AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Carl Edwards climbed from his car, stood on the door and landed a back flip near the finish line. He then hopped up on the wall in front of the grandstand, grabbed the checkered flag and waded into the crowd, trading high-fives with fans.
After a miserable week at Daytona, Edwards had plenty to celebrate. That it came at Phoenix International Raceway was fitting.
Edwards pulled away on a late restart and snapped a 70-race winless streak Sunday, the second long drought he's ended at Phoenix.
"This win feels as good or better as any win I've ever had," Edwards said.
Edwards had a rough 2012 season, missing the Chase for the championship. His downward spiral continued at Daytona, where he wrecked five cars. On his way out of Florida, Edwards said he was ready to dominate and win at Phoenix.
He did just that, leading the final 78 laps on the 312-lap race around PIR's odd-shaped oval in the first non-restrictor-plate race with NASCAR's new Gen-6 car.
Edwards won for the first time since Las Vegas in 2011. He snapped another 70-race winless streak in Phoenix in 2010.
Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson edged Denny Hamlin by a few inches to finish second.
Danica Patrick had a rough follow-up to her breakthrough week at the Daytona 500, ending her day with one of the hardest hits of her career. It happened with about 100 laps left, when the right-front tire on Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet went down and slammed her into the wall.
Patrick's car careened back into David Ragan, flipping her hood over the windshield and shredding the left front fender as protective foam from the driver's side door flew onto the track. She was unhurt.
South Bay native A.J. Allmendinger finished 11th in his first Sprint Cup race since he was reinstated from last year's suspension for a failed drug test.