Edwards pulled away from a determined pack of pursuers on a green-white-checkered flag finish to claim his first Sprint Cup Series win of the 2013 season and snap a 70-race winless streak dating back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. After losing the championship to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker that season, Edwards foundered in 2012, missing the cut for the championship Chase and finishing a dismal 15th in points.
This season began badly as well, with Edwards crashing four times during a traumatic Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona. But his Subway-sponsored Ford dominated at PIR, pulling away after the race’s final caution for Ken Schrader’s crash with just three laps remaining. Jimmie Johnson won a fender-banging duel with Denny Hamlin by inches to claim the runner-up spot, after Hamlin went from fourth to second with a testosterone-rich, three-wide pass on the final lap. Hamlin finished third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton completed the Top-10.
“I don’t even know where to start,” said Edwards afterward. “I have a lot of people to thank; first and foremost Jack Roush and of these guys at Roush Fenway. (Crew chief) Jimmy Fennig is the man (and) this pit crew is unreal, They won this race for us. This is huge.
“I told (one of my guys) I was about to start getting mad,'" he said. "I try to stay positive, but we really, really like winning. I can’t say enough about everybody believing in me. I’m telling you, we are back. This is going to be big.
"This is just awesome, one of the coolest wins of my life."
There were 12 lead changes among nine different drivers and eight caution flags for a total of 43 laps. Johnson now leads the championship standings by eight points over Earnhardt, heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.