NASCAR

Edwards win rain delayed Texas race to clinch his way into the Championship four

Carl Edwards has won the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in a rain-affected race. As a result of the win, Edwards will now go to Homestead and be able to compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title along with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Right before engines were to be fired at Texas Motor Speedway the skies lit up and down came the rain. This would lead to a 6-hour delay causing the race to shift from daytime to night. This would cause many setup changes throughout the race due to the race originally being scheduled for the day.

After those six hours, the engines fired. The green flag waved after about 25 laps of caution. The green flag would be thrown along with yellow meaning the cars would remain under yellow flag conditions but the laps would now start to count.

The green flag for racing was finally waved after 6 laps of yellow flag conditions with Austin Dillon leading the way. Joey Logano quickly got the better of Dillon edging him out the first laps of the race. He would fall back to 4th position after being passed by Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick in the opening stages as well.

The entire field would come into the pits on lap 31 after the competition caution was thrown. Logano retained his lead after the stops. He would make his first green flag stop on lap 75 while others followed. After the cycle of green-flag stops Logano cycled back out in the lead. During his lead, Logano would go on to lap half of the field.
The first caution due to an accident was on lap 108 when Richard Petty Motorsports driver Brian Scott spun coming out of turn 4. The crash would nearly involve reigning champ and chase contender Kyle Busch. The field was back under green for just one lap before another caution was brought out for debris.

The turning point of the race came when Carl Edwards and Martin Truex decided to pit before Logano getting the two drivers out in front to battle for the win. Logano would fall to third due to staying out one lap later than the Toyotas. Truex would retain the lead until lap 270.

Drama for Austin Dillon would come on lap 256 when he made contact with the lapped car of David Ragan. The caution would come out due to Dillon sliding through turns 3 and 4. The pit stops would determine the winner when Carl Edwards crew got him out in front of Truex giving him the lead.

The green flag would not last long due to Austin Dillon wrecking again. While battling with former champion Kevin Harvick, Dillon would slide up in front of Harvick causing the 2 former teammates to make contact with Dillon slamming the wall and ending his race. Harvick would claim no intent on the wreck.

“I mean, he is tucked down to my door tighter than anybody did all night,” Dillon said. “He knew how tight he was on my door and that is why I got tight and slid up in front of him. He didn’t check up, but he had the opportunity to. He didn’t like it that the silver-spoon kid was out-running him tonight. So we will be all right; we have two weeks left and we just want to come out and win a race.”

After the race, Kevin Harvick commented on the wreck as well. “Just want to apologize to the 3,” Harvick said. “He kind of came up there and got loose when he checked up, I hit him. That wasn’t anything that I wanted to see”. After being told about comments that the 3 cars crew chief Slugger Labbe had made Harvick responded with “Slugger says a lot of things that he shouldn’t. There was no intent there. I like racing with Austin. I like everything that they do”.

Under pit stops, Carl Edwards pit crew would get him out in front. The next green flag would the last for the race. The race was once again put under yellow due to rain except for this time there would be no delay. The race would halt on lap 293 with Edwards being declared the winner.

This win is Edwards fourth at Texas and it also clinches him a spot in the last round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup along with Jimmie Johnson and 2 other drivers to be determined after next week at Phoenix International Raceway.

Featured Image Credit – www.nascar.com

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