Ford cars dominated the podium at Sunday’s rain-soaked Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The race winner, Carl Edwards, had a four-second lead on the competition before the track’s caution lights accidentally came on with only three laps left, forcing the race to finish under caution. Edwards was closely followed by teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola, completing the 1-2-3 finish for Ford. The finishes were Sprint Cup career bests for both Stenhouse and Almirola.
“I did not want to see that caution,” Edwards said. “Concern was not a strong enough word. So, I’m glad the rain came. I think there were some higher powers at work there.”
The race was filled with mishaps similar to the accidental caution light, with the start being rain-delayed by almost two hours and another delay happening on lap 124, which lasted another 3 hours and 18 minutes.
Edwards solidified his lead when his crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, made the call to stay out with 44 laps left, when the majority of the front-running drivers were coming in for a tire change.
“We only had 17 laps on the tires, so it wasn’t too difficult a call,” Fennig said in a statement. “Once the track got rubbered in, tires weren’t a problem.”
The top five was rounded out by Tony Stewart in fourth, his only finish above 16th place so far in 2014, and Marcos Ambrose in fifth.
The next race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Auto Club 400, set to take palce on March 23 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.