Carl Edwards Wins the Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, Stewart Mad About 2nd

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IMarch 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 06:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Scotts/Kellogg's Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

On the final round of pit stops under green, Carl Edwards chose to take two tires which turned out to be the call of the race as he went on to win.

"The key to winning today is my team," Edwards said. "This Ford team is unbelievable. Everybody at Roush Fenway is great. It's unreal. When you're a kid, you think it'd be great to fly a bunch of woman and drive a racecar and I did. I flew my mother, my wife and my little girl out here and here we are."

Tony Stewart looked to have the win in the bag, though a pit road penalty for leaving with equipment on lap 150 set him back. Stewart then took two tires on the next round of stops to get him back out front. However, that forced him to take four tires on the last round of stops while Edwards took only two. As a result, Stewart finished second.

"Yeah, we just gave one away today," Stewart said. "I just don't what to say—we just gave one away. The Mobil Chevy was the best thing on the West Coast today. Second sucks."

Juan Pablo Montoya finished a solid third, after having a history bad luck at Las Vegas the last couple of years.

"It was a good day," Montoya said. "We were a little bit off the pace. I thought we were closer. To get a top five at Vegas after what has happened the last few years here is amazing. This is amazing. We changed some guys on the pit crew and they did an amazing job."

Marcos Ambrose got his first top five for Richard Petty Motorsports as he finished fourth after running up front consistently all day.

‎"Well, I think I can keep my jobs for a couple more weeks," Ambrose siad. "Was real tight all day—first top five for RPM. Just got to thank Richard Petty for believing in me and giving me a shot. Todd Parrot is awesome on the pit box. Pit crew was good with pit stops."

Ryan Newman rounded out the top five. He was followed by Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Brian Vickers.

Hometown hero Kurt Busch was hoping to get a win, though found himself spinning around on lap 102 and fighting back the rest of the race.

"Yeah, we gave it all we had and the crew chief made a real good call to get us upfront there," Busch said. "I wanted to get up there a little more than I should to lead for the hometown crowd, but you can't do it. You got to race these races smart. We got in there and had Montoya on the outside and just spun around."

The finish has Kurt Busch tied for the points lead with Tony Stewart.

His brother Kyle Busch had a rougher day as he had a flat tire on lap 95 and then blew up on lap 108.

"Its really unfortunate," Busch said. "We had a really good racecar. Unfortunately, you get within a five car length cushion and can't close anymore. The car was running awesome before that and we had that tire go down and go us behind. Lucky for us we got the lucky dog and we were going to work our way through traffic and kablewy, it just broke."

The marks the third engine problem for Joe Gibbs Racing in two weeks as Joey Logano blew up last week while Denny Hamlin changed engines before the race.

Busch wasn't the only one with a motor issue as Regan Smith blew his motor on lap 86.

Motors weren't the only issue during the race as a lot of drivers suffered flat right front tires. Last week's winner Jeff Gordon was one of those as he blew a right front with 74 laps to go.

"There was no sign whatsoever," Gordon said. "We needed to free the car up and nothing we seemed to be doing was helping it. The day started off pretty good, way better than I thought we were going to be considering practice. Those last few runs we started to lose the handle and fall back and when I went in there, no warning. I was just glad that I had a safer barrier to hit."

David Gilliland blew his right front on lap 150.

"Its tough," Gilliland said. "We were running good today. We had a good car. We learned a lot of stuff with the mile and a half stuff. We're still going to take a positive out of this and head to Bristol as we ran good there."

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway in two weeks.

1. Carl Edwards
2. Tony Stewart
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Marcos Ambrose
5. Ryan Newman
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. Kurt Busch
10. Brian Vickers
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Paul Menard
13. David Reuitmann
14. Kasey Kahne
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Jimmie Johnson
17. Kevin Harvick
18. Mark Martin
19. A.J. Allmendinger
20. Trevor Bayne
21. Jeff Burton
22. David Ragan
23. Joey Logano
24. Bobby Labonte
25. Casey Mears
26. Brad Keselowski
27. Jamie McMurray
28. Greg Biffle
29. Mike Skinner
30. Bill Elliott
31. Robby Gordon
32. Andy Lally
33. Travis Kravil
34. Dave Blaney
35. Tony Raines
36. Jeff Gordon
37. David Gilliland
38. Kyle Busch
39. Regan Smith
40. J.J. Yeley
41. Michael McDowell
42. Joe Nemechek
43. Landon Cassill


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