Racingone Rewind: Atlanta

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A look back at Carl Edwards' 14th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

RacingOneCast
Click Here to watch RacingOne's recap of the Pep Boys Auto 500. itunes Podcast

Fan Photos
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Ask DJ
Have a question about the Pep Boys Auto 500? Ask ESPN Analyst Dale Jarrett by Clicking Here.

Inside Line
Carl Edwards continued his mastery of Atlanta Motor Speedway scoring his third career win at the track and seventh Sprint Cup victory of the season in Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500. Photos

Keys to Victory Lane
Edwards started outside the front row when the field was lined up by points, and was in control all day holding off a charging Jimmie Johnson to score the victory. Complete Results

Zero to Hero
Johnson was caught for speeding on pit road and fell a lap back and to 30th position. But he worked his way back to the front of the field, and with four fresh tires on the final pit stop of the day put on a furious charge in the closing laps to finish second.

Rookie of the Race
Not a stellar day for the freshman class with Sam Hornish Jr.'s 24th-place finish the best of the bunch.

Notables
Kurt Busch started 19th and led laps on his way to finishing sixth. Jamie McMurray continued his late season surge with a seventh-place finish. And A.J. Allmendinger was impressive in the GEM No. 10 with a 14th-place run.

Chase for the Cup
Johnson was able to stretch his lead to 183 points with Edwards moving from fourth to second in the standings followed by Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton who slipped back to fourth.

Pep Boys Auto 500 Loop Data Leaders
• Average Running Position: Carl Edwards - 2.2
• Fastest Early In a Run: Carl Edwards - 172.410 mph
• Fastest Late In a Run: Kurt Busch - 163.710 mph
• Fastest Laps Run: Carl Edwards - 63
• Fastest on Restarts: Carl Edwards - 175.288 mph
• Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Michael Waltrip - 101
• Laps In Top 15: Carl Edwards - 325
• Quality Passes: Kyle Busch - 79
• Speed in Traffic: Kurt Busch - 167.765 mph

Pit Stops
• Edwards captured his 14th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in his 154th career start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
• Edwards won the 111th race for car owner Jack Roush. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
• Edwards became the 11th driver to win at Atlanta from the second position. He was the 351st driver overall to win a race from that position. Starting Position Facts
• Edwards won the 30th race for Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ford has now won 590 all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
• The last time a Ford driver won at least seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races in a season was 1998 when Mark Martin won seven times.
• Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his 21st top-10 finish in 2008.
• Denny Hamlin (third) posted his second top-10 finish in seven races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
• Matt Kenseth (fourth) posted his fifth consecutive top-10 at AMS and seventh top-five finish of his career there.
• Kyle Busch (fifth) posted his second top-five finish of the 2008 Chase.
• Kurt Busch (sixth) posted his fifth top-10 finish at AMS in 16 starts.
• Jamie McMurray (seventh) posted his first top-10 finish at Atlanta with Jack Roush. He has four top 10s in 13 total starts at the track.
• David Ragan (eighth) posted his first top 10 at Atlanta in his fourth start there.
• Jeff Gordon (ninth) posted his 21st top-10 finish in 33 starts at Atlanta.
• Greg Biffle (10th) has finished in the top 10 seven times in 12 starts at AMS.
• The 325-lap race saw 18 lead changes among eight drivers and an average speed of 134.272 mph. Lap Summary
• Ten caution flags were thrown for 43 laps.
• The Pep Boys Auto 500 lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes, 39 seconds.

Lug Nuts
• Halloween came early in Atlanta with thousands of fans dressed as empty seats.
• The 2009 season will be the last time the Sprint Cup Series stops twice in Atlanta. Hello Kentucky.
• Any question that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus are one of the best combos in the history of NASCAR?
• Now the best point races are in the Nationwide and Truck Series.
• Stop whining about the Chase format - Johnson would win the title no matter what system NASCAR decided to use and that includes having the drivers play Chinese Checkers to determine the champion.
• Jeff Burton and the second half of the Chase sure don't mix do they?
• With so many races on mile-and-a-half tracks it's amazing Roush doesn't just run away with the title every year.
• That scream you heard was Chip Ganassi looking at his checkbook after that final crash that took out Montoya and Sorenson.
• Really, someone other than Petty Enterprises is willing to hire Kyle Petty as a driver? We'll believe that when we see it.

Garage Talk
• "Man, Jimmie is magic. We've got to go win those next three and hope for the best." - Carl Edwards
• "I guess I made a mistake getting onto pit road and got nailed for a speeding violation and then we just fought and fought and fought to get back. I'm leaving here very happy. That's almost like a win today." - Jimmie Johnson
• "Hey, we're going out to win, man. Wins and top fives; that's what we get paid to do. If we do all that, the championships will come." - Chad Knaus
• "It would be my suggestion as NASCAR looks at how to make this more exciting, if every team had an opportunity to throw out one race and be able to just count nine of the 10, that means you could have a mulligan and you could be able to come back from it." - Jack Roush
• "We had a race-winning car, but our car didn't like those cycles on those cautions. We had the field licked and then we had that debris caution, and it just changed the whole complexion of the race." - Denny Hamlin
• "I was running on the bottom and once the sun is in your eyes you can't see the corner, so you can't aim to where you want to go and hit your marks. It is stupid, we should start the race earlier, but the networks want it later for attendance and this and that and the other but it makes the end of the race terrible." - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
• "I don't think that I ever raced a looser racecar than that in my life." - Ryan Newman

RacingOne Rating

On a scale of one to 10 Georgia peaches, we'll give Sunday's Pep Boys Auto 500 a six. Pretty tame stuff most of the day, but watching Johnson's unbelievable recovery and stellar drive through the field to salvage a second-place finish was fascinating. But, alas, the championship drama looks like it's gone until 2009. Now it's off to another 1.5-mile track with Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Photos

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