Carl Edwards captured his 5th career Nextel Cup win today at MIS. MIS is a wide 2 mile race track with 18 degrees of banking in the turns. What this translates into is 3 and 4 wide racing all day and incredibly high speeds as drivers reach over 200 mph going into the turns. MIS is also known to have very few cautions largely due to it's multiple groove wide surface and that means long green flag runs throughout the events held here. MIS's pit road is also one of the best on the circuit as it's also wide with plenty of room for drivers to get in and out of their pit boxes.
Early on Martin Truex Jr. looked to be the class of the field and remained so until an incident on track got him turned around as well as a brush with the wall late in the race. Truex's car was definitely fast as he was able to work his way through the field from deep in the pack up to the front a couple of times during today's race. DEI has been looking sharp recently as Dale Jr. finished in the top 5 today. MIS is a track at which Chevrolet hasn't dominated in terms of wins as the manufacturer has only won 1 out of the last 16 races here. It's amazing how Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon continue to run well week after week and a familiar site on track was seen early in the race as Johnson ran 2nd and Gordon ran 3rd behind Truex. By lap 51 only 28 cars remained on the lead lap due to no cautions and a fast running pack at the front. Just after the announcers mention this fact, of course there is now a caution waving and it's for debris on the track. At the restart Truex is leading followed by Dale Jr., Johnson, and Gordon. On lap 64 Johnson takes the lead from Truex who took only 2 tires on his pit stop. It becomes evident that a 2 tire gamble isn't going to work today and Truex won't make that mistake again. After a caution brought out by Juan Pablo Montoya who struck the wall hard ending his day, Gordon takes over the lead for the 1st time today! The largest wreck of today's event occurred when Jeff Green and Ryan Newman got together sending Newman spinning towards the inside of the track causing a bigger wreck behind him as drivers began to check up resulting in multiple cars getting banged up in the incident. While this was happening Dale Jr. ran over some debris and cut down a rear tire causing him to slow and this actually resulted in him missing the wreck in front of him. Funny how sometimes something potentially bad can actually help you in the right situation. On lap 80 Gordon held the lead while Johnson was in 2nd. Things were looking great so far! On lap 91 Johnson retakes the lead passing his team mate Gordon. Teams had been looking at fuel mileage strategy as the race began to wind down inside of less than 50 to go and Johnson had pitted quite early and there was real concern on whether he could make it the rest of the way without stopping for fuel again. He would end up being 7 laps short while running in 3rd position and would have to pit after running out of fuel on the track resulting in a disappointing finish in the 19 spot. Gordon would end up finishing in the 9th spot and remains the points leader with Johnson moving up one position up to 3rd place 337 point behind Gordon. On lap 133 Carl Edwards took the lead from Johnson and despite challenges from Truex Jr. would hold on and finish in comfortable fashion. Carl Edwards last Cup victory came on November 6, 2005 at Texas Motor Speedway so this win was long overdue and with his trademark back flip Edwards began his celebration with his crew. Hendrick Motorsports did manage a decent day though as Casey Mears finished in the 4th position while Kyle Busch finished in the 6th position. Jeff Gordon's finish in the top 10 isn't too shabby either. 🙂