Carl Edwards lead two-hundred and seventy-six laps to pick up his first win of the 2016 season and fourth win at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Sunday’s Food City 500. Starting from the pole, Edwards maintained good track position throughout the race, piloting his Number-19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to victory on a day that saw several drivers experience trouble at the always difficult half-mile speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebounded from falling two-laps down at the start of the race to finish second. At the drop of the green flag, Earnhardt Jr.’s stuck throttle safety system activated causing him to retreat to pit road on the first lap to reset the ECU. Kurt Busch led forty-one laps and was in
At the drop of the green flag, Earnhardt Jr.’s stuck throttle safety system activated causing him to retreat to pit road on the first lap to reset the ECU. Kurt Busch led forty-one laps and was in position to challenge Edwards on the final restart with five laps to go, but settled for third. Rookie sensation Chase Elliott and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five.
Bayne, who started in tenth, fell back to twenty-eighth but battled back to score his first top-five finish in ninety-nine races when he won the DAYTONA 500 in 2011. Edwards was able to escape tire trouble that plagued his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. Busch, who was looking for his third win in a row, finished a disappointing thirty-eighth tallying his first DNF of the season after making contact with the wall for the third time on lap 258. With the win, Edwards assures himself of a spot in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and moved into second place, one-point behind Kevin Harvick in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers Point Standings. Edwards’ victory made it four-in-a-row for Joe Gibbs Racing. The race included sixteen
The race included sixteen lead changes among seven drivers. There were fifteen cautions for one-hundred and two laps, but no incident involving more than three drivers.
Kyle Busch stormed past race leader Martin Truex Junior thirty-three laps from the finish and kept his Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in front the rest of the way to claim his second victory of the season on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch led only thirty-four laps, but that included the ones that counted most as he beat runner-up Dale Earnhardt Junior to the checkered flag by four seconds. Joey Logano finished third with Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports rookie Chase Elliott completing the top five.
Truex faded to sixth after his crew elected to bypass a final pit stop for fresh tires while other contenders – Busch included – got new rubber. Truex started third and led a race-high 141 laps in his failed bid for victory Number-1 of 2016. Carl Edwards started from the pole and was strong throughout the first half of the race, leading a total of 124 laps en route to a seventh-place finish.
With the win, Busch assures himself of a spot in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with an opportunity to defend his 2015 championship. It was the second straight weekend sweep for Busch, who won Friday night’s X-FINITY Series race on the Fort Worth oval after claiming Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series victories at Martinsville Speedway one weekend earlier. Saturday’s win lifted Busch from third to first in the Cup Series standings, now six points ahead of Johnson and seven up on Kevin Harvick.
Busch’s victory gave Toyota its first Sprint Cup win at T-M-S since he was victorious in this event in 2013 … The race included seventeen lead changes among eight drivers. There were seven cautions for forty-one laps, including a thirteen-car accident along the backstretch less than forty laps from the finish.
Next stop Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Good Sam 500, fourth race of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series and the second of three straight in the western United States. Brad Keselowski was victorious last weekend in Las Vegas and will arrive in Phoenix in search of his first Cup Series win on the one-mile oval. He has one victory there in the X-FINITY Series, in 2014.
Teams will get ninety minutes of practice Friday morning before qualifying late this afternoon. Ryan Newman holds the track record for poles with four including three straight from 2002 through 2004 … Kevin Harvick rolls into the weekend as a favorite to notch his first victory of the young season. The 2014 champion has won five of the last seven Cup Series races contested at P-I-R, including a streak of four straight that was halted by Dale Earnhardt Junior last fall. Harvick leads all drivers with seven wins in Phoenix, three more than his nearest challenger – Jimmie Johnson.Kyle
Kyle Busch has opened with a strong defense of his 2015 championship, posting three straight top-five finishes and leading the early-season standings by seven points over Harvick and Johnson – who are tied for second place.
Busch has one Cup Series win at Phoenix, in 2005. He’s won eight times in the X-FINITY Series and is entered this weekend to make his bid for a ninth victory.
Jimmie Johnson pulled away from the field on an overtime restart Sunday and was first to the white flag as a four-car accident unfolded along the backstretch – ending the race under caution and leaving Johnson with his seventy-sixth career win that ties the late Dale Earnhardt for seventh place all-time. Most of the race was caution-free with just one yellow flag in the first 323 laps. With Johnson in the lead less than two laps from completion of the scheduled distance, Ryan Newman’s spin brought out just the second caution of the day that would force overtime. Johnson pushed his Number-48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in front of Kyle Busch coming out of the final restart, and put some distance between himself and the defending series champion before the day’s final caution ended the race. Dale Earnhardt Junior finished second, giving Hendrick Motorsports a sweep of the top two spots.
Busch finished third, one position ahead of older brother Kurt – who had started from the pole. Carl Edwards completed the top five … Kevin Harvick started sixth and led a race-high 131 laps before settling for sixth place. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin finished sixteenth in his bid to become the first driver with back-to-back season-opening victories in the Sprint Cup Series since Matt Kenseth in 2009.
Chase Elliott was the highest-finishing rookie in the forty-car field, running eighth … Sunday’s race marked the debut of NASCAR’s 2016 low-downforce rules package. It produced twenty-eight lead changes, identical to last year’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Dale Earnhardt Junior’s victory in last weekend’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway clinched the 2015 Sprint Cup Series manufacturers’ title for Chevrolet – its thirteenth straight and thirty-ninth overall. Chevy drivers have rolled up fifteen wins this season – including three by Earnhardt – and built an insurmountable sixty-nine-point lead entering the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Toyota has also clinched the manufacturers’ title in the Camping World Truck Series. It’s a tight race in the X-FINITY Series with just five points separating first-place Ford from second-place Chevrolet. Toyota is third, twenty points off the pace heading into Saturday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Top 10 Finishers in the Quicken Loans 500
DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
- Jeff Gordon
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- Aric Almirola
Sunday’s victory for Dale Earnhardt Junior is his third of the season and the twenty-sixth of his career – three of which have come at Phoenix International Raceway. The first two were back-to-back in 2003 and 2004 … Among active drivers, “Junior” is now third on the track’s win list behind Kevin Harvick (seven) and Jimmie Johnson (four).
Chevrolet has won five straight Sprint Cup Series races at P-I-R and six of the last seven … Johnson started from the pole, led the first forty-four laps and finished fifth in Sunday’s race.
Thus far, all nine post-season races this year have been won by drivers who were on the original sixteen-man Chase Grid.