Roush Yates and Ford Racing scored a 1-2-3 finish and their second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. After two rain delays lasting more than five hours, Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Kellogg’s Ford Fusion took the checkered flag under caution with Roush Fenway teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. close behind and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola finishing third.
Edwards and crew chief Jimmy Fenning made the winning call on a late-race pit stop, electing to stay on the track and hold off the field for the final 71 laps without fresh tires. His Roush Yates powered Ford Fusion opened up a lead over of the field of more than four seconds before an unexpected caution flag waved on lap 499 of 500 and hard rain ended the night under caution.
“Our car was faster than it had been all night, so not pitting was not a determinant to our performance,” said Edwards. “It didn’t hurt us in any way staying out and helped with all that track position. How about these Ford drivers? Ford has done so much for the sport. They make the greatest cars on the road and for them to finish 1-2-3-5, that’s a big turnaround for the year.”
“Now we’re in the Chase,” continued Edwards. “We’re going to go out and win this championship.”
Stenhouse Jr. and Almirola chose to stay out on the last pit stop as well and race for the win. In the end, both young drivers posted their best career finishes. Marcos Ambrose finished fifth, giving Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports four of the top five finishers.
“We’re real happy with the representation Ford was able to have tonight,” said team owner Jack Roush. “It was a great night for Roush Fenway and for all the guys in the shop. They worked hard all winter and they got the result from it tonight that they deserve. We made some changes and built some new cars over the winter and revised our strategies a little bit as far as the way we do our engineering and the way that manifests itself in what the race cars are and we are still working with our process.”
This weekend’s Ford sweep came just one day after Ford Racing and Roush Yates won the Twelve Hours of Sebring sports car race. Ford drivers previously finished 1-2-3 last season when David Ragan, David Gilliland, and Edwards took home the top three spots at Talladega. Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski overtook the series points lead after finishing 14th and winning last week in Las Vegas.