NASCAR: 'Gift' gives Edwards first win of 2015 season

Posted May 25, 2015 by John Duarte
Carl Edwards struggled for most of the Coca-Cola 600, but emerged when it counted and went on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on May 24, 2015.
Carl Edwards celebrates after winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season  the Coc...
Carl Edwards celebrates after winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600, at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015.
300161 Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Edwards was almost as surprised as anyone that he had won as he addressed media after the race. He credited crew chief Darian Grubb for the race strategy.
“We were the slowest of the (Joe Gibbs Racing) tonight, but we had Darian on the box. He made the right call . He put us in a position to win. And, it worked,” Edwards said. “It's so cool to get this win — we've had such bad luck.
Edwards was one of several drivers who made pit stops for fuel with 62 laps remaining in the race. The strategy pain off and Edwards was able to steal the win from Martin Truex Jr., who had the dominant car all evening.
“This is truly a gift,” he said. “I took advantage of it to win, and we'll get better.”
Truex, who led 131 of the 400 laps, was left searching for answers as to what happened in the race.
“I didn't know what was going on,” he said. “We had a great car. Had a chance at it and it stinks to come up short like that on fuel mileage. I've never once in my whole career gained positions on a fuel mileage deal. Just can't catch a break here.”
Truex Jr. finished the Coca-Cola 600 in fifth place.
Runner up Greg Biffle said he thought he could overtake Edwards late in the race, even while his crew chief was telling him to conserve fuel. Biffle soon realized he was coming up short on gas.
“I made a decision that I was going to try and beat Carl. I got pretty close to him,” Biffle said. “Then, with two to go, the fuel light came on that the fuel pressure was low... had to start pushing the clutch in and shutting it off and coasting and try and preserve what fuel I had.”
Biffle said he was lucky to stay ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the race came to a close.
“(I was) So excited to see the checkered flag,” he said. “Stayed in front of the 88 (Earnhardt's car], finished second, big boost for the team, but probably a bigger boost for the team was how we ran tonight on the track.”
Despite finishing 11th, the race was a good one for Kyle Busch, who raced in his first Sprint Cup Series event this season. Busch suffered leg and foot injuries in an Xfinity race prior to the opening of the Sprint Cup Series season, keeping him out of the first 11 races on the schedule. Busch said that, other than being a bit sore, he was happy with the day.
“I was expecting to be a little bit more beat up and tired, but honestly, I'm not,” he said. “I am surprised I feel as good as I do.”
Kevin Harvick holds on to the top spot in the Sprint Cup Series drivers standings. The reigning series champion has a 41-point lead over Truex Jr. Joey Logano moves into third place, 66 points behind the leader.
The Monster Mile is the next stop on the NASCAR schedule. The FedEx 400 Benefiting Austism Speaks closes out the month with the race at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015.