KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Well, it worked in the video game.
Carl Edwards did everything he could Sunday, including purposely bouncing off the concrete wall at Kansas Speedway, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.
“Where’d he come from?” Johnson asked after Edwards shot underneath him in the third turn of the final lap before banging hard off the wall, giving Johnson just enough room to drive back to the front and hold on for a win that vaulted him into the series points lead.
Edwards, who lost the lead to Johnson 47 laps from the end on the final pit stops by the leaders, said he knew what he was doing when he made his desperation move on the final trip around the 1.5-mile oval.
“I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn’t plan on the wall slowing me down that much,” Edwards said. “In video games, you can just run into the wall and run it wide open. That’s what I did, but it didn’t quite work out the same as the video game.”
Johnson appeared to have the race well in hand after regaining the lead on Lap 220 of the 267-lap event, consistently running 10 to 15 car-lengths ahead of Edwards until the last two laps when the runner-up closed in enough to make a run at him.
Edwards got the gap down to a few feet heading into the third turn on Lap 266, but Johnson pulled away again as they reached the finish line.
Edwards, who went from a 10-point lead over Johnson to a 10-point deficit with seven races left in the Chase for the championship, said, “I just really, really wanted to win this race. . . . But Jimmie’s a smart racer. I’ve done that to guys too. When they slide jump you, you just lift, go right back by them and watch them. I didn’t know what was going to happen and just had to give it a try.”
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*--* Driver Points Behind 1. Jimmie Johnson 5,575 -- 2. Carl Edwards 5,565 10 3. Greg Biffle 5,545 30 4. Jeff Burton 5,454 121 5. Kevin Harvick 5,439 136 6. Jeff Gordon 5,432 143 7. Clint Bowyer 5,411 164 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5,385 190 9. Matt Kenseth 5,383 192 10. Denny Hamlin 5,332 243 11. Tony Stewart 5,320 255 12. Kyle Busch 5,264 311 *--*