Columbia driver Carl Edwards started NASCAR’s race this weekend in first place but it was teammate Kyle Busch who finished there. Edwards led the first 19 laps before Busch pulled ahead of him to claim the lead for the first time.
Edwards, not known as a weekly threat to claim the pole position, started first for only the fourteenth time in his 392 starts in NASCAR’s top series. He finished seventh, continuing a mid-season resurgence after a mediocre year so far. Edwards has had back-to-back top-ten finishes after recording only three top-tens in the first sixteen races.
Joplin’s Jamie McMurray finished 26th, a lap down, but still has more championship points than any other driver without a win this year and is still in the hunt to be one of the sixteen drivers who will enter the ten-race Chase for the Championship. Four-time champion Jeff Gordon finished ninth at New Hampshire and has pulled to within one point of McMurray. If the Chase began now, they would be seeded eleventh and twelfth.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s hot streak continued Friday afternoon, when Carl Edwards won the pole for Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Winner Kyle Busch picked up his third win in the last four races as he continues to charge back from injuries that kept him out of the first elven races of the year. He has seven more races to accumulate enough points to be in the top thirty in the points standings, one of the qualifications for making the Chase.
Edwards, McMurray, and their competitors run in the Brickyard 400 next week at Indianapolis. McMurray won the race in 2010. Edwards chased Jimmie Johnson across the finish line in 2008 for his best finish in the race.