Nearly 5 hours worth of rain delays couldn’t keep the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from taking to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the fourth race of the still young 2014 season. At the end of a long day in the Tennessee hills, it was Carl Edwards taking his first win on the year, with teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart and Marcos Ambrose rounding out the rest of the top five.
But Edwards didn’t have a dominant or even impressive drive up until the final 75 laps. A strategy call by crew chief Jimmy Fennig to stay out gave Edwards the lead that he would hold for the rest of the race. Various drivers looked to have strong cars including Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick, but all had their share of troubles. Logano started the race by leading a large portion of laps before a power steering problem knocked him from contention. Matt Kenseth also led a number of laps and was in second before suffering damage in a bizarre crash under caution with Timmy Hill that left Kenseth unable to hold the lead afterwards. Kyle Busch spun coming out of turn two and was then nicked by his brother Kurt, ending their shots at the win. Finally, Harvick suffered a mechanical failure with roughly 50 laps to go that left oil on the track and Harvick in the wall, with Keselowski and Jamie McMurray being caugh up in a secondary incident.
With the win, Edwards is practically guaranteed a position in the Chase, joining Dale Earnhardt Jr., Harvick and Keselowski as drivers all with wins this season. Next week takes the series to Fontana, California and the Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400.