Edwards Wins Rain Shortened Race In Texas - And It Only Took 9 Hours
After a 5 ½ hour rain delay, the AAA Texas 500 got underway just about 8pm EST, with Joey Logano on the pole. NASCAR scheduled a competition caution around lap 28, and it came at a good time because several drives had tire falloff issues because of the track being a green track. Kevin Harvick had radio issues in the beginning of the race, and had to wait until the first caution for his interior guy Debrul to attach a new antenna to the right side of his steering wheel.
Trevor Bayne had an issue on pit road when he missed his pit box and had to back up, creating a log jam of drivers behind him trying to back up. The first spin out of the night came when the 44 of Brian Scott spun loose when a tire went down, but made no contact with the wall or other drivers. Then on lap 144 Paul Menard cut a tire down which setup caution pit stops where the 14 of Tony Stewart was nabbed for too fast entering. On lap 265 Austin Dillon spins through turns 3 and 4. With 72 laps to go, Austin Dillon collides with the 4 car of Kevin Harvick and at the same time the 13 of Casey Mears tries to check up and slid through the infield grass, wrecking the front of his race car. Dillon had some harsh words for Harvick after the race
“He knew how tight he was on my door and that’s why I got tight and slid up in front of him. He didn’t check up, but he had the opportunity to. He didn’t like it that the silver spoon kid was outrunning him tonight”
Another caution came out for another spell of rain and NASCAR called the race with just 43 laps remaining declaring Carl Edwards the race winner.
Edwards did not perform his trademark backflip, probably do the car and track being so wet, but he did comment on the rain shortened win.
"This is huge. I don't think it's sunk in yet," Edwards said. "This is cool. This team has really worked hard all year and man, it's just really cool. That's all we said we needed was a shot and now we're going to go to Homestead and we're going to do what we have to do. This was a great test. We came here and knew what we had to do, we performed the way we needed to and I really believe we can do that at Homestead."
Sunday night's race left a jumbled Chase picture. Logano is third in the Chase standings, but by the slimmest of margins. He's even with Kyle Busch on points but currently holds the tiebreaker on the basis of the runner-up finish at Texas. And Matt Kenseth and ninth-place finisher Denny Hamlin are a dangerous one and two points behind Logano, respectively.
Harvick likely needs a victory next Sunday at Phoenix to advance to the Championship 4 for the third straight year. The 2014 champion, who fought a tight handling condition for most of the race, holds a series-record eight wins at the Arizona oval, a number that includes five of the last six races.
Harvick trails Logano and Kyle Busch by 18 points entering the final race of the Chase's Round of 8.
Stewart-Haas teammate Kurt Busch likewise is in a near must-win position. Busch finished 20th on Sunday and enters the Phoenix race eighth in the Chase standings, 34 points behind his brother.