Edwards Wins at Michigan; Records First Win in 52 Races

Brooklyn, Mich. — This one came down to the end. Three cars were fast all day, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex, Jr.

Crew chiefs were fidgeting. Crew members were cracking their knuckles. Car owners were crossing their fingers.

A father’s day crowd of more than 100,000 NASCAR fans stayed on its feet for the final 30 laps.

With his crew chief telling him to “keep being smooth, don’t push it,” Edwards pushed his Office Depot, Jack Roush Ford across the finish line ahead of Truex for his first win in 52 races.

While Edwards was collecting the checkered flag, Johnson, running third with seven laps to go, ran out of gas and coasted into the pits, relegating Johnson to a 19th place finish after a sterling run.

Truex was second but dropped back at the end after brushing the wall trying so hard to catch Edwards.

Tony Stewart was third and Casey Mears fourth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and Michael Waltrip.

Edwards’ win did not come without an anxious moment when the back-flipping young driver was penalized earlier in the race for being too fast on pit road. He came back to the front after re-starting from the rear.

Truex also battled back after a spinout by Ryan Newman and Jeff Green sent several drivers, including Truex, careening through a cloud of heavy smoke.

Stewart’s third-place finish was also awesome. The former champion battled into contention after starting from the rear in a patched-up car as a result of a practice accident with David Gilliland.

Edwards dedicated the win to his Dad on Father’s Day.

Truex quickly showed his DEI Chevy was quick, moving past Johnson for the lead on the 10th lap.

Pole-sitter J.J. Yeley dropped back at the start and Johnson held the lead before Truex charged ahead.

Ryan Newman, who can’t catch a break this season, moved into third spot before a rear down went down, prompting an unscheduled pit stop. Newman lost additional time in the pits while his crew had to untangle the tire carcass from the tire rim before putting on a new one.

The first caution of the day fell on lap 51 for debris on the track.

After pit stops, Truex continued to lead with teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., running second. Johnson slipped past junior for second a few laps later.

Johnson picked off Truex for the top spot on lap 64. Gordon had slipped back to eighth place.

Juan Pablo Montoya brought out the caution again on lap 68 when he slapped the wall in turn 2.

Carl Edwards was penalized for speeding on pit road and sent to the rear of the field. Edwards had raced his way from 12th to sixth before the infraction.

Kenseth, an invisible man for most of many races, was beginning to show his form in 12th position. The former champion has built a reputation for taking his time and making a charge for the front later in a race.

Earnhardt gave old-time fans a charge when he put a rag in his mouth like NASCAR legend Richard Petty used to do. However, a multi-car crash on lap 75 scrambled the lineup and sent several cars to the garage for repairs.

Jeff Green and Newman tangled off turn two and caused a chain reaction that sent numerous cars spinning down the track, including contenders Truex and Kenseth.

The caution might have saved Earnhardt while costing his teammate. Earhart?s car had a flat tire on the previous restart and the caution allowed him to make a change without losing too much time.

The accident did, however, knock Brian Vickers and Kenseth from contention.

At the 100-lap halfway point, Johnson was in control with teammate Gordon next, followed by Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, who had to start from the rear after a practice crash prompted numerous changes to his Chevy. Coca-cola 600 winner Casey Mears was fifth, Sterling Marlin next, then Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Biffle and Kyle Busch.

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