Edwards Gambles, Wins Coca-Cola 600
Carl Edwards scored his first win of the season, first with Joe Gibbs Racing and first points race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning the 56th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night. Edwards outdistanced Greg Biffle and third place Dale Earnhardt Jr., in a fuel mileage race to the checkered flag.
Edwards inherited the lead when Martin Truex Jr. and others were forced to make green flag pit stops during the final 20 laps. Truex, who led a race-high 131 laps, raced back to fifth place just behind fourth-place finisher and pole sitter Matt Kenseth.
"What a big day of racing," said Edwards. "I can't believe this. I'm going to have a Coke with my Subway sandwich. This is pretty big to me. I don't think it has sunk in yet."
Rounding out the Top 10 were Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.
Coca-Cola 600 Post Race Notes
Winner - Carl Edwards (No.19 Subway Toyota) "What a big day of racing. I can't believe this. It's the 300th victory for Toyota. I'm going to have a Coke with my Subway sandwich. This does not feel like one of my 24 wins. This is pretty big to me. I just cannot thank Joe Gibbs, and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, enough. Everyone took a big chance on making this fourth team happen. Up to this point in the year, we had just basically done a good job of pulling it all together and we have not delivered the results we wanted. But to get this win, and put ourselves in a position to be in the Chase, to be able now to take a deep breath, step back and work on all the little things to be a championship level team. This is just a huge opportunity. I don't think it has sunk in yet."
Darian Grubb - Crew Chief (No. 19 Subway Toyota) "It was a struggle of a day for us. We qualified pretty well and just kind of fell back there. We started working our way back up through after a couple of adjustments we made. Two runs from the end, we realized this had the potential to be a fuel mileage race. That next-to-last caution came out 12 laps before our fuel window. Everybody pitted there and just basically had enough fuel in it. When the last caution came out we were really surprised a lot of people didn't come down and pit. We took four (tires) and filled up and were good to go."
Joe Gibbs - Team owner "That was awesome. I was so focused on Denny (Hamlin) at that point and he was sick. So, I kind of lost track of everything. I looked at Darian (Grubb) and said 'we can't make it can we?' He made an awesome call."
Second Place - Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Ford) "I'm really excited for the team and the organization. They have been working really, really hard on our cars. It's been well documented how bad we have been running. So, it feels good. The car was good and had a lot of speed. That was a big improvement. We hadn't had that in probably a year. So, I'm super excited about that. Because of that and where we were running, it gave us the opportunity to try and stretch the fuel window and make it. With two to go, the fuel light came on. I had to start shutting it off trying to preserve what we had. I was excited to see the checkered flag."
Third Place - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) "It was tough, but we (already) got a win, so it didn't really matter. I had to hope the guys in front of me would run out of gas. We got beat as far as speed. We just had to try to go for a win there. We didn't have a fast enough car to beat the 41 (Kurt Busch) or the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.). We just had to do something different. We had to gamble. We'll work on it and try and get some more wins."