Columbia native Carl Edwards certainly improved his chances of winning a title in his first full season on NASCAR’s biggest stage. He was the winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday, winning on the racetrack for the second time this season. In March, Edwards won his first Nextel Cup race in Atlanta. Yesterday’s win was his third victory of the year. With his effort on Sunday, he moved up two spots in the standings from sixth to fourth and trails leader Tony Stewart by 109 points—Stewart finished ninth.

Jeff Gordon, who won last week, was second followed by Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Joplin native Jamie McMurray, who was sixth. McMurray is 11th in points.

Rusty Wallace’s day was just 52 laps long. He finished 37th, which dropped him all the way from fifth place to eighth in the standings. That knocked him out of contention with three races to go. Wallace said last year that this will be his final season.

Fenton native Ken Schrader was 34th.