Carl Edwards wins caution-filled Food City 500 at Bristol


Carl Edwards led all 276 laps and survived a couple of late restarts to win a caution-filled Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

It is Edwards' 26th career victory, but his first of 2016 in a race which included 15 cautions - the most in a Bristol event since there were 15 cautions in the 2007 spring race.

Edwards' Joe Gibbs Racing team-mates were responsible for several of those cautions. Series leader Kyle Busch, who had won the past two Sprint Cup races and had six top-fives in the first seven races, struggled with tyre problems throughout the race and completed only 258 laps to finish 38th.

"I'm not sure what started it, but we were a little snug early on in the first run of the race," Busch told reporters.

"As the car would run more and more laps it would get tighter and tighter, that's the weirdest thing that I've felt all day and all weekend we haven't had that problem. ... I don't know why it kept getting tighter and why we were blowing right fronts."

Busch's team-mate, Matt Kenseth, also had tyre issues. Although he led 142 laps, he blew two right-front tyres and finished 36th.

Edwards said he was well aware his team-mates were having tyre issues.

"There was some concern, but for some reason, our car, we didn't have any of those issues," Edwards told Fox Sports after the race. "This team is awesome.

"There were so many different things happening out there. ... It's a real testament to my team, who have all been working hard."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who fell down two laps when his car lost power because of a balky electronic control unit at the start of the race, fought back to finish second.

Kurt Busch finished third, while Chase Elliott and Trevor Bayne completed the top five. It was Bayne's first top-five finish since he won the 2011 Daytona 500.

Edwards' win earns him a spot in the Chase, an accomplishment every driver is eager to get out of the way early in the season.

"Now we're in the Chase," he said. "We can go have some fun."

Finishing Order for the Food City 500

1 Carl Edwards
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Kurt Busch
4. Chase Elliott
5. Trevor Bayne
6. Matt DiBenedetto
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Ryan Newman
10.Joey Logano
11. Ryan Blaney
12. Greg Biffle
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Paul Menard
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Kasey Kahne
18. Brad Keselowski
19. AJ Allmendinger
20. Denny Hamlin
21. Chris Buescher
22. Landon Cassill
23. Jimmie Johnson
24. Casey Mears
25. Ty Dillon
26. Austin Dillon
27. Danica Patrick
28. Cole Whitt
29. Michael McDowell
30. Brian Scott
31. Michael Annett
32. Jeffrey Earnhardt
33. Josh Wise
34. Aric Almirola
35. Kyle Larson
36. Matt Kenseth
37. Regan Smith
38. Kyle Busch
39. David Ragan
40. Reed Sorenson