Carl Edwards’s championship hopes were dashed in a violent wreck that took out a number of cars in the closing laps of the season finale in South Florida.
Restarting with 10 laps to go, the driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota restarted ahead of the other Championship 4 drivers when Joey Logano dove to the bottom to try and pass him. Edwards mirrored his move with a block, but he came across the nose of Logano’s car and got hooked into the wall.
The lifeless 19 car came back across the active race track into the oncoming path of Kasey Kahne who slammed into the back of his car and lifted it up into the air. Regan Smith was also collected in the chaos.
“Joey (Logano) was so good on the short run that I knew I couldn’t give it to him. I couldn’t give him that lane,” Edwards said talking about the restart. “I went down there and blocked and he went down there as far as a guy could expect to go down and I just thought – I thought we were going to possibly hit. I just thought I’d have a little more time to correct it, but we were so far down there we couldn’t go any farther down and basically we ended up wrecked, so that’s the way things go sometimes.”
Logano’s car continued on, but got loosened by Edwards’s car coming back towards the track. This sent him across the nose of his teammate Brad Keselowski, who gets hooked into the wall by Ryan Newman.
“It’s a product of a format that’s based on putting everything and risking everything,” Keselowski said of his thoughts on the incident. “I don’t know. It’s not really all that surprising. It’s disappointing. I don’t think that’s great racing, but I understand why it happened on both ends.”
Martin Truex Jr. slams into Keselowski, which sets the engine of his car on fire.
“All I see is the 2 (Brad Keselowski) coming up the track and nowhere to go,” Truex said of what happened from his vantage point. “This is one of those wrong place, wrong time. We got put in the back a few times. Once was our mistake early and (Kevin) Harvick’s after that. It’s unfortunate. We had a really good race car tonight and nothing to show for it. It’s two weeks in a row. Frustrating, glad this year is over and we will go and regroup and get ready for next year.”
Ty Dillon also sustained damage in that melee.
He, Edwards, Kahne, Keselowski, Smith and Truex all retired from the race as a result.