Edwards picks up pace in Chase
Carl Edwards battled through seven late cautions on Sunday to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway.
On a day where several Chase for the Championship contenders struggled, Edwards drove a Ford Fusion to his third win of the season and seventh of his career to move up to third in the standings, three points behind leader Jeff Gordon.
“We just have to keep running like we’ve been running,” said Edwards, who leads the NASCAR Busch series standings by a whopping 754 points.
“This is a big win for us and great points day. A lot of guys (in the Chase) had bad days.”
Gordon was 11th in a Chevrolet Impala and took the lead atop the standings from teammate Jimmie Johnson who finished 14th.
“It was a crazy day at Dover and somehow we came out of it with the points lead,” Gordon said.
Tony Stewart ran ninth in a Chevrolet and moved into second place, just two points behind Gordon.
Edwards’ Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle was second, followed by the Chevrolets of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin and Kyle Busch.
Busch remained fifth in the standings, just 10 points behind Gordon.
Clint Bowyer, who won last week’s first Chase race at New Hampshire, started 42nd after a poor qualifying effort but rallied to finish 12th. He sits sixth in the standings, 18 points out of the lead.
The rest of the Chase contenders were not as fortunate.
A multi-car pileup with 14 laps left knocked out Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch.
Truex wound up 13th after earning his first career Nextel Cup win here in June. He’s seventh in standings. “It was a top-five day for us until late,” Truex said.
Carl Edwards rockets to third overall in NASCAR Chase points.