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The Pit Stop


June 18, 2007 1:03 AM

Carl Edwards Snaps 52 Race Drought with Win at Michigan

Carl Edwards snapped a 52 race winless streak with a victory in the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan. Edwards handily winning by more than 5 seconds. He celebrated the win by performing his trademark backflip off of the window of his Ford Fusion. He then shared a sentimental hug with crew chief, Bob Osbourne.

"It's been a long time, for both of us," Osborne said. "I know he's been dying to get back in the winner's circle. He's extremely competitive, awesome race car driver. So, you know, Carl Edwards, I would go to battle for him any day."

Not only did Edwards win the race in style, he gave his crew member Tom Giacchi his style back. Giacchi vowed in 2005 not to shave until Edwards won another race. Today, Carl shaved Giacchi in victory lane.

"It was very difficult to stay composed, especially when Martin was closing in," Edwards said. "To me, second place would have felt the same as chopping off my arm. I wanted to win. That's it."

Edwards' win was only the second win for Ford Racing this year, thanks in large part to Chevrolet's domination. Coming into Michigan, Chevrolet had won 13 consecutive races.

"Ford has given us every technical support, all the money that we've asked for to help us put in equipment and be competitive with the other manufacturers, with the other teams,'" car owner, Jack Roush said. "They deserve more, and I'm just embarrassed that it took us this long to really celebrate it with Carl and the guys."

For the Cat in the Hat, Michigan is home. He's made it a point at winning at Michigan over the years. This year was no different. If not for Edwards' misfortune in the Busch race, Roush would have swept the weekend.

Since he won Dover, Martin Truex Jr. has been on a roll. That roll continued today. Truex overcame an early spin to finish 2nd. Before the spin, Truex led 54 laps.

"It was a great day for us,'' he said. "The team did another awesome job. I think it was the best pit stops we've ever had on pit road. Awesome race car, and probably the best engine I've ever had. Guys are doing great, man, and I'm loving life right now."

His teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 5th.

Casey Mears, another driver that has been on a roll since getting his first career win this year, came home 4th.

Tony Stewart had a rough start to his weekend. He qualified 43rd and tore the right front fender off of his car in a wreck with David Gilliland in final practice. Still, Stewart was able to finish the weekend with a top 3 finish. Stewart was supposed to start 41st but deliberately hung back at the start of the race.

"With what happened (in practice) and where we qualified, it was two strikes against us," Stewart said. "I made sure I went across the start-finish line in 43rd, so wherever we ended up I could say we went from dead last. From 43rd to third is a pretty good day."

However, the biggest surprise of the weekend had to be Michael Waltrip. Racing for just the third time this year, Waltrip finished 10th and even led one lap. He was around the front of the pack all day long.

"It's just a great, great feeling to run that well," said Waltrip. "Overall, I'm very pleased. My guys are rusty, but you'd never know it. It was a hot day and I hadn't got to race this much, but I felt just as good at the end as I did in the beginning. When the checkered fell then I felt hot, tired and glad it was over."

Jimmie Johnson wasn't as fortunate. He was on his way to a top 5 finish but ran out of gas with 7 laps to go. He wound up finishing 19th.

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