Jimmie Johnson, 2008
Sprint Cup Champion: Not
Even after winning at Atlanta, Carl Edwards knew that if he had any shot at catching Jimmie Johnson for the Sprint Cup title, he'd have to continue the string of top finishes. Maybe even keep winning races. He did just that Sunday. Edwards won the Dickies 500 at the . Edwards used fuel strategy to take his eighth win of the season and his second in a row. Edwards also earned more bonus points by leading the most laps (212).
Points leader Jimmie Johnson finished 15th, leading no laps. That gave Edwards 77 more points Sunday than Johnson. That margin cut Johnson's lead in the points to 106. While it will still take a lot for Edwards to catch him with two races remaining, another result like this past race in the next one will make things a lot more interesting at Homestead.
The race was slowed only five times for caution. The biggest incident brought out the last caution on lap 264. But it was a caution that caused NASCAR to call an end to the day for David Gilliland. Juan Pablo Montoya got contact from behind by Gilliland, forcing him into the back stretch wall. NASCAR officials called it rough driving on Gilliland's part. For that reason, he was parked for the remainder of the race. Other penalties are likely later this week.
Pole sitter Jeff Gordon came just short of ending his winless streak, finishing second. Jamie McMurray finished third with Clint Bowyer fourth and in fifth. Kyle Busch placed sixth with Kevin Harvick seventh. Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, and David Reuitmann rounded out the top ten.
Other notable finishes: Mark Martin 11th, Jeff Burton 13th, Tony Stewart 16th, Denny Hamlin 17th, and Dale Earnhardt. Jr. in 20th.
Believe it or not, we're down to the final two weeks of the season. All three series will be in Phoenix this weekend. The Truck Series will race Friday in the Lucas Oil 150 with the Nationwide Series Saturday in the Hefty Odor Block 200. The Sprint Cup Series will race Sunday in the Check 500.