Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sprint Cup 2011: All Star Race: Carl Edwards Flips Competition

When Dale Earnhardt won his one and only Daytona 500, after the race he commented about how he had to “run all the good out of it” before he could turn his car over to Daytona USA to be displayed for one year as the winning car. What was Carl Edwards thinking when he did his burnout routine after winning the 2011 Sprint Cup All-Star race?

Carl Edwards was truly the story of the night having a very dominant car, maybe not like Darrell Waltrip’s Junior Johnson car in the first All-Star event or Jeff Gordon’s infamous “Godzilla” but there was little doubt that the ducky #99 Roush-Fenway Ford was the car to beat in what was a surprisingly tame all-star race given all the buildup and quarrels in recent weeks. Kyle Busch finished second but really didn’t have the car to fully take on the #99.

The showdown race advanced David Ragan and Brad Keselowski to the All-Star field while Dale Earnhardt Jr. to no one’s surprise advanced with the most fan votes.

The finishing order was as follows:
1. Carl Edwards, #99, Ford
2. Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota
3. David Reutimann, #00, Toyota
4. Tony Stewart, #14, Chevrolet
5. Greg Biffle, #16, Ford
6. Matt Kenseth, #17, Ford
7. Denny Hamlin, #11, Toyota
8. David Ragan, #6, Ford
9. Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevrolet
10. Ryan Newman, #39,Chevrolet
11. Jimmie Johnson, #48, Chevrolet
12. Juan Pablo Montoya, #42, Chevrolet
13. Kurt Busch, #22, Dodge
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr., #88, Chevrolet
15. Jeff Gordon, #24, Chevrolet
16. Clint Bowyer, #33, Chevrolet
17. Jamie McMurray, #1, Chevrolet
18. Brad Keselowski, #2, Dodge
19. Mark Martin, #5, Chevrolet
20. Regan Smith, #78, Chevrolet
21. Kasey Kahne, #4, Chevrolet

Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne wrecked while Regan Smith left the track with a malfunctioning fuel pump. Aside from those drivers, only Brad Keselowski did not finish on the lead lap, one lap behind the pace.

Edwards’ dominance was unquestionable leading the 2nd segment and finishing second to teammate, Greg Biffle in the first segment.

In the showdown qualifying heats, only Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger, and Joey Logano showed much punch to advance aside from Ragan and Keselowski who succeeded.

Carl Edwards is off to Iowa for the John Deere 250 Nationwide series race. Having won $1.2 million dollars will buy him some good will but no doubt he’ll seek to avoid a swift kick in the butt courtesy of car owner, Jack Roush, who saw a fine winning race car have its front end and sheet metal mutilated by one of the poorest burnouts in NASCAR history.

Winning cures everything, and maybe “cousin” Carl needs to practice a little bit of that kind of medicine for the sake of his little embarrassment at the end of the Sprint Cup All-Star race. How ironic it is that the burnout not the race will be the water cooler chit chat on Monday for race fans!


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