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article imageNASCAR: Edwards hopes ‘we dominate this thing’ after Phoenix win

By John Duarte     Mar 4, 2013 in Sports
Avondale - It was a long time in coming, but Carl Edwards was back in NASCAR Victory Lane, a place he had not visited in the last 70 races.
“It just feels good to win,” Edwards said. He addressed Denny Hamlin’s comment about Edwards being “relevant again” by saying, “I hope Denny’s right. I hope we’re relevant or more than relevant all year. I hope we dominate this thing.”
If one were to believe in such things, Edwards seemed destined to win the 20th race of his career by driving his Subway-sponsored car to a win at the Subway Fresh Fit 500, on March 3 at the Phoenix International Raceway.
“I am very, very happy to be back in the mix here,” an elated Edwards said at the post-race press conference, adding the 2012 season was a frustrating one. “(It was) one of the longest years of my life, to work that hard and not get the win. When you’re struggling, it seems like time slows down. You’re working harder, you’re trying more, you’re questioning yourself more.”
Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson finished second in the race and maintained his lead in the Sprint Cup Series. He was happy with “definitely a good performance,” but maintained his focus on the long season.
“We’ll take it one week at a time,” Johnson said. “I want to keep it alive, keep it going.”
Hamlin was third at the second race of the 2013 NASCAR season. He, too, is looking ahead.
“It looks like the first five races are all something different. Having a full day (practice) at Las Vegas will be a big benefit,” Hamlin said. “It will help. We’ll see how it goes.”
The great equalizer this season is the fact all drivers are still learning the sixth-generation racecars. Johnson said all the teams are still learning the dynamics of the Gen-6 car and how it will handle on the various types of tracks. He added the best thing NASCAR can do to continue creating better racing and continue bringing fans out to races is to allow drivers and teams learn about the car.
“I think we have a great product,” Johnson said. “It’s going to continue to get better. Speeds will go up. One thing we have all recognized over the years is the faster we go, the narrower the track gets (and) the harder it is to pass. So, with all that being said, I think we need to leave the cars alone for a good 10, 20 years. Let the teams be.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now moves on to Las Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400, on March 10.
More about Nascar, Sprint cup series, Carl edwards, Jimmie Johnson, denny hamlin
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