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 Number 19 Toyota en route to his first victory of the season and fourth on the half-mile oval. Dale Earnhardt Junior 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.

 

Wreck Knocks Cup Series Champ Kyle Busch Out at Bristol

Matt Hazlett

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has wrecked at Bristol Motor Speedway and failed to finish for the first time since June at Michigan.

The series points leader entering the 500-lap event started fifth Sunday but endured tire problems and handling issues that caused several cautions. Busch was also cited for speeding off pit road.

Busch's day ended on Lap 259 when his No. 18 Toyota Camry smacked the wall and sustained heavy damage that left a line of fluid as his crew worked on the car in the garage.

Busch said of the handling: "I just kept getting tighter in the long run — not sure why that was."