SPRINT Dickies 500Final
Edwards wins Dickies 500 to tighten ChaseNov 3, 2008 - 1:05 AM FORT WORTH, Texas (Ticker) -- Carl Edwards coasted home low on fuel to win Sunday's Dickies 500, and this time significantly narrowed Jimmie Johnson's lead in the "Chase for the Championship."
Edwards, who also won last week at Atlanta, narrowed the gap between Johnson to 106 points with two races remaining. Johnson finished 15th, one lap down.
Jeff Gordon was second, followed by Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle.
Despite dominating for much of the race, leading 199 of the first 264 laps on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval, Edwards lost the lead after taking four tires during a pit stop on lap 264.
"I thought (crew chief) Bob (Osborne) made a mistake on the four-tire change," Edwards said. "But Bob came up with a way to win that thing anyway."
While those in front of him chose to pit for fuel over the closing laps, Edwards gambled and stayed out, nursing his fuel home to over an eight-second victory over Gordon.
He completed the final 69 laps without stopping for fuel.
Still, it was nail bite to the end, with Osborne first telling Edwards to conserve fuel because he was going to be a half-lap short, then saying he was four laps short. In the end, he went the final 103.5 miles on his last fill-up.
"I knew by default he wasn't too sure about it," said Edwards, who picked up his eighth win of the season. "The Ford Fusion gets great fuel mileage, I can tell you that.
"My guys did a great job and it's really cool it worked out."
Edwards barely dented Johnson's lead at Atlanta as the two-time defending champion rallied late to finish second after falling a lap down early in the race.
Johnson fell a lap down again on Sunday as a poor handling Chevrolet dropped him to 25th on lap 94.
Unlike last week, Johnson was unable to rally.
"It's not the day we wanted," Johnson said. "We just couldn't get to that first car a lap down. It's frustrating because I thought we'd be better than that. There just weren't enough cautions."
Johnson still remains the overwhelming favorite to become the first driver to win three straight championships since Cale Yarborough accomplished the feat from 1976-78. No driver in the history of the sport has come back to win the title from more than 80 points down with two races remaining.
"This deal is far from over," said Johnson, who won the past two November races at Phoenix, the ninth race in the Chase. "We just have to keep fighting hard. We still have two more to go."
Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., Matt Kenseth and David Reutimann rounded out the top-10.
David Gilliland was finally parked by NASCAR on lap 273 after being held on pit road for five laps due to aggressive driving with Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya got turned by Gilliland and went spinning hard into the wall on lap 263.
- Dickies 500 Preview Oct 29