Concord, N.C. — Joe Gibbs has had many special nights in football and auto racing. Few were bigger than Sunday's showing in the Coca-Cola 600.

The head of Joe Gibbs Racing had plenty to celebrate: Kyle Busch returned to points racing and finished 11th; Matt Kenseth won the pole and ended fifth; and Denny Hamlin, the All-Star Race winner last week, fought for a title before finishing seventh.

The highlight, though, was Carl Edwards' first victory for his new JGR team in NASCAR's longest race.

"In so many ways," said Gibbs, the three-time Super Bowl winner with Washington and three-time NASCAR championship team owner, "it's a big deal for us."

Things for JGR might get even bigger this season.

Edwards becomes the third of four Gibbs' racers with a victory, just about locking them into NASCAR's 10-race, year-end championship chase. Gibbs said the program can now concentrate on getting Busch into contention after he missed three months because of a serious accident at Daytona three months ago.

Gibbs' plans when he brought in Edwards as a fourth team are taking shape in a big, big way.

"We've taken a long time to catch up, I'm not saying we've caught up" to other power programs like Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing, Gibbs said. "Over the last two races here, it's a big deal for us."

Edwards won his first Coca-Cola 600 with a gutsy call from crew chief Darian Grubb to pit earlier than most competitors and stay on the track while the field was diving in for full tanks and fresh tires. Edwards held off Greg Biffle over the final laps for his 24th career Sprint Cup victory.

For Edwards, the win was more special because of what it meant to those like Gibbs, who took a chance the talented driver was capable of bigger things.

"I have been stressed, you can ask the people close to me. I'm just so competitive and I'm not happy with how we've performed and the results," Edwards said.

"I feel like this is a gift. As much as I've been frustrated, this is truly a gift."

Arrests down at Indy

Authorities say 176 people were arrested at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over race weekend, mostly for alcohol-related infractions, marking a 17 percent drop from a year ago.

Indiana State Excise Police, the law enforcement division of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, arrested 211 people during last year's race weekend.

Police in the town of Speedway reported seven arrests in and around the track.


Through Coca-Cola 600

1. Kevin Harvick, 473

2. Martin Truex Jr., -41

3. Joey Logano, -66

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr., -72

5. Jimmie Johnson, -80

6. Brad Keselowski, -92

7. Matt Kenseth, -101

8. Jamie McMurray, -120

9. Jeff Gordon, -127

10. Kasey Kahne, -128

11. Ryan Newman, -130

12. Aric Amirola, -134

13. Paul Menard, -137

14. Kurt Busch, -146

15. Denny Hamlin, -152

16. Carl Edwards, -161