Edwards Wins Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
May 25, 2016 (The Sports Network) — Carl Edwards claimed his first Sprint Cup Series win of the season and with Joe Gibbs Racing after he conserved enough fuel in the late going of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway — NASCAR’s longest race of the season.
Edwards joined JGR at the start of this season to drive the team’s new fourth car, the No. 19 Toyota. He snapped a 31-race winless streak in the series. After he and crew chief Darian Grubb elected not to pit during a late-race round of stops, Edwards took over the lead with 21 laps to go and then crossed the finish line 4.8 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Greg Biffle.
It was the 24th career win for Edwards in NASCAR’s premier series but his first since last June on the Sonoma, California road course. He drove for Roush Fenway Racing in the series from 2004-13.
Edwards also won a Sprint Cup race at Charlotte for the first time in 21 attempts.
Biffle, who drives the No. 16 Ford for Roush Fenway, was trying to end a 69- race winless drought in the series.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, while Matt Kenseth, the pole sitter, and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five. Truex led the most laps with 131.
Edwards’ teammate, Denny Hamlin, who won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte on May 16, had to pit unexpectedly from the lead with 37 laps left due to a loose wheel. Hamlin was also suffering from a migraine headache at the time. He ended up finishing eighth.
JGR driver Kyle Busch competed in his first Sprint Cup points-paying race this season after he suffered a fractured right leg and left foot during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series race at Daytona. Busch completed all 400 laps around this 1.5-mile racetrack, finishing 11th and scoring his first 33 points of the season.