NASCAR & Auto Racing

NASCAR: Carl Edwards wins Coca-Cola 600

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards celebrates his victory in the Coca-Cola 600 with fans in the grandstand at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24, 2015.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards celebrates his victory in the Coca-Cola 600 with fans in the grandstand at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24, 2015. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

It took 21 starts here, but Carl Edwards got to to perform his signature back-flip at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night.

Edwards managed to conserve enough fuel to take the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race in the Sprint Cup series. The victory for Joe Gibbs Racing qualifies Edwards for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Greg Biffle finished second and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., came in third. Earnhardt has yet to win a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his home track.

Turning point

With 37 laps to go Denny Hamlin gives up the lead to take a four-tire green-flag pit stop. By the time he emerges from pit road he is a lap down.

Three who mattered

Carl Edwards: He ran 80 percent down the straightaways to conserve enough fuel to finish the race in the lead.

Ryan Blaney: The 21-year-old was running top-15 when his engine blew with about 120 laps to go.

Jimmie Johnson: He spun out with about 130 laps left, hitting a wall on the entry to pit road. It was the second time Johnson’s Chevrolet got loose in this race.

Observations

<bullet>Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis says he got the pace car up to around 110 mph Tuesday while practicing at Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday.

<bullet>Eighteen-year-old driver Erik Jones was available should Kyle Busch need a relief driver in his second race back from a compound fracture. Noting Jones’ youth, Busch joked with his crew that Jones was a half-hour away from his bedtime mid-race.

<bullet>With 60 laps remaining and in the lead, Denny Hamlin told his crew he was having a migraine headache.

They said it

“JGR is back and so is Toyota...All that bad luck we had got negated by our good luck today.” – Carl Edwards.

N@SCAR

Three tweets from Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600:

Next race

Fedex 400

Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

When: 1 p.m., May 31.

TV: Fox Sports 1.

Radio: MRN

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