Edwards Scores First Road Course Victory
Edwards was able to maintain the lead on the restart that followed with McMurray and Ambrose giving chase. The man on the mission though was Gordon, who began to pick off positions as the laps wound down. With nine to go Gordon was able to take second from McMurray coming out of the last corner as they came to eight laps left.
Gordon slowly began to cut down the lead Edwards had built up and soon Gordon was within a second of Edwards. Gordon did everything he could, including make one last big run at Edwards entering turn 11 coming to the checkered flag, but Edwards held on to pick up the victory by .592 of a second.
“That last lap was ugly,” Edwards said. “That was the best I’ve got. It almost wasn’t good enough. I’ve got to thank Boris Said, all my teammates, Mark Martin, all the people through the years who have helped me (on road courses).
“The first time I went road course testing I backed it in the fence. Jack Roush has been a big inspiration with all his road racing success. This is just cool,” Edwards said.
Gordon said he made a mistake with about six laps left that cost him a chance to beat Edwards.
“I was really good in the fast sections, he was pretty good in the slower sections so I was just having to hit everything so perfect,” Gordon said. “I just overdrove it into four one time and went real wide off and that gave him enough of a gap that I had to close it back in. I just couldn’t put enough pressure on him.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a late pit stop for tires and drove through the field, eventually finishing third.
“I tried to screw it up there a couple times in the race, but I calmed down and was able to get a good finish out of it,” Earnhardt said. “We had a pretty good day.”
McMurray finished fourth after starting on the pole and leading nine laps. Paul Menard completed the top five.
A.J. Allmendinger led a race-high 35 laps, but a dustup on the front stretch late in the race relegated him to a 37th place finish.