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article imageNASCAR: Edwards wins second-straight after battle with teammate

By John Duarte     Apr 25, 2016 in Sports
Richmond - A final-lap tap on the rear bumper of Kyle Busch was Carl Edwards' way to saying I'm coming through as he went on his way to a second-straight win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
While they may be teammates on paper, Edwards and Busch are competitors on the track with one goal in mind — to win the Sprint Cup. So, with the reigning champion leading the field on the final lap of the 2016 Toyota Owners 400, Edwards leaned on Busch as the two headed into the final corner of the race, causing Busch to wobble and Edwards to speed to the victory.
After the race, Edwards said he felt he was “so much faster” than Busch as the two raced for the checkered flag He said, “I knew I was going to run on the bottom,” but Busch knew that too and dipped to the inside lane of the track barely ahead of Edwards.
“I had to try something,” he said of the bump he gave his teammate. “I wish it was anybody but my teammate that we had to race like that.”
Edwards added that, while “it's fun to race your teammate for the win,” the important thing is the prize at the end of the season. “Big picture to me, we both get wins and we;re both in the Chase (for the Sprint Cup).”
Busch, who was looking for his third win in four races, said he enjoyed having “the opportunity to run and race for the win like that.” The fact that Edwards snatched his third win of the season away is only postponing what is to come the rest of the way.
“My guys give me great race cars each and every week,” he said. “We continue to have fast Camrys. We'll be continuing to run up front and race for wins.”
It's been a fantastic run in 2016 for Joe Gibbs Racing. The season began with Denny Hamlin winning the Daytona 500 and they've won the last four races — two by Busch and two by Edwards. Gibbs keeps it all in perspective, especially when things happen like they did at the end of the Toyota Owners 400..
“My fear is always at the end when you got cars as good as we have, and drivers as good as we have, that you will wind up with two of your teammates battling there. I wish it wouldn't happen,” the team owner said. “You wish it wouldn't happen. At the same time, I think you know it can happen. It's one of those things that we're going to work our way through.”
Edwards admits it's a tough situation when teammates end up battling for position and standing at any point in the race, and especially at the end when a win is on the line. He is quick to add that the drivers on the Joe Gibbs Racing roster all get along.
“What Kyle was able to do, particularly last year, I think raised everyone's game. So, I'm very grateful to have my teammates and to be part of it.” said Edwards. “Yeah. We're going to have times like this when you're running like this. We're racing each other for wins, which is really really good.”
As to the end to this week's race, Edwards said it will sort itself out.
“We haven't talked. We'll talk about it. That's it,” he said. “I can say this. My teammates have been spectacular. They truly have been.”
Jimmie Johnson finished third in the race, giving him his fifth Top 5 finish in the nine Cup races to this point. He has won two of those times.
The back-to-back wins moved Edwards into the top spot on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers standings, dropping Kevin Harvick to second place. Johnson continues to sit in third place, with Kyle Busch slips into fourth.
Next on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule makes its first of two yearly visits to Talladega Superspeedway, where drivers are always aware of and prepared for the [i]The Big One[/i] to happen — and, with speeds often topping 320 kilometres per hour (200 mph), a wreck taking out a large portion of the field usually does. The Geico 500 will be held on May 1, 2016.
More about Nascar, Sprint cup series, Richmond International Raceway, Carl edwards, kyle busch
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