Edwards' high-risk 'banzai move' not enough to derail Johnson
Carl Edwards could've played it safe during the stretch run of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. But what's the fun in that? Edwards tried every trick in his repertoire to pass Jimmie Johnson on the final lap -- including a barrier-banging "banzai move" -- before conceding victory to the new Chase points leader, writes Terry Blount.
- KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- So much for playing it safe. Carl Edwards was going to win one for the home folks or wreck trying.He wrecked trying, but still managed to finish second to Jimmie Johnson Sunday in a wow-factor last lap to the Camping World RV 400.The crowd at Kansas Speedway saw the top two men in the Chase go all out for the checkered flag with less than half a lap remaining. Edwards was almost a full second behind Johnson with three laps to go. No chance to catch the No. 48 Chevrolet, or so it appeared. But Edwards decided to gamble."I moved up to the very top of the track and it was way faster," Edwards said. "But I was only 10 inches from the fence, so Jimmie went up and was able to block me."Time to try risky option No. 2 -- the slide job.Entering Turn 3 of the last lap, Edwards gunned it and turned left down the track and inside of Johnson. Edwards zoomed by Johnson heading to Turn 4, but knew it would come at a price.The momentum and angle of the move causes the car to slide back up the banking toward the wall. Edwards made solid contact with the barrier, but kept control of the car as they headed down the frontstretch for the last time."It was my banzai move," Edwards said. "I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn't plan on it slowing me down that much. It didn't work out quite as well as it does on the video game."Meanwhile, Johnson played it smart, watching Edwards go by him before sliding underneath the No. 99 Ford and back into the lead. Edwards went from scraping the wall all the way down to the apron, hoping to grab enough momentum to catch Johnson at the line, but it was too late."I feel sorry for my guys at the shop about tearing up the race car," Edwards said. "But I really wanted to win this race more than any other on the schedule."Edwards grew up in Columbia, Mo., a two-hour drive from the Kansas Speedway track. He's never won on the 1.5-mile oval. Neither had Johnson, whose victory enabled him to flip-flop spots with Edwards in the Chase standings, moving 10 points ahead of Edwards after three of 10 playoff events.Johnson said he was surprised Edwards got close enough to challenge him at the end, but he knew what was coming when Edwards dove under him.[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Ed ZurgaJimmie Johnson beats Carl Edwards to the checkers to win Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Kansas.
It was my banzai move. I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn't plan on it slowing me down that much. It didn't work out quite as well as it does on the video game.
-- Carl Edwards
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