Carl Edwards gives Kyle Busch ‘a little nudge’ on last lap to win at Richmond

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Carl Edwards “nudged” Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch out of the lead on the final turn of the last lap to capture Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

It was Edwards’ second consecutive win, having also reached Victory Lane last week at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When asked if there was any question he’d do what he did by pushing Busch out of the way, Edwards quipped, “Well, yeah, it was a huge question.”

“Kyle’s an amazing teammate, and he just got real slow at the end, something happened on that last lap,” Edwards told Fox Sports. “I was doing everything I could. … If Dave (crew chief Dave Rogers) hadn’t screamed on the radio to just go get him on the last lap, I don’t know if I would have dove in there that hard. It was a real team effort and was a big win for us.”

It was the first last-lap pass to win a Sprint Cup race in Richmond history (120 races).

“It’s racing. I guess,” Busch told Fox Sports afterward. “We had a really great car. It was really good today. We were fast, maybe not as good as Carl was on the long runs, but we did everything right and did what we were supposed to do and put ourselves in the right position.”

Edwards led 151 laps in the 400-lap event, while Busch led 78 laps.

Busch took the lead on Lap 364, 36 laps from the finish and did a masterful job of holding off Edwards until the last lap.

Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne and pole-sitter Kevin Harvick.

Tony Stewart, making his first start of the season, finished 19th.

When asked what is going to stand out most about Sunday’s race, Stewart replied, “How much fun I had in it. This place is so cool anyway. It’s always been my favorite racetrack. … The drivers got to dictate it today. You weren’t stuck in one line and had the ability to move around and change lines.”

Joe Gibbs Racing continued its dominance this season, placing all four of is drivers in the top seven with Edwards, Busch, Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Matt Kenseth (seventh).

MORE: Results and statistics for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

MORE: Carl Edwards assumes Sprint Cup points lead after second win in a row

HOW EDWARDS WON: It was a classic bump-and-run outcome as Edwards stayed glued to Busch’s bumper on the final lap and gave it one final shot heading into Turn 4. Edwards was able to push his teammate out of the way and motored on to victory.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Even though he wasn’t happy with the runner-up finish (the fifth time he had lost the lead on the last lap of a Cup race), Busch ran a strong race. He might not have had as strong of a car as Edwards, but he paced himself, grabbed the lead on the final restart and if the race had ended one turn shorter, he likely would be standing in victory lane.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Sprint Cup rookie Chris Buescher continues to struggle in his first season in NASCAR’s top level, finishing 34th. Also continuing to struggle this season is Clint Bowyer (33rd), who is slated to replace Tony Stewart in 2017 in the No. 14 Chevy. … Ryan Blaney, who has been one of the top rookies this season along with Chase Elliott, was a disappointing 28th, one lap behind the leaders.

NOTABLE: This was only the fourth race in the last 23 1/2 years at Richmond that there wasn’t a caution in the first 100 laps. As it turned out, there wound up being eight cautions for 49 laps in the race. … Kasey Kahne’s fourth-place finish was his first top-5 of the season.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I gave him a little nudge. Man, I didn’t think we had anything for him.” — Race winner Carl Edwards on pushing Kyle Busch out of the way on the final lap.

WHAT’S NEXT: May 1, Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, 1 p.m. ET.

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