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Strange day at Bristol ends with Edwards in Victory Lane, Bowyer 15th

By Heather Williams, hwilliams@kwch.com
Published On: Mar 16 2014 10:28:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 16 2014 10:52:01 PM CDT

NASCAR via Getty Images

The caution lights came on and for a moment no one knew why. Then the rains came and Carl Edwards didn’t really care why. He was out front at the time and took the checkered and yellow flag at the same time for his first win in 2014.

“Huge day for us,” said Edwards. “Huge day for Ford.  I mean, people were talking a lot about how Fords are running so great on Friday, and it wasn't our Fords.  It was not our Roush Fenway Fords.  We've been struggling lately, and for us to come out of here with a win and to run so well with a number of the Fords out of our shop, that was big.”

Fords made up four of the top five, with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. second, Aric Almirola third and Marcos Ambrose fifth. Tony Stewart broke up the blue oval party with his fourth place finish in a Chevy.

As for that mystery caution at the end of the race, Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton says the lights came on, due to human error.

“After review of the situation post-race, what had happened in the closing laps of the race, it appears that in the flag stand one of the flag people had leaned on the switch that is the manual override for the caution lights, and so that happened,” said Pemberton. “At that time when the flag stand realized that the caution lights were illuminated, the flag man threw the flag, and then after that happened we froze the field from the tower.”

That was just one of many strange things that happened throughout the race day, which lasted close to nine hours thanks to the rain. Under one caution Timmy Hill plowed into the back of leader Matt Kenseth. Then leader Kevin Harvick lost an engine causing Jamie McMurrary and Brad Keselowski to wreck when they hit the oil trail Harvick left behind.

And then there was Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who was hit from behind by Danica Patrick as he sat on pit road for service late in the race.

Bowyer’s day had more downs than up. He battled an ill handling race car for most of the afternoon and even fell a lap back. But the 15 car battled and eventually got back on the lead lap and back where he started the race, in 15th place.

“We salvaged a decent day for the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota,” said Bowyer. “We were a lap down for awhile and were able to come back and get a top-15, which isn’t bad for Bristol.”

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