Carl Edwards wins Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Speedway

Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards (19) leads driver Landon Cassill (38) during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Bristol, Tenn. Edwards went on to win the race. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) – Carl Edwards avoided tire issues that hampered his teammates and took off on the final restart to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Starting on the pole for the second straight week, Edwards led 276 of 500 laps in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Toyota en route to his first victory of the season and fourth on the half-mile oval. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second, followed by Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott and Trevor Bayne.

Edwards’ flawless day contrasted the right-front tire problems endured by teammates Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin after all of them started in the top five.

Busch, the defending series champion and points leader, had trouble throughout the race. He exited after his car smacked the wall on Lap 259 and sustained heavy damage, failing to finish a race for the first time since June at Michigan.

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