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Edwards and Harvick win at Gateway

NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series
Sunday, July 18, 2010

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Carl Edwards hoists his third trophy at Gateway International Raceway after winning the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250.
Jason Smith/Getty Images
The feud between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski—dormant since Atlanta in March—erupted like an angry volcano at Gateway International Raceway.

In a drag race to the finish line, Edwards sent Keselowski hard into the outside wall on the way to winning Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Nationwide Series race at the 1.25-mile track. As Edwards took the checkered flag two car lengths ahead of runner-up Reed Sorenson, Keselowski careened into the inside retaining wall and took a vicious shot from Shelby Howard's Chevrolet just short of the finish line.

Less than a lap earlier, Keselowski had bumped Edwards in Turn 1 in an attempt to take the lead after a restart on Lap 199 of 200. Edwards' Ford and Keselowski's Dodge raced side-by-side for most of the final lap. With Keselowski edging ahead as the cars approached the stripe, Edwards turned Keselowski's Dodge, igniting a multicar pileup on the frontstretch.



"I just couldn't let him take the win from me," said Edwards, who drew a three-race probation in March for unabashedly turning Keselowski in a Sprint Cup race at Atlanta, with the unintended consequence of sending the No. 12 Dodge upside-down into the frontstretch wall. "My guys work way too hard for that.

"We had a great restart. My guys built me a great car. We came to the checkered flag, and I hate to see stuff tore up, but we came here to win and he took it from us there in Turn 1. Just an awesome race. ... I'm sure some of them don't like that win—Brad Keselowski fans and stuff—but, man, I just couldn't let him take it from me. I had to do what I had to do."

In Keselowski's view, Edwards action at Gateway was intentional.

"He turned left into me and wrecked me on purpose," Keselowski said. "I gave him the lane, and he still wrecked me. … I figured out a way to beat him. He wasn't happy with me, so he wrecked me. Wrecking down the straightaway is never cool, whether it's at 200 mph or 120. I'm sorry that's the way it had to end."

Keselowski's father, old-school racer Bob Keselowski, had an even stronger take on the finish.

"Brad got into Carl getting out of Turn 1—racing—they bumped, they rubbed, typical rubbing-racing deal," Bob Keselowski said. "Carl flipped out like he did at Atlanta and tried to kill the kid. I'm sick and tired of this. I'll get my own damn uniform back on and take care of this. He ain't going to kill my boy."

"He just overreacted so bad. If he wanted to bump Brad, it's one thing. But don't drive him through the inside guardrail. Don't put him in the grandstands at Atlanta. That's asinine."

After meeting with Edwards in the NASCAR hauler, Nationwide Series director Joe Balash attributed the final-lap crash to hard racing.

"I think at the last lap there was a lot of hard racing going on," Balash said. "There was some movement on the racetrack. It was a tough finish for a really great race.

"We've chatted about this evening, yes. We don't talk about any of those conversations (that we have) in the hauler."

The last-lap crash marred what should have been a triumphant finish at the venue Columbia, Mo., native Edwards considers his home track. Edwards is the first three-time winner at Gateway, and with his second victory of the year and the 27th of his career, he trimmed Keselowski's lead in the series standings from 227 to 168 points in what has become, for practical purposes, a two-man race.

Polesitter Trevor Bayne ran third, his best finish to date. Paul Menard came home fourth, followed by Steve Wallace. Brian Scott, Colin Braun, Josh Wise, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Tony Raines completed the top 10.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 8 60 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 190/5 200 Running
2 13 32 Reed Sorenson Toyota Dollar General 170/0 200 Running
3 1 99 Trevor Bayne Toyota Out! Pet Care 170/5 200 Running
4 5 98 Paul Menard Ford Richmond Water Heaters / Menards 160/0 200 Running
5 9 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 155/0 200 Running
6 6 11 Brian Scott * Toyota AccuDoc Solutions 150/0 200 Running
7 2 16 Colin Braun * Ford Con-way Freight 146/0 200 Running
8 34 7 Josh Wise Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 142/0 200 Running
9 15 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. * Ford CitiFinancial 138/0 200 Running
10 22 34 Tony Raines Chevrolet Long John Silver's 134/0 200 Running
11 33 15 Michael Annett Toyota Pilot Travel Centers 130/0 200 Running
12 12 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 127/0 200 Running
13 26 88 Steve Arpin Chevrolet Blue Harbor Bank 124/0 200 Running
14 3 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 131/10 200 Running
15 21 05 Willie Allen Chevrolet 31-W Insulation 118/0 200 Running
16 10 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches 120/5 200 Running
17 4 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 112/5 198 Running
18 20 10 Tayler Malsam Toyota Iron Horse Jeans 109/0 198 Running
19 39 40 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Jansen Chevrolet 106/0 198 Running
20 32 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Juggle.com 103/0 198 Running
21 41 21 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Victory In Jesus 100/0 197 Running
22 37 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Bandana's Bar-B-Q 97/0 197 Running
23 24 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 94/0 196 Running
24 42 23 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet Media Master 91/0 196 Running
25 16 12 Justin Allgaier Dodge Verizon Wireless 88/0 194 Accident
26 43 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty Odorblock 85/0 193 Running
27 17 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet HostGator.com 82/0 189 Accident
28 19 100 Ryan Truex Toyota NAPA 79/0 178 Accident
29 18 20 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Pizza Ranch 76/0 163 Running
30 7 18 Brad Coleman Toyota SafeWay Driving Centers 73/0 150 Accident
31 38 09 Landon Cassill Ford RAB Racing 70/0 102 Vibration
32 29 27 Kelly Bires Toyota Baker Curb Racing 67/0 62 Engine
33 40 43 Brad Baker Ford Baker Curb Racing 64/0 61 Brakes
34 23 35 Jason Keller Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 61/0 44 Accident
35 31 156 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet RaceDaySponsor.com 58/0 26 Ignition
36 11 91 Chase Miller Chevrolet D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports 55/0 24 Electrical
37 28 90 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports 52/0 20 Vibration
38 27 26 Brian Keselowski Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 49/0 13 Brakes
39 14 37 Kevin Swindell Ford Curb Records 46/0 8 Brakes
40 35 89 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet Victory In Jesus 43/0 6 Oil Pressure
41 25 136 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Long John Silver's 40/0 4 Electrical
42 36 92 Dennis Setzer Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 37/0 3 Vibration
43 30 49 Mark Green Chevrolet Jay Robinson Inc. 34/0 2 Electrical

* Denotes Rookie

Harvick wins truck race

On a blistering hot day that left fourth-place finisher Todd Bodine lying on the tile floor of the media center with ice packs on his chest, Kevin Harvick beat the heat and trounced the rest of the field to win Saturday afternoon's blackout-delayed CampingWorld.com 200.

Despite a stiff neck that kept him out of Nationwide Series practice earlier in the day, Harvick, who won the pole on Friday before a power failure forced postponement of the race itself, cruised to his third victory in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season.

Harvick crossed the finish line at 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway 5.241 seconds ahead of runner-up Brad Keselowski, who was making his third start of the season in his own truck. Johnny Sauter ran third, followed by Bodine, who extended his series lead to 101 points over eighth-place finisher Aric Almirola.

Matt Crafton came home fifth to claim his second straight top five and his third of the season. Timothy Peters, rookie Austin Dillon, Almirola, Brian Ickler and Mike Skinner completed the top 10.

"I was wiping my hair off in the shower this morning, and that's how I hurt it," Harvick said of the neck problem. "I just got a kink in my neck, and it's gone all the way down to my shoulder, but the longer I ran today, it actually got better. I feel better than I did this morning.

"I've just got to relax in the car. If you get tense, it becomes more of an issue, but as the race went on, I got more and more relaxed and was able to tolerate it."

Harvick, who led 143 of 160 laps, got help from a physical therapist before the race. He said the heat that toasted other drivers didn't bother him until he got out of the truck in victory lane.

Keselowski acknowledged that Harvick had the field covered, but he questioned whether Harvick had violated NASCAR's rule against pulling up to pit on the final stop under caution on Lap 126.

"The only way we were going to win the race is if he made a mistake," Keselowski said. "I felt like he did. He passed the pace car pitting. You're not supposed to do that. He got away with that one. We didn't catch that break, but we did all we could to put ourselves in the best position possible. We just needed a little bit more."

Harvick viewed Keselowski's complaint about passing the pace car as a case of sour grapes.

"I'd complain if I got beat that bad, too," Harvick said.

For Bodine, the heat inside his truck was so intense it burned him, despite adjustments to his seat after a similar experience at Texas.

"Man, I burned my butt bad today, and my back even got burnt," said Bodine, who declined a trip in an ambulance after the race. "That's why I lay down in here (the media center) on the cold floor."

Notes: Harvick earned a perfect 150.00 driver rating for his performance in the truck race. He and Keselowski, among others, were scheduled to compete later Saturday in the Nationwide race at Gateway. … Ricky Carmichael crashed hard into the Turn 4 wall after contact with Skinner's Toyota on Lap 80. As Carmichael slid toward the infield grass, Jeffrey Earnhardt's Chevrolet plowed into Carmichael's truck. Both drivers were released forthwith from the infield care center, but Earnhardt's truck series debut ended with a 30th-place finish.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 1 2 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q / Kroger 195/10 160 Running
2 3 129 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 170/0 160 Running
3 5 13 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet In Country Television / Curb Records 165/0 160 Running
4 14 30 Todd Bodine Toyota Germain.com 160/0 160 Running
5 9 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Ideal Door / Menards 155/0 160 Running
6 7 17 Timothy Peters Toyota Red Horse Racing 150/0 160 Running
7 6 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Remington Arms / Tracker 146/0 160 Running
8 16 51 Aric Almirola Toyota Zyclara by Graceway Pharmaceutica-ls 147/5 160 Running
9 10 18 Brian Ickler Toyota Toyota Tundra / Viasystems 138/0 160 Running
10 13 5 Mike Skinner Toyota Exide Batteries 134/0 160 Running
11 23 23 Jason White Dodge GunBroker.com 130/0 160 Running
12 2 31 James Buescher Chevrolet Wolfpack Rentals 127/0 160 Running
13 25 81 David Starr Toyota Zachry 124/0 160 Running
14 19 12 Mario Gosselin Chevrolet TireMonkey.com / James Carter Attorney 121/0 160 Running
15 21 9 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 118/0 160 Running
16 20 90 Brad Sweet Toyota Great Clips 115/0 160 Running
17 22 15 Steve Wallace Toyota Merit Pro 112/0 160 Running
18 17 07 Tony Jackson Jr. Chevrolet SS Green Light Racing 109/0 159 Running
19 12 60 Stacy Compton Chevrolet SafeAuto Insurance Company 106/0 159 Running
20 33 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb * Ford drivenmale.com / DriverBoutique.com 103/0 158 Running
21 31 47 Brett Butler * Chevrolet Fuel Doctor 100/0 158 Running
22 29 186 Jamie Dick Chevrolet Viva Auto Group 97/0 158 Running
23 24 63 Jack Smith Ford Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool 94/0 158 Running
24 34 01 Carl Long Chevrolet Koma Unwind Chillaxation Drink 91/0 157 Running
25 35 57 Norm Benning Chevrolet Pella Motors 88/0 153 Running
26 8 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Charter 90/5 150 Running
27 4 7 Justin Lofton * Toyota VisitPIT.com 82/0 127 Power Steering
28 30 46 Clay Greenfield Dodge Team Gill Racing 79/0 105 Steering
29 18 4 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 76/0 79 Accident
30 32 6 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet Fuel Doctor 73/0 79 Accident
31 11 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet S&W Towing 70/0 49 Accident
32 36 187 Chris Jones Chevrolet Copy Wizard 67/0 25 Electrical
33 27 89 Mike Harmon Chevrolet Lafferty Motorsports 64/0 21 Brakes
34 15 93 Mike Garvey Chevrolet S&W Towing 61/0 19 Brakes
35 26 95 Dennis Setzer Dodge Team Gill Racing 58/0 3 Overheating
36 28 172 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet MyTireMonkey.com / James Carter Attorney PE 1 Engine

* Denotes Rookie

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