Coca-Cola 600 2015: Winner, recap and results from Charlotte

Image courtesy of @KySpeedway.

The backflip is back at the Coca-Cola 600. Carl Edwards not only earned his second top-10 finish of the year, but closed out the longest race of the year with his first victory for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The win secures a Chase berth for Edwards after a disappointing start to the season. It also marks the second straight triumph at Charlotte for JGR after Denny Hamlin won the Sprint All-Star race last Saturday night. Edwards had never won a Coke 600 during his career.

After taking a gamble on fuel mileage, Edwards was able to hold off a strong pack that included Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. Despite leading the most laps, Truex fell short for a second straight points race after losing in Kansas due to fuel mileage.

“I feel like this is a gift,” Edwards told PRN after the race. “This is truly a gift.”

Here’s a look at the top 20 from the coca-Cola 600:

  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Greg Biffle
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Martin Truex Jr.
  6. Ryan Newman
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Kevin Harvick
  10. Kurt Busch
  11. Kyle Busch
  12. Kasey Kahne
  13. Joey Logano
  14. Paul Menard
  15. Jeff Gordon
  16. Austin Dillon
  17. Aric Almirola
  18. Chase Elliott
  19. Jamie McMurray
  20. Clint Bowyer

Kyle Busch made his return to a points race and proved his injury won’t be a setback. Reaching as high as second during the Coke 600, Busch eventually finished 11th to slowly creep his way back into the Chase picture. He’ll need a win and to finish in the top 30 in points to get there.

Jimmie Johnson’s night came to an abrupt end when he spun out for the second time coming around Turn 4. The No. 48 machine then shot down into pit road and smashed the front end into a SAFER barrier, ending any chance at defending his victory from the 2014 Coke 600.

“We just had a really loose race car,” Johnson said in the garage. “We came in with an aggressive mindset and brought an aggressive setup in the car. … Unfortunately, we didn’t get long enough into the race for that aggressive setup to come into play.

“We said we’re gonna come into the race and swing for the fences. We ended up hitting the fence.”

Johnson would return to the track, but couldn’t make up any positions and only finished ahead of cars that wrecked before him. The Hendrick driver will look to rebound at Dover, a track where he also won last season. In his last three races at Dover, he’s captured two victories and a third-place finish in the fall.

The rest of the field will look to hunt him down again next Sunday when the Sprint Cup heads to the Monster Mile. Sunday’s race starts at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 with Chase spots on the line again.

 

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