Carl Edwards, driving the #19 Xfinity Toyota, with a dramatic last lap pass to win the 62nd Annual Toyota Owners 400 leading the most laps today at Richmond International Raceway with 151 of 400 laps. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Edwards were battling for the final 14 laps of the race with Ky. Busch leading when Edwards used his bumper to move Busch out of the way during the closing lap of the race.
This is Edwards 27th career victory in 418 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races including back-to-back victories after winning at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend, his sixth back-to-back wins and his first since 2010. Edwards has two wins at Richmond and two victories for the 2016 season.
“Kyle (Busch) is an amazing teammate, and it’s like he got really slow there at the end, something happened in that last lap like his tires went off or something,” said Edwards in victory lane. “So, going into the white flag Dave (Rogers crew chief) said something on the radio basically like, ‘Get your butt in gear and go get him!’ He did a really good job keeping me held at bay ‘til then but then we went down the back straightaway and I saw him spin the tires. So going back down the back straight away I thought, ‘I’m going for the bottom. That’s where I’m going.’
“He went down there and just parked it and his car was sliding and I was just so much faster I had to give him a little tap and we got by him. I didn’t think I was going to get him hard enough. I thought it would just be a bump and go but we got the win.”
Together the JGR teammates of Edwards and Busch have accounted for the past four victories in the Sprint Cup Series with each driver clinching their spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. It was the first last-lap pass for a victory in the storied history at the three-quarter of a mile track.
“It’s racing I guess. We had a really great car. We were fast…maybe not as good as Carl (Edwards) on the long run,” a somber Busch said after exiting his car. “The guys gave me everything we needed today. We lost it there on the second-to-last run, but we had a shot to win and that’s all that matters.”
Richmond was a welcomed departure from past races with five different drivers leading at least 40 laps, with a number of side-by-side battles with three and even at times four-wide racing. The drivers praised the tire Goodyear brought that allowed multiple racing lanes with the rubber being laid in the race track without the build up of marble up in the high lane.
Jimmie Johnson finished third, Kasey Kahne finished fourth and Kevin Harvick finished fifth. Sixth through twelfth are as follows: Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott in twelfth as the highest finishing rookie.
Tony Stewart in his first race back finish 19th after missing the first eight races of the season with a broken back.
Next week the action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500, qualifying for the event will be on Fox with coverage Saturday, April 30 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Race coverage will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sunday, May 1.