Fans who stayed around for nearly nine hours witnessed a wild and unpredictable Bristol race that should finally put to rest the argument that the “old” Bristol configuration made for better racing than the current one.
Race winner Carl Edwards gave the credit for the victory to veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig who made a gutsy call for Edwards to stay out with 45 laps to go when most of the rest of the front-runners came in for tires.
“We only had 17 laps on the tires, so it wasn’t too difficult a call,” said Fennig in the post-race presser. “Once the track got rubbered in, tires weren’t a problem.”
A caution with three laps to go, caused by a malfunction with the lights around the race track, slowed the field just minutes before another of the numerous rain showers, that plagued the race track all day, forced the field to remain under caution as the checkered flag fell.
Aside from the weather, tires ended up being a serious issue for many. No less than eight different drivers had their day changed by having a cut tire that either sent them into the wall or spinning into oncoming traffic.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished a career-high second, and Aric Almirola was third. Fords were 1-2-3 and four of the top five (Marcos Ambrose—fifth).
Tony Stewart rounded out the top five with his best finish so far this season, also putting to rest any questions about his leg injury.