Because Carl Edwards finished where he started in Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, you might think he had an uneventful day.
But Edwards’ third-place run was anything but that.
“It feels weird to race that hard all day and finish in the same spot you started,” said Edwards, who maintained his second-place position in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points and trimmed the lead of ninth-place finisher Jimmie Johnson to 25. “That’s not the true story.
“I actually got passed a lot and passed a lot of folks. Pretty dynamic race—there was a lot that happened.”
Changing track conditions also complicated the equation.
“The handling changed quite a bit throughout the race,” Edwards said. “The tires were a big struggle, which I think makes the racing really good…
“We had a little bit of a fuel issue. We were spilling some fuel, weren’t getting the car all the way full, so we were very nervous whether or not we were going to make it to the end.”
With Juan Pablo Montoya running out of fuel on the penultimate lap, Edwards probably didn’t have enough gas to survive a green-white-checkered-flag finish—that was one variable he didn’t have to confront.