In the days leading up to Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, Carl Edwards spoke of how badly he wanted to win at Kansas Speedway. Edwards, a Columbia native, native proclaimed any of his earthly possessions would be up for barter in return for a win at his home track.
Despite an excellent starting position Sunday, he’ll have to wait for that elusive victory. Edwards started in the second position and led six laps, but he struggled on restarts and had to rebound from a slow pit stop for an eighth-place finish.
“We had a car that was struggling in the center-corner and really tight,” he said. “The guys did a really good job and made up for whatever the problem was on pit road because they just killed it the last two stops. It was a decent finish.”
Edwards has 11 top-10 finishes in his last 14 races and hasn’t finished worse that 15th in that stretch. He’s still in a comfortable spot when it comes to the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, sitting in fourth place, 19 points behind first-place Joey Logano heading into next week’s Campingworld.com 500 in Talladega, Ala.
“We’ll just go to Talladega and do what we normally do. We’ll be all right,” Edwards said. “There’s nothing normal about Talladega, so we’ll see what happens.”
Jeff Gordon, making his final Kansas Speedway appearance before retirement, was passed late by Edwards’ suddenly speedy No. 19 Toyota.
“I don’t know what Carl did to his car,” Gordon said. “He was terrible all day, especially on restarts, and then there at the end, he was an absolute rocket. They came to life, so he was able to get by me there at the end.”
Clint Bowyer of Emporia, Kan., wasn’t able to bounce back from his troubles, although he walked away unscathed from a nasty collision with the wall in the 170th lap.
Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota got loose in the second turn and he wasn’t able to keep it from slamming into the wall. The impact destroyed the front end of the car and ended Bowyer’s day.
“I guess I should have probably just let it turn to the inside, but I thought I could save it,” said Bowyer, who finished 40th. “Guess what? I didn’t save it.”
Bowyer, who fell out of the Chase in the Challenger Round, now sits in 16th in the standings.