With two races left in the Sprint Cup season Denny Hamlin is looking to increase his lead over Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Carl Edwards though was the poll sitter with Denny, Jimmie and Kevin starting the race around mid pack.
Jimmie Johnson stated that he is "up for the challenge" for winning the championship.
The race starts and the caution flies on alp one as Brendan Gaughan crashes. Then we a good green flag with Carl Edwards leading laps as Denny, Kevin, and Jimmie march their way to the top. Kurt Busch though was hot and was trading the lead with Carl a couple times. Denny was the first to get into the top ten and then the top five. The fist caution though comes out at lap 59 for Brad Keselowski and a bad tire.
"Just unfortunate," said Brad Keselowski. This brought in the leaders and Carl Edwards beat Denny off pit road. The green flag drops and Carl starts of leading a lap and then Denny Halin takes over the race lead. Jamie McMurray at lap winds up hitting the wall just hard enough and in the right place to dislodge the rear spoiler. The caution finally came out on lap 102 for debris.
The leaders pitted and Carl Edwards again beat Denny off pit road. Carl did not have the lead for long after the green flag dropped and Denny was back leading laps. Jimmie and Kevin though were in the top ten at this point of time and moving up through the field.
Around lap 165 the first round of green flag pit stop started. Kasey Kahne somehow winds up taking the gas can with him off pit road. After the stops were over Denny still had the race lead, but Jimmie and Kevin were in the top five. During this part of the long green flag run Jimmie started to loose a couple spots as he had a tight race car. The caution finally comes out on lap 222 as Robby Gordon spins out. The leaders pit and Kyle Busch beats Denny for the lead of the race. Jimmie got back into the top five, but Kevin hot to pit again due to a missing lug nut and came out 19th.
The green flag drops and Denny easily gets the lead back. This was a short green flag run and with 79 laps left Travis Kvapil spins out. This brought in the back of the field down for service including Kevin. The green flag drops again and Denny gets to lead more laps. Kevin though was slowly moving up to the tenth place position.
With 50 laps left Carl Edwards was challenging Denny for the race lead while Kevin was around 13th. Four more laps goes by and Carl takes the lead of the race. Eight more laps later and Kevin was only up to twelfth.
As the laps kept on winding down Carl Edwards building the lead over Denny. The cars that did not pit last time though are running low on fuel. With 14 laps left Denny pits and takes two tires. Three laps later he passes Carl Edwards to get back on the lead lap. Nine to go and Jeff Burton pits while Kevin gets back into eighth.
Five laps left and Jimmie falls to six as he is some major fuel conservation mode while Denny was back up to 15th. With two laps left Carl Edwards was still leading with almost no fuel left, but just had enough to win the race. This is his first Sprint Cup win in over 60 races.
"Man this is unreal," said Carl Edwards.
Kevin Harvick stated that he got lucky and that his car just did not handle good in traffic.
"Pretty disappointing," said Denny Hamlin. "Things did not work out strategy wise." Denny though still leaves Phoenix with the lead, but Jimmie is only 15 points back and Kevin is only 46 points back.
"We ran well all day long," said Denny Hamlin.
"We did have a good car," said Ryan Newman.
Joy Logano stated that he was fighting the balance of the car.