As the Chase for the Championship in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series left Dover, Roush Fenway Ford driver Carl Dover went to the winners circle – his first win in a Chase race in two years.
But the drama was after the celebration.
Things turned sour when NASCAR flunked Edwards’ car on the post-race inspection.
NASCAR announced that the right rear fender on the race car was too low.
That means that Edwards may have won the race, but also may end up losing Championship points. This season, such violations have previously resulted in a fine of $25,000 against the crew chief and a loss of 25 driver’s points against both Johnny Sauter and Kyle Busch. If that penalty is imposed, Edwards will – instead of moving up 5 points to 3d in points, would drop to at least 7th.
NASCAR will announce a decision on penalty mid-week. They are impounding the car and taking it to the NASCAR research facility in North Carolina, where they will inspect it further. NASCAR did, however, indicate that the penalty might be less severe than some earlier this season, a spokesman stating that "[t]his is not considered a Car of Tomorrow-type penalty. There’s no evidence of manipulation of the integrity of the structure of the car. It’s a heights-inspection infraction."
Edwards speculated that the fender may have been affected by post-race contact with another car. "The only thing I can think of is at the end of the race, Greg [Biffle, a teammate] came up and gave me a couple of love taps to say ’good job, good race’ and hopefully they find that that bent the tail of the car down a little bit. There are some braces bent under the decklid so hopefully that’s what it is."
Jeff Gordon broke his points lead tie with Jimmy Johnson. Gordon finished 11th, which puts him 2 points up on Tony Stewart.