Edwards accepts blame for crashing Roush Fenway teammates

Updated: October 13, 2008, 11:43 AM ET

AP Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer

Carl Edwards, second from right, touched off this "big one," which took out Kevin Harvick, right, and pole-winner Travis Kvapil, left.

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- For once, Jack Roush, who usually speaks in sentences long enough to rival Casey Stengel and William Faulkner, was as concise as could be.

"Some days are harder than others," the team owner said. "This is a real hard day."

Roush came here with his team at the brink of commanding the Chase. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle were just 10 and 20 points, respectively, behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

But Edwards took them both out, along with a third Chaser from Roush, Matt Kenseth, with only 15 laps remaining in Sunday's Amp Energy 500.

Edwards and Biffle had played it conservative most of the day, running at the back of the pack to stay out of trouble at Talladega Superspeedway, where a Roush Ford hasn't won since one driven by Mark Martin in 1997.

Finally, they began their move up through the drafting lines to go for high finishes and to stay close to -- or perhaps even surpass -- Johnson, who was having trouble with an inexplicably slow car.

But in trying to bump-draft Biffle up through the pack, Edwards turned "The Biff" sideways and detonated a 12-car pileup that took out six Chasers, including the three Roush drivers, plus Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick.

"I was worried about the idiots when we came here," Edwards said, "and I was the guy who caused that one.

"I was just pushing Greg as hard as I could," he continued. "It was my fault. I apologize to everybody who got caught up in that wreck."

Roush thought the bump-drafting already was out of hand.

"NASCAR let people push through the corners and push down the straightaways, and they pushed one another all day," he said. "I guess Carl got into Greg too hard and turned him sideways."

"I think the 99 [Edwards] tried to give us a little bit of help there in the center of the corner," Biffle said, "and got us turned around. Same old Talladega. We hung out in the back all day. … I thought we'd raced really smart today."

Johnson nursed his ailing car home ninth and padded his points lead to 72 over Edwards and 77 over Biffle -- not nearly enough to feel comfortable in the lead, but better than the 20 or fewer points that had separated the top three previously.

"You come here and run around in the back, which they did," Roush said, "and try to stay out of trouble and avoid somebody else's wreck, and unfortunately, in making the charge to the front, you can get involved in your own wreck."

"I feel bad that I took my teammates out," said Edwards, who doesn't have the warmest of relationships with Biffle and Kenseth anyway. "Matt's mad, and I'm sure Greg's mad."

So much for Roush at the brink of command of the Chase.

-- Ed Hinton

Truck Series: Bodine, Hornaday big winners at surprisingly clean Talladega

If you didn't see the No. 30 Toyota doing burnouts and the Germain Racing team celebrating in Victory Lane on Saturday at Talladega, it would have been tough to tell who won -- Todd Bodine or Ron Hornaday Jr.

Bodine claimed the Mountain Dew 250 trophy, nudging aside Kyle Busch in the tri-oval on the final lap to win his second consecutive Talladega race and third superspeedway race. Hornaday took a significant step toward a bigger prize by finishing second, moving into first place in points in an attempt to become the Craftsman Truck Series' first repeat champion.

"We'll take a second -- that feels like a win to me at Talladega," said Hornaday, who had never finished higher than seventh in seven prior starts at Talladega and Daytona.

Bodine, on the other hand, can't finish anywhere but the top 5 on the big ovals in the Truck Series, now a perfect 7-for-7 in the showcase events. He brought the same Tundra that won at Talladega last year and at Daytona in this year's opener, then found a new way to take the checkered flag. In the previous two victories, he was the leader on the final lap and held off late chargers in three-wide finishes. Saturday, he was the aggressor.

The 2006 series champion drafted off Busch in the closing laps and said he thought he might just trail the Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota all the way to the line, but he inadvertently popped the No. 51's bumper less than a mile from the finish, passed on the outside and made it stick.

"He was the best Toyota we had out there today," said Busch, a three-time winner in his part-time job.

As Busch got loose and had to hold on for third, Hornaday slipped behind Bodine and carried the No. 33 Chevrolet to a second-place finish that saw crew chief Rick Ren pumping his fists atop the pit box as if it had been his man's sixth win of the season.

Not quite, but it put Hornaday out front for an unprecedented fourth championship. Four races ago, Hornaday trailed Johnny Benson by 119 points, but two wins, a fifth and a second since have created a 158-point swing. Benson, two weeks after crashing out at Las Vegas in 27th place, never led at Talladega and finished 11th in the mad dash to the finish in the Bill Davis Racing No. 23. He now is second in points, 39 back.

Benson didn't appear especially concerned, not after surviving a wild-card race with his Toyota in one piece. With 20 laps to go, the "big one" seemed destined to break out at any moment, with the entire field racing in tight three-wide rows as if starting the Indianapolis 500. Yet the only multi-truck crash was on the backstretch of the final lap, back in the pack, when Jeff Green, Jon Wood, Brendan Gaughan and 18-year-old Joey Logano were collected in a wreck. No yellow came out, and the front pack was allowed to race to the stripe, with Bodine and Hornaday a very satisfied 1-2.

-- John Schwarb

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Racing Resources Says …

Sprint Cup

Tony Stewart

Stewart

  • Tony Stewart won the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Stewart posted his 33rd career victory in his 350th career race. It was his first victory of the 2008 season, and he became the 12th driver to win a race in 2008.
  • Joe Gibbs Racing scored its 10th victory of 2008.
  • Stewart won the race from the 34th starting position. He led 24 of the 190 laps, including the final 17 laps. He led the most laps of the day, earning 10 bonus points.
  • Stewart had six second-place finishes at Talladega without a win until Sunday.
  • Jeff Gordon (38th) has gone 35 races without a victory, his longest streak between victories.
  • Paul Menard (second) posted his career-best finish.
  • No. 01 Regan Smith (18th) was the only rookie of the year contender in the race. Heading to the finish, he passed Stewart (who was leading) below the yellow line and finished ahead of him. Smith was penalized for the illegal pass and dropped to the last car on the lead lap.
  • This was the 10th win for Toyota in 2008. Ford and Chevrolet each have eight wins, and Dodge has four.
  • Jeff Burton (fourth) has scored 24 top-15 finishes in 30 races this season, the most of any driver. He has scored top-10 finishes in the past five races.
  • Jimmie Johnson (ninth) has led in 24 of the 30 races this season, more than any other driver. He has scored top-10 finishes in the past six races.
  • Kevin Harvick (20th) ended a streak of nine straight top-10 finishes that began at the second Pocono race.
  • Carl Edwards (29th) ended a 10-race streak of top-15s that began at Indy.
  • David Ragan (third) has posted top-5 finishes in the past three restrictor-plate races.
  • Robby Gordon (eighth) posted top-15 finishes in the four restrictor-plate races in 2008.
  • The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, three Dodges, one Ford and one Toyota.
  • Stewart made his 350th Cup start. All 350 starts were consecutive.
  • Robby Gordon made his 300th Cup start.
  • Pole-sitter Travis Kvapil scored his first career pole and finished 27th in his 100th Cup start.
  • Robert Yates Racing tied Hendrick Motorsports, each with 14 restrictor-plate poles.
  • Three of the top 5 finishers were Chase drivers. Four of the top 10 were Chasers, the fewest this season.
  • Greg Biffle won the first two Chase races. Jimmie Johnson won at Kansas, and Stewart won at Talladega.
  • Eleven of the 12 Chase drivers earned lap-leader bonus points at Talladega. Only the No. 07 of Clint Bowyer failed to lead. It was the most Chase drivers to lead in a Chase race since the playoff began in 2004.
  • The 28 leaders in Sunday's race set a NASCAR record, eclipsing the mark set by 26 at Talladega in July 1986 and April 2001.
  • Seven of the 12 Chase drivers changed positions after Talladega.
  • This was the seventh green-white-checkered finish in 2008.

Craftsman Trucks

Todd Bodine

Bodine

  • Todd Bodine won the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday. Bodine scored his 14th Truck Series victory in his 110th race. He has won the past three superspeedway races (Talladega '07, Daytona '08, Talladega '08).
  • Bodine led three times for 10 laps, taking the lead for the final time on the last turn. He won from the fifth starting position -- the other two races at Talladega have been won from the pole.
  • This is the 14th win for Germain Racing, second of 2008, both by Todd Bodine.
  • Ron Hornaday, who finished second, now leads Johnny Benson (11th) by 39 points. Benson had a one-point lead going into the race. Hornaday has scored 158 points more than Benson in the past five races.
  • Bodine's margin of victory was 0.075 seconds.
  • Toyota posted its 11th win of the season. Chevrolet has seven, and Ford and Dodge each have one.
  • Erik Darnell led the most laps (48). He has led 48 percent of the laps on superspeedways in 2008.
  • Joey Logano (26th) and Richard Johns (31st) made their Truck Series debuts.
  • The race was slowed four times for 17 laps of caution.
  • The race featured 16 lead changes among eight drivers.
  • The top 10 consisted of five Toyotas, one Ford and four Chevrolets. The highest-finishing Dodge was 13th.
  • The highest-finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate was No. 6 Colin Braun (fourth).

-- Racing Resources