Edwards Flips Over New Bristol

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Carl Edwards scored his second NEXTEL Cup Series win of the season Saturday night as he sped to the victory in the Sharpie 500 on Bristol Motor Speedway's new track surface.

Edwards drove his Office Depot Ford to his first career win at the 0.533-mile concrete oval taking the checkered flag after starting from the sixth position.

The victory locked Edwards into the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" championship.

Edwards led 182 laps Saturday night.

"This is the biggest win of my career," Edwards said after his signature post-win celebration backflip. "Winning here at Bristol is everybody's dream. This is the night race at Bristol, 500 laps, and we won it. I am living a dream. I think every short-track racer out there dreams about this."

Polesitter Kasey Kahne came up one position short of sweeping the Bristol weekend after his Busch Series win Friday night, driving his Dodge Dealers/McDonald's Dodge Charger home second.

"To go into a season and think you are going to run well, and then you don't, this feels good," said Kahne, who won a series-=high six races in 2006 but is winless so far this year. "We haven't had a top-five since last year."

Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top five.

Earnhardt Jr. passed Kurt Busch in the final laps for the fifth place finish but he wasn't able to help his cause much to make the "Chase."

He is stil 13th in the standings and trails Busch and the 12th position by 158 points with only two races left before the cutoff.

"I want to win," Earnhardt, Jr. said. "If I can't make the Chase, I want to win a race. When we don't make (the Chase) everybody makes a big deal over it, they talk about it pre-race and talk about it postrace. It's a bummer when you see that and watch that. You're just trying to let it go under the radar when you can't get it done."

Busch, however, isn't taking anything for granted.

"We're running more consistent, and that's what it takes if you want to be a championship contender," said Busch. "But for us, we still have to get into the Chase. We're not locked in, so we're not losing focus with two more races."

Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle completed the first ten finishers.

Busch's teammate Newman is 14th in the standings and although has to be considered a longshot at this point, is still holding out hope.

"We still have a shot at it," said Newman. "Mathematically, we still have a chance. We're just trying to give it our best shot, each and every lap. That's good enough in my eyes -- whether it's good enough to make the top 12, we'll see."

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to California Speedway next Sunday night for the Sharp AQUOS 500.

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