Carl Edwards wins NASCAR’s Toyota Owners 400 at RIR

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Carl Edwards passed Kyle Busch on the last turn in the last lap to win his second NASCAR race in a row in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday. Edwards, who drives the No. 19 Toyota, races for Joe Gibb Racing.

“It’s a big win for us.” — Carl Edwards

Rounding out the top five finishers were Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, and Denny Hamlin. Five of the top ten finishers were driving Toyotas.

“It’s a big win for us,” Edwards, who led the race for 151 laps, said after the race.

The final lap was a duel to the finish between Kyle Busch and Edwards. Both drivers have wins this season and both drivers race for Joe Gibbs. Edward’s goes for the nudge to open up the inside and slides in to steal the win from under Kyle Busch’s nose.

“Coming to the white flag, Kyle had a pretty sizeable lead and I just didn’t think I was going to be able to catch him then my crew chief yelled something into the radio that was very motivating, I don’t know what it was but, I thought ok I’m going to drive this thing down into turn one and hope that it sticks and it did,” Edwards explained after the race. “Then we went down the backstretch and I thought, man, we got something here.

“So then it became really tough, do I bump my teammate or just cross and follow him to the start-finish line? I bumped him and we got the win. I’ve got the best teammates in the business and I’m here and I’m having the success because of them, so hopefully Kyle understands.”

In the bottom half of the top 10, Chesterfield County native Denny Hamlin ended up in sixth place. Behind Hamlin was fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenneth, then Joey Logano, Martin Truex, Jr., and Kyle Busch’s older brother Kurt Busch.

Carl Edward’s wins the Toyota Owners 400 was the first for a Toyota at the Toyota sponsored race and 4th in a row for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Edwards’ win was his 27 victory in 418 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is his second victory of the year and his eighth top-10 finish. This was also his second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 24 races at RIR.

The 36-year-old Edwards now leads the NASCAR points standings by seven points over Kevin Harvick.

Race Notes:

  • Denny Hamlin started the race in the fifth slot.
  • Tony Stewart made his return to Sprint Cup racing after missing the first eight races.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won Saturday’s Toyota Care 250 race.

Here’s a great point-of-view video of RIR.

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