AVONDALE, Ariz. – Carl Edwards pulled away on a late start to snap a 70-race winless streak Sunday, the second long drought he’s ended at Phoenix International Raceway.
Edwards broke the longest slump of his career by winning at Phoenix in 2010. He won for the first time since Las Vegas in 2011 by leading the final 78 laps on the 312-mile race around PIR’s odd-shaped oval.
Coming off a miserable week at Daytona, where he wrecked five cars, Edwards got a push from defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski on the restart with two laps left. He pulled away to win the first non-restrictor-plate race with NASCAR’s new Gen-6 car.
Edwards did his celebratory backflip for the first time in nearly two years, then went into the stands to celebrate with the fans – just like he did after his last win at PIR.
Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson was second by inches and Denny Hamlin finished third with a bold pass on the apron during the final lap. Keselowski was fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up fifth.