Carl Edwards surprises with win at Sonoma

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, celebrates i Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, celebrates i Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA – JUNE 22: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, celebrates i Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards played the game better than anyone else did Sunday. Edwards took the lead with 25 laps to go Sunday and held off Jeff Gordon to score his first career victory on a road course in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winning the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Edwards made the winning move with a pit stop on lap 60 that allowed him to stay out when most of the leaders pitted on lap 71. From there Edwards was able to stay near the front and took the lead on lap 85 from Marcos Ambrose on a restart on lap 85. He survived another restart on lap 95 and from there held on for his second win of the season and the 23rd of his career.

“That’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Edwards said. “To be standing in victory lane and to have held off Jeff Gordon with all of the success he’s had here and in our sport. It’s just really, really special.” MORE>>>

Behind Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, a career best on a road course. Jamie McMurray was fourth and Paul Menard fifth.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.