There is always a lot of drama when it comes to racing at Bristol Motorspeedway. However, Sunday's Food City 500 had more than its fair share.
From rain delays to accidental caution lights, no one knew exactly what to expect next as Carl Edwards overcame the challenges to capture his first victory of the season.
The win made it four winners in four races in NASCAR's new season and Edwards was relieved to be part of that select group.
"I guess I'm part of a group of guys that can go have some fun and focus on the final 10 races to get to this championship," said Edwards on his win. "I've been a little bit jealous of those guys who have wins this early in the season."
The Air Titan track drying crew led the most laps as two rain delays held up action at the start of the race and then again after only 124 laps were completed.
However, Edwards led the last fifty laps and seemed headed to an easy victory when the caution lights suddenly came on for no apparent reason with two laps to go.
"Yeah, after review of the situation post-race," explained VP of Racing Competition Robin Pemberton, "What had happened in the closing laps of the race, it appears that in the flag stand one of the flag people had leaned on the switch that is the manual override for the caution lights."
That mistake could have been disaster but, before NASCAR could sort things out, rain fell again resulting in the race being called and Edwards awarded the victory.
"I did not want to see that caution. I did not at all," continued Edwards in Victory Lane. "So I'm glad that the rain came. I think there was some higher powers at work that. That worked out great."
Edwards closest competitor was his Roush/Fenway teammate, Rick Stenhouse, in the closing laps and if it had not been for the race ending rain, he knew things would get exciting in those last two laps.
"Oh, I knew what Ricky was thinking," said Edwards of his teammate. "It was going to be a battle. I have a feeling if -- the way I envision it in my mind knowing Ricky, knowing -- probably neither one of us would have made it back to the start-finish line."
While many are saying that you simply need to win to be in the Championship Chase, Edwards doesn't agree and feels that they have to keep working hard to make a Championship run at the end of the season.
"You're going to have to have a win, I believe, to be in the Chase," explained Edwards. "So now that we've checked that box, we need to go get another win, and I think then we will be guaranteed to be in it.
Now it's on to the West Coast and Fontana. We'll see how Cousin Carl fairs there.
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