Carl Edwards became the third repeat winner of the 2016 NASCAR season Sunday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway. Edwards led 151 laps during the Toyota Owners 400 for his first set of back-to-back wins in six years.
Edwards made contact with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, on the last lap just before the checkers.
“Kyle’s an amazing teammate and it’s like he got really slow there at the end,” Edwards said. “…It’s like his rear tires went off or something, and he went down into Turn 1 and I dove it in and I got to him”
Edwards’ bump-and-run move wasn’t the only thing that helped him gain another victory. After fading behind, crew chief Dave Rogers made the proper adjustments and offered his driver some words of encouragement.
“Kyle was just so good for that run. I was just doing everything I could. He never spun his tires,” he said. “If Dave hadn’t screamed at me to just go get him, I don’t know if I would have dove it in there that hard.”
Busch didn’t share much enthusiasm about the move that denied him of his third win this season.
We just kind of gave it up a little bit there on the last lap, but I guess that’s racing,” he said. “We had a really great car. We were fast, maybe not as good as Carl on the long run, but the guys gave me everything we needed today.”
Busch led 78 laps and finished second to continue Toyota and JGR’s dominance in 2016.