Carl Edwards had Ford Racing fans celebrating for the second weekend in a row after winning one the sport’s most popular races – the Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Bristol, Tenn. It was his sixth victory of the season and the 13th of his career, and it came in front of more than 160,000 packed into the Bristol stadium.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fusion, won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Bristol, Tenn., and remains second in the standings, 212 points behind Kyle Busch. Edwards also captured the pole during qualifying. Greg Biffle was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Bristol, Tenn., finishing third in the No. 16 Fusion. Biffle moved up two spots in the standings to 20th after running in only 13 of 26 races. Rick Crawford was the top Ford driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Bristol, Tenn., finishing fifth in the No. 14 F-150. Crawford moved up one spot to sixth in the standings. Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins were the top Ford drivers in the Grand-Am Rolex Series race in Sonoma, Calif., finishing third in the No. 61
Edwards started the race from the pole position and led for the first 54 laps. He eventually would gain back the lead with 31 laps remaining, bumping Kyle Busch, and he never looked back on the way to his second straight victory in the Bristol night race.
“I’m just really proud of my guys,” said Edwards. “Office Depot, I’ve got to thank the fans, Ford Motor Company, Aflac. Man, that was exciting.
“Bob [Osborne, crew chief,] did a really good job with the adjustments and the car was real fast on the last restart, and I just got down there in the corner and got in the back of him a little bit and got by and we ended up holding on for the win. It was really big for us. That’s huge. It’s awesome to win at Bristol, that’s for sure.”
Edwards remains second in the standings and officially has clinched a spot in the Chase with only two races to go before the cutoff. His car owner, Jack Roush, now has won four races in a row in the Bristol night race, including back-to-back victories by Matt Kenseth in 2005 and 2006.
Kenseth and David Ragan joined Edwards in the top 10, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively. It was a huge night for Ragan, who started the race from the 43rd position after wrecking his primary car in qualifying. The points Ragan gained in the race moved him into sole possession of 13th place, just 12 points behind Clint Bowyer for the final Chase spot. Kenseth remains 10th in the standings.
Greg Biffle finished 11th and remains seventh in the standings, while Jamie McMurray finished 12th after starting the race from the 41st position.
One night earlier, Biffle landed a third place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Bristol.
Edwards bid to repeat as Nationwide Series Champion took a hit when his car suffered a flat tire after 89 laps were completed. The flat tire caused severe front-end damage and forced the No. 60 Fusion to come off of the track for repairs.
The car would make it back on track before eventually finishing 37th. Edwards dropped one spot to third in the standings, 241 points behind leader Clint Bowyer with nine races to go.
Wednesday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Bristol saw Rick Crawford come away with a fifth place finish in the No. 14 F-150. Crawford worked his way through the field after starting the race from the 24th position.
“I wasn’t happy with where we started, but I was really happy with where we finished,” said Crawford. “People need to drive one of these Ford F-150’s, especially the F-Series pickup with the Ford PowerStroke Diesel in it by International. We’re ‘Built Ford Tough.’ ”
In the Grand-Am Rolex Series race in Sonoma, Calif., Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins captured their third podium finish in a row with a third-place showing. Frisselle and Wilkins had won the previous two races in their No. 61 Ford-Riley Daytona Prototype.
Doran Racing was able to put both of their Ford-Dallara Daytona Prototypes into the top 10 as Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger finished seventh and Burt Frisselle and Ricky Taylor took 10th place.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be in Fontana, Calif., while the NHRA will head to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals. New Jersey Motorsports Park will host the Grand-Am Rolex Series, the Grand-Am KONI Challenge and the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge races in Millville, N.J.