Defending champ Edwards out of All-Star race

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Once again there will be no repeat champion at the Sprint All-Star race.

Defending champion Carl Edwards bowed out in the second segment Saturday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after the engine in the No. 99 Ford blew up on lap 25.

Edwards was looking to become the first repeat champion at the All-Start event since Davey Allison did it in 1991 and ‘92, but had to park his car in the garage for the night.

“We were running really well the first segment and I knew something wasn’t right,” Edwards said. “I’m just glad someone didn’t run me over.”

Edwards said the racing was “treacherous” early on as drivers looked to capture the four 20-lap segments, giving them a spot in the top four heading into 10-lap shootout for the $1 million prize.

Edwards took the setback in stride.

“This race lost a driver but it gained a fan,” he said. “I’m going to go watch this thing because it was insane in traffic.”

Edwards was in the TV booth by the end of the second segment.


LISTENING TO FANS: NASCAR Chairman Brian France is aware of the fan debate surrounding the last two months of racing, and acknowledged the sanctioning body is studying several areas to ensure the on-track product is entertaining.

But France indicated it’s difficult to judge where NASCAR is based solely on the last eight races.

“You just can’t snapshot and give a grade like that,” France said Saturday night before the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Fans have been voicing disapproval since the March race at Bristol, which lacked the short-track punch people have come to expect. Then came California, which went green until rain brought out the only caution of a race that was called not long after the yellow.

Texas had only two cautions, Kansas had three and Richmond didn’t heat up until the very end. Although ardent fans are insistent they don’t root for wrecks, there seemed to be some satisfaction after Talladega, which was the first race in a month to feature multi-car accidents.

France seems to have heard the frustration with the long green-flag runs.

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