Gamble pays off for Edwards

Dannie Walls|Special to the Daily Journal Carl Edwards captured Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. It was his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing.

CONCORD — It was a gamble that Carl Edwards hoped would pay off big time.

It did.

Being off cycle from the leaders, Edwards and crew chief Darian Grubb elected to stay out while watching Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and others headed down pit road for fuel and four tires in the final 30 laps.

The gamble worked as Edwards pulled away from Greg Biffle to win the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third, pole-sitter Matt Kenseth finished fourth and Truex Jr. took fifth.

Grubb didn’t think it was gamble and was surprised more teams didn’t come in at the same time.

“I wasn’t that concerned about it,” Grubb said. “We knew it was our only strategy.”

Grubb added on the last stop he was planning on putting two tires on the No. 19 car. He altered his plan but when very few teams followed Edwards on pit road and he elected to changed all four tires.

“I guess they didn’t have the fuel mileage we did,” Grubb said.

Edwards’ former teammate with Roush-Fenway Racing, Biffle kept waiting for him to falter at the end of the race.

“I was hoping and praying he would be a lap short,” Biffle said.

Check with for the full story Monday

Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.