Edwards falls just short of victory in bizarre finish


Carl Edwards and fans alike weren’t sure who won the Coke Zero 400 after the race ended on Saturday.

After NASCAR officials reviewed the scoring loops and video monitors, Kyle Busch was awarded his sixth Sprint Cup Series victory of the season, beating Edwards in a door-to-door battle.  

The race restarted on lap 161 to end on a green, white, checkered finish. After the restart, Edwards spun out Jeff Gordon, sending the No. 24 car from second to 30th.

Gordon, a two-time Kansas Speedway winner, took the blame for the accident.

 “It was probably my fault,” Gordon said. “We were going for the win and trying to get momentum and the No. 99 (Edwards) got a run. I went low to block him and he kept going low and I guess I must have come across his front bumper.”

Officials did not throw the caution flag because the Gordon spin-out affected no other driver. Busch and Edwards were side-by-side coming out of turn four when a multi-car wreck forced a yellow, signifying the end of the race.

Video footage would reveal Busch was slightly ahead of Edwards when the caution flag was thrown, giving him his first victory at Daytona.

"Well, it was close, I knew that," Busch said. "When I did see the yellow light come on, I could barely see the nose of the 99 car at my right-front fender. I was hoping that we were the winners and it ended up that way.”

Edwards didn’t find out who won the race until moments after the finish.

 “I wasn’t sure about who had won until we were going down the backstretch after the caution flag, but I saw the yellow light going on as I was going by it,” Edwards said. “I was just getting a run on Kyle’s door, so I figured I was probably second.”

Busch can relate to the disappointment Edwards feels. Just last year at Daytona, Jamie McMurray, a Joplin, Mo. native, took the victory over Busch in a similar photo finish.

“I know how Carl feels, for sure,” Busch said. “I remember all too well what happened last year and how we lost it.”

Despite the disappointment, the Columbia, Mo. native is in prime position to make the Chase. Edwards is fourth in the point standings behind Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton. Jeff Gordon is sixth in the standings while Kansas native Clint Bowyer is 10th.

Catch Edwards, Busch, Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR’s other top drivers as they make their way to Kansas Speedway to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas 400 (Sept. 28, 2008) and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 (Sept. 27, 2008).

Kansas Speedway tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 866.460.RACE or logging onto kansasspeedway.com.

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