NASCAR Richmond Notebook: Carl Edwards Crew Chief Says Bump-And-Run Good For The Sport

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Carl Edwards celebrates his Sprint Cup Series victory Sunday in Richmond (Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards celebrates his Sprint Cup Series victory Sunday in Richmond (Photo: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)

RICHMOND, Va. – To bump or not to bump? That is the question.

The person with the most eloquent answer to that existential question wasn’t Carl Edwards, who bumped his way to victory in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

And it wasn’t Kyle Busch, the victim of the nudge by teammate Edwards that sent his No. 18 Toyota up the track in the final corner and out of Victory Lane.

No, the person with the best perspective on the teammate-on-teammate contact was Dave Rogers, who used to be Busch’s crew chief and now serves in that capacity for Edwards.

After Edwards caught Busch on the last lap and moved him for the win, Rogers talked about the relationships between the drivers and between himself and No. 18 crew chief Adam Stevens.

“Adam and I are great friends,” Rogers said. “Kyle and I are great friends. So I’m not worried about any relations. If we look at the big picture, today was a great day for NASCAR. Our fans don’t want to see teammate orders. They don’t deserve teammates to fall in line. They deserve good, hard racing.

“So I think today was a great day for the sport. It stinks that we had to move a teammate. I’m sure Adam and I will talk about it, and Carl and Kyle will talk about it. But I think it would be very disappointing to our fans if (owner) Joe (Gibbs) imposed a team order and told us, ‘Hey, have a parade instead of a race.’

“There’s going to be plenty of days that the 18 is faster than us, and they’ll probably get to our back bumper and move us. We’ll go down to Victory Lane, shake their hands, tell them ‘Good job.’ That’s just a testament to Joe Gibbs Racing, allowing us to put ourselves in that position.”


What was not to like?

Tony Stewart was back in a race car for the first time this season, and he was driving at one of his favorite race tracks.

He was working in competition with new crew chief Mike Bugarewicz for the first time, and he was up on the wheel.

Though Stewart was returning from a burst fracture of his first lumbar vertebra – an offseason injury that required surgery, rest and considerable rehabilitation, the adrenaline rush of being back in the No. 14 Chevrolet was enough to overcome any feelings of pain or fatigue.

“Line ‘em up again and let’s run another – hell, make it 800 laps,” said Stewart, who started 18th and finished 19th in the 400-lap Toyota Owners 400. “Line ‘em up, and I’ll run 800 laps right now and not have a problem.

“There will be a bunch of these guys falling out of the seat if they had to run 800 more laps, but I will not be one of them.”

Sunday was the sort of day Stewart lives for.

“Racing at your favorite race track and running a day race here where it gets slippery and you have to use all of the track… that’s what made it fun and that’s what I miss. That’s the stuff I dearly miss with this series is having days like today where you get on track and you are sliding around and the drivers get to make the difference.”


For the first time this year, Kasey Kahne got a close-up view of the best cars in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race – and not when they were passing him.

Kahne ran in the top nine throughout Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 and finished fourth, posting his first top five since the Chase race at Kansas Speedway last October. The solid run at Richmond was the best evidence of the progress his Hendrick Motorsports team is making.

“It was a strong weekend for our team,” Kahne acknowledged. “Communications side with (crew chief) Keith (Rodden) and the engineers, just kind of what we worked on, the direction we went was really solid all weekend, similar to Bristol. We just finished it off today.

“We had a strong car. We had a great restart there at the end (on Lap 365) to get a couple spots and get a top five. That was good. We haven’t had a lot of these in the last year, two years. So it was nice to run up front, nice to be competitive, battle with the Gibbs cars a little bit, Jimmie (Johnson) a lot, Kevin (Harvick) some.

“I could always see those guys, so it was nice to see the fastest cars in this particular race.”


  1. Andrew B. says

    Rogers creates an unwarranted assumption when he states, “They don’t deserve teammates to fall in line. They deserve good, hard racing.”
    There are choices in between “team orders” and “knocking someone out of the way to beat them.” It’s not an either/or situation.

  2. … “They deserve good, hard racing”.. exactly right there Dave, but that’s not what happened you moron!!! Any dummy can run up behind someone and knock them out of the way, if Carl is so talented and has a car that can win, pass him clean!!!

    The fact that this is so acceptable now, even by a team mate, is just pathetic.
    Carl with his big, unapologetic, sh*t eating grin on. .I thought he used to be a good “racer”, like the time he made a pass by riding the wall at Darlington to win I think ??

  3. I belive carl edwards
    His peddle stuck
    He did not bump and run
    He said it himself
    Brakes were low too

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