Edwards scores first road course win at Sonoma

June 22, 2014 No Comments

Toyota/Save Mart 350Brian Wiggins, Senior Writer 

When Carl Edwards’ name has been mentioned lately, it’s mostly been regarding where he’s going to drive in 2015.

With numerous rumors surrounding his potential departure from Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards has been one of the most talked about drivers in the sport. However, he wasn’t talked about as a threat to win this weekend at Sonoma.

Maybe he should have been.

Edwards qualified his No.99 Ford up in the fourth position and was in contention up at the front of the field throughout the course of the 110-lap event.

When tempers began to fly towards the middle of the pack, Edwards found himself in the lead battling with his former Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Jamie McMurray  over the course of numerous late-race restarts.

“I thought I had a chance to win when the last caution came out,” McMurray said after the race. “I was working Carl over a little bit and I was just waiting on him to make a mistake. I felt like I was better than he was.”

That mistake McMurray was looking for never came from Edwards as the No.99 pulled away in the closing stages. However, it wasn’t all easy until the end as five-time Sonoma winner, Jeff Gordon, made a push for the lead.

“I was making some ground up on Carl. I was really good in the fast sections, he was pretty good in the slower sections,” Gordon said about his charge at Edwards late in the race.

“I was just having to hit everything so perfect, I just overdrove it into [turn] four one time and that gave him enough of a gap that I had to close it back in. I couldn’t put enough pressure on him.”

Gordon made a last-ditch effort on the final lap, locking his brakes heading into the final corner, but Edwards drove out with the lead, the checkered flag in site and won Sunday’s Toyota SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

“That last lap was ugly,” Edwards said in victory lane. “I grew up watching Jeff Gordon doing well here, so to have him in my mirror is very special.”

Sunday’s win was the first for Edwards on a road course in the Sprint Cup Series and his second win of the 2014 season, virtually locking him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

“I don’t know what it looks like, but it’s the best I got and it almost wasn’t good enough,” Edwards said about the last laps with Gordon chasing him down. “I love this road racing.”

Edwards becomes to eighth consecutive driver to score their first road course win at Sonoma in the last eight years and the tenth different winner at the track in as many races.

Rounding out the top-five finishers from Sunday’s race were: Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., McMurray, and Paul Menard.

Gordon remains the series championship leader heading into next Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky (Sparta) Speedway.

Toyota SaveMart 350 Unofficial Results 

1: Carl Edwards

2: Jeff Gordon

3: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4: Jamie McMurray

5: Paul Menard

6: Kasey Kahne

7: Marcos Ambrose

8: Jimmie Johnson

9: Greg Biffle

10: Clint Bowyer

11: Ryan Newman

12: Kurt Busch

13: Casey Mears

14: Brian Vickers

15: Martin Truex Jr.

16: Joey Logano

17: Austin Dillon

18: Danica Patrick

19: Tony Stewart

20: Kevin Harvick

21: David Gilliland

22: Brad Keselowski

23: Aric Almirola

24: Michael McDowell

25: Kyle Busch

26: Denny Hamlin

27: Cole Whitt

28: Kyle Larson

29: Alex Bowman

30: Michael Annett

31: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

32: Reed Sorenson

33: Justin Allgaier

34: JJ Yeley

35: Boris Said

36: David Ragan

37: AJ Allmendinger

38: Tommy Drissi

39: Alex Kennedy

40: Josh Wise

41: Ryan Truex

42: Matt Kenseth

43: Landon Cassill

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