Edwards wiped away two years of frustration Sunday by winning the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway—his first Cup win in 71 races.

Edwards, who lost the 2011 Cup championship to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker, had not won a race since the third race of that season, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To top it off, Edwards won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 while driving the Subway-sponsored car.

Edwards performed his trademark backflip after climbing from his car at the start/finish line and then went into the grandstand to celebrate with fans.

"This is huge," Edwards said. "This is a Subway race and we won it. We’re back."

After losing the 2011 title, Edwards struggled last season, missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup and finishing 15th in the final standings.

After going winless last year, Edwards switched crew chiefs during the offseason, with Roush Fenway Racing pairing him with veteran Jimmy Fennig, who led Matt Kenseth to six wins the past two years.

Jimmie Johnson, who chased Edwards over the final 70 laps, finished second followed by Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt led a portion of the race, but lost the lead to Edwards on pit road and then spun his tires on the ensuing restart, letting Edwards get away.

Edwards led earlier in the race but won the race off pit road on his final pit stop to regain the lead. He held off Johnson and Earnhardt on the restart to hang onto the lead.

Edwards seemed to be cruising when a caution flag flew for Ken Schrader's crash with three laps to go. Edwards held off Johnson on the final restart, with a push from fellow Ford driver Keselowski.

“Jimmy Fennig is the man," Edwards said of his new crew chief. "The pit crew was unreal, they won this race for us."

Source: Sportnews.com




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