Edwards Doubles Down In Vegas
March 2, 2008 | 4:55 P.M. EST
Edwards outran Dale Earnhardt,Jr. to the checkered flag and won his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
But there was an "issue" with Edwards' car in post-race inspection.
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said the “lid on oil reservoir encasement, the oil tank box, was found off of the car.”
Poston said the car would be taken to NASCAR’s research and development center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection and any penalties or fines would be announced then.
It was the Roush Fenway racing driver's ninth career series win and the second in less than a week, after he picked up the win in last Monday's rain-delayed Auto Club 500.
Edwards had Lady Luck on his side when he dodged a potential penalty for a tire rolling away from his stall during a pit box.
Replays showed the tire was interfered with by a videographer in Edwards' pits, so NASCAR waived what would have been a devastating penalty.
But the win was still anything but easy for Edwards.
He was locked in a tight battle with teammate Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Earnhardt, Jr. in the final laps before a multi-car accident red flagged the race with four laps to go.
Gordon touched the rear of Kenseth's car, causing both machines to slide on the backstretch with the No. 24 Chevrolet crashing hard into the inside retaining wall.
The accident brought out a 17-minute red flag and set up a shootout to the checkered flag.
Edwards was able to keep his No. 99 DISH Network Ford ahead for his first win at Las Vegas.
"It's just special," Edwards said after his trademark victory back flip.
"I was just trying to keep Dale behind me there. It has been an amazing couple of weeks."
Edwards was able to take the lead in the Sprint Cup Series standings for the first time in his career.
"That red flag really killed us," said Earnhardt Jr., who moved up to 10th in the points standings.
"We were terrible on cold tires.”
Earnhardt, Jr., Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
Kasey Kahne, David Ragan, Travis Kvapil, Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin completed the first ten finishers.
Tony Stewart suffered a tough weekend, crashing for the second time.
He finished last after hitting the wall hard on lap 108 when a right-front tire blew on his No. 20 Toyota.
"That's the hardest one I've taken in a long time," Stewart said. "It hit so hard it's got my lower back sore and made my legs almost feel about half numb until we got to the Infield Care Center."
The Sprint Cup Series now heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Sunday.