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Lost in the drama of the Chase championship was the fact that none of the Big 3 came anywhere close to winning the season's final race. No, the Ford 400 at Homestead belonged to Carl Edwards almost from the green flag.
Edwards was singularly dominant all day long, leading the most laps and never really leaving the outcome of Homestead in doubt. Once Edwards appeared set to lock up the laps-led bonus, it became a duel for the Big 3 to even lead a single lap. Only Johnson managed the feat.
So where does that leave Edwards? Well, he snapped a 70-race streak last week, a run which Edwards, in some poorly-chosen words considering his owner Jack Roush, described as a "sharp stick in the eye." Now? Is he once again the Most Likely To Knock Off Jimmie Johnson?
"Don't do that to me," Edwards said after the race. "Last time, that didn't work worth a damn." When Edwards won three of the last four races to close out 2008, fans and media alike proclaimed him the Jimmie-Slayer. Johnson would go on to win two more championships and counting; Edwards didn't win again until last week.
Regardless, Edwards finished fourth in the Chase standings and once again established himself as something more than just NASCAR's designated Keselowski-spinner. Come 2011, he'll be one of the hot picks, like it or not.