. The record 18 caution, several for single car spins as drivers battled handling issues from the lower downforce package, slowed down the proceedings and made it the longest race time-wise of the season. But there were also several spirited battles for position particularly after restarts and side-by-side duels.

Quote of the Day: “This race belongs here on Labor Day weekend,” Hall of Famer Bobby Allison.

Notables: Larson has finished in the top 10 in two career starts at Darlington…Aric Almirola’s 11th-place finish moved him 29 points out of the final Chase transfer spot with one race remaining…Elliott’s final Sprint Cup start of the year ended in 41st place.

 

Article By Pete Pistone | www.mrn.com

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