BRISTOL, Tenn. – The situation was perfect for Carl Edwards to issue some payback on Kyle Busch.
Instead, Edwards passed on a chance to knock Busch out of the lead over the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.
As Busch pulled away for Sunday’s win – his fifth straight dating to August at the Tennessee track – Edwards regretted not racing harder to potentially steal the victory. The two have a history at Bristol, and Edwards is still smarting from contact last month at Phoenix that he believed wrecked a car capable of winning the race.
“I told him after Phoenix that I still owe him one, but I’ll save it up,” Edwards said.
That Edwards considered revenge was a surprise to Busch.
“I have no idea what I’m owed from, you’d have to ask Carl,” Busch said.”
Busch beat Edwards and Jimmie Johnson off pit road following the final pit stops. It gave him the lead and ability to hold them off over the final 60 laps.
“I was trying to drive away from him so he wouldn’t have the opportunity to get to me,” Busch said of his strategy with Edwards. “When he got to me that one time, I’m like, ‘Oh, man. That was your shot. Nice try. You didn’t get it done.’ ”
He did, pulling away to complete a sweep of the weekend – he also won the second-tier Nationwide Series race on Saturday – and it was Busch’s fifth consecutive victory at Bristol dating to a three-race sweep in August.
Edwards settled for second and lamented not pushing Busch harder after the final restart with 37 laps remaining.
Johnson, the defending race winner, finished third in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Matt Kenseth, Edwards’ teammate, was fourth and was followed by Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick for Richard Childress Racing.