Edwards vs. Busch: Who had the last laugh at Bristol?
The Sprint Cup Series headed to Bristol, Tennessee, to compete in the Sharpie 500. With just three races left in the chase, Bristol is definitely the wild card because anything can happen at Thunder Valley.
Carl Edwards started from the pole position with David Reutimann starting along side in second. Edwards would hold the lead for the first 47 laps of the race before Jeff Gordon took a turn at the front of the field. Gordon would only lead one lap before Edwards regained the lead.
Edwards would soon lose the lead to Kyle Busch on lap 55 after having problems passing the lap car of Juan Pablo Montoya.
Busch continued to lead as the first caution flag of the race came out on lap 97 for a crash involving Martin Truex Jr. and A.J. Allmendinger. Truex ended up blowing a right front tire, which sent him right into the side of Allmendinger.
The leaders would all come down pit road for service with Busch holding the lead. Before the first caution flag waved, some drivers including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Sterling Marlin, all had problems.
Johnson and Marlin were involved in an incident on lap 26 when Marlin turned Johnson into the outside wall. Earnhardt Jr. had some bad luck after being blacked flagged for passing before the start of the race.
This put Earnhardt a lap behind the field right off the bat ultimately ruining his night.
Busch would restart the race as the leader and continued to lead before the second caution waved for a crash involving Jeff Burton, Joe Nemechek, and Sterling Marlin, around lap 200. All the leaders would come to pit road again with Busch holding serve after the stops.
Shortly after the race was restarted, the caution flag waved again on lap 216 for a multi-car crash involving Casey Mears, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Sam Hornish, Reed Sorenson, Bill Elliott, and David Reutimann.
The incident was caused when Mears moved up the track in front of Waltrip. Mears was told by his spotter that he was clear high and so he moved up the track. Mears was very apologetic in his interview and said that the accident should have never happened.
After the race restarted, many cautions came out for debris on the track and after every pit stop under caution, Kyle Busch would come out as the leader. The race became very interesting after the last caution flag waved on lap 462 for debris. All the leaders came down pit road with Busch, once again, winning the race off pit lane.
After the race restarted, Busch had a lot of pressure from behind by Edwards. On lap 469, Edwards tapped Busch, which sent him up the track allowing Edwards to make the pass for the lead. This would prove to be the winning move, as Edwards would lead all the remaining laps in rout to his sixth victory of the season.
After the race had ended, Busch showed his displeasure with Edwards by hitting him in the driver’s side a few times. Edwards did not take any of it and turned Busch around after the incident.
After the race Edwards said that he had to move Busch out of the way in order to win the race because he was not as good as Busch was. Edwards also said that he would race Busch the way that Busch races him.
I agree with Edwards on this one because you are supposed to expect those types of things at Bristol toward the end of the race. Plus, Busch did get back to Edwards and hit him in the back but could not take advantage in regaining the lead. Busch has moved guys out of the way in the past so what comes around goes around.
The top ten drivers were Edwards, Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, and David Ragan. Some notable finishes included Greg Biffle in 11th, Jamie McMurray in 12th, Kurt Busch in 15th, Earnhardt Jr. in 18th, Johnson in 33rd, Kahne in 40th, and Burton in 42nd position.
The top twelve in points are Busch, Edwards, Earnhardt, Johnson, Burton, Stewart, Biffle, Harvick, Gordon, Kenseth, Hamlin, and Bowyer. David Ragan sits just 12 points behind Bowyer for 12th position and Kahne is 56 points behind in 14th position.
Bristol is now in the history books and we can all look forward to a great weekend of racing action in California.
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