Edwards makes it two for two in Atlanta - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Edwards makes it two for two in Atlanta

March 20, 2005

Hampton(AP) -  Carl Edwards pulled off a daring move on Jimmie Johnson coming off the final turn and won his first Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, beating Johnson by about a half-car length.

 Johnson, trying to win for the second week in a row, grabbed the lead from Edwards with 25 laps to go and appeared to be strong enough to take it all the way to the finish of the Golden Corral 500.

But, on the final lap, Edwards got a great run coming out of turn two and pulled up on Johnson's back bumper.

Johnson went high coming through turns three and four, trying to block his challenger, but Edwards went even higher.

The 25-year-old driver hardly resembled someone in his first full year on the circuit, hugging the wall and actually tapping Johnson's car as they roared through the trioval.

Johnson's car bobbled slightly just a few feet from the finish, and Edwards slipped by on the outside to win by a minuscule 0.028 seconds.

When it was over, Edwards pulled to a stop in front of the main grandstand, climbed out of his Roush Racing Ford and pulled off a move that's sure to become a standard on the Cup circuit , a backflip onto the asphalt.

 Edwards completed a weekend sweep in Atlanta.

Yesterday, he held off Johnson and Tony Stewart to win the Busch race,  his first victory in that series, as well. Greg Biffle held on for third, followed by Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne.

Johnson led a race-high 156 laps, followed by Biffle with 151. Edwards led only nine laps, but he was near the front all day.

posted by roberth@walb.com