Thursday, January 12, 2017

Carl Edwards: Throwback to the King of “Backflips” And His Most Memorable Moments

Carl Edwards jumps into a crown of Phoenix Raceway fans following his first Cup Series win at the track, and his first win in 70 races, in the Kobalt Tools 500 in March 2010.

"I can't tell you how cool it is," said Carl Edwards from Gatorade Victory Lane. "I love Phoenix."

It’s no secret how “cool” Carl’s racing history is at Phoenix Raceway. In 25 starts in Phoenix, he’s earned a total of eight top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes. His two wins, as well as his near-victories, have created some of the most unforgettable moments for fans of ZOOMTOWN, U.S.A.® Phoenix International Raceway.

Without a doubt, his outstanding racing at Phoenix Raceway will be revered for a long time to come. From snapping a winless streak not once – but twice – at the track, to the most exciting finish in track history, Phoenix Raceway takes a look back at some of Carl’s most memorable moments in the Valley of the Sun.

  • -> In 2010, Carl conquered the one-mile oval with a weekend sweep of the Kobalt Tools 500, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as well as the WYPALL * 200 Powered by Kimberly Clark, NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Setting up the winning weekend, Carl set a track record in qualifying – clocking a speed of 136.389 to earn the coveted pole position. Carl picked up momentum in the WYPALL 200 the next day, leading 153 of 200 laps, including the last 56, to drive to victory with more than a five-second lead over runner-up Kevin Harvick. The very next day, Carl would hold off championship contender Denny Hamlin and gamble on fuel mileage to end a 70-race winless drought and earn his first career Cup Series win at Phoenix Raceway – a feat he was so happy to accomplish that he leaped into a welcoming grandstand full of fans that witnessed his outstanding race weekend at Phoenix.

  • -> In true “you can’t make this stuff up” fashion, Carl drove his No. 99 Subway Ford to win the 2013 Subway Fresh Fit 500. Phoenix would once again prove to be a haven for him, as he would find his groove to snap another 70-race winless streak. "This win feels as good or better than any win I've ever had," Carl said, who was still able to complete his patented victory backflip at the Phoenix Raceway finish line before once again jumping into a crowd full of fans. Edwards led a race-high 122 laps and held off a star-studded field including Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson, who finished just a second behind the acrobatic winner. Phoenix Raceway welcomed him back to Gatorade Victory Lane with his second win in the desert in three years.
    Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick fight for the closest finish in the 53-year history of the track.

  • -> Few can forget the thrilling ending to the March 2016 Good Sam 500, and although it was not a win for Carl, it surely was for all the fans who got to witness the finish. Carl challenged Phoenix Raceway’s winningest driver, Kevin Harvick, to miss out on victory by mere inches. In a side-by-side battle down the stretch, Carl and Kevin would fight until the end in Phoenix Raceway’s closest finish in track history. A late caution gave Carl the chance to get fresh tires and an opportunity to contest Kevin’s dominance in the desert, but fell short by .010 seconds. "We made him work for it," said Carl. "That's more than we've been able to do here the last few times. Just a lot of fun. I really wish it would have worked out a little bit differently, but it's a good race.”

Edwards provided a lot of good of racing at Phoenix Raceway and throughout the sport of NASCAR. We’ll surely miss the backflips, but can’t wait to see what the future holds for the one-of-a-kind driver.

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