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Edwards tops Kyle Busch for Nashville Nationwide win

NASCAR
Sunday, April 24, 2011

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Carl Edwards celebrates his fourth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory and 11th top-10 finish in 12 races on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway
Getty Images for NASCAR
Carl Edwards returned to victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2007, winning Saturday’s Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race.

The victory was Edwards’ second of the season and 31st of his career—tying him for fourth all time with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Ingram.

Edwards had won three Nationwide races in a row in 2006-07 but went six races at Nashville without winning again. His four Nashville victories are tops among all drivers at the 1.33-mile track.

“Was it 2007?” Edwards said. “That’s a long time to run poorly somewhere. Seemed like every time we came we won for a little while. Was it three in a row? Then all of a sudden, we came here and really struggled. That’s really trying on everybody.

“I have to give credit to (car owner) Jack Roush, to Ford, (engine builder) Doug Yates, (crew chief) Mike Beam, the guys at the shop. It looked like we were facing some insurmountable challenges, and they worked hard and got these cars better.”

Saturday, Edwards was the best, leading five times for 148 laps in beating Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by .521 seconds. Edwards surged past Busch as the two dueled for the lead with 35 laps to go.

Busch was gunning for a weekend sweep after his victory in Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race but came up short as his Toyota was “just not quite fast enough.”

Brad Keselowski finished third and Joey Logano fourth as Sprint Cup regulars swept the top four spots in the Nationwide Series’ first stand-alone race of the season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fifth for the best finish among Nationwide regulars and moved into a tie for the points lead with Justin Allgaier.

Edwards and Busch traded the lead three times and raced side by side for more than three laps not long after a restart with 44 laps to go.

“At the end of the race, I was pedaling for all I had,” Edwards said. “I was kind of excited at the beginning of the race. I thought, ‘Boy, we’re going to run off with this thing. It’s going to be easy.’ Then at the end, that was white-knuckle. I was driving as hard as I can drive, racing him and Brad.

“In the end, it’s better to have a race like that, but it was really nerve-wracking for me.”

Edwards led Lap 189 of 225, with Busch coming back to lead Lap 190. Edwards led Lap 191 and finally got clear of Busch, even as Keselowski was challenging from third.

“I didn’t quite finish that pass,” Busch said. “He had a really fast car. We could keep up with him momentarily but not for the whole run. It was a good show right there, a little bit of racing back and forth. … Brad was right behind us and kind of lurking in the distance there.”

In the end, both drivers agreed Edwards’ No. 60 was simply the better car.

“Our Ford was just slightly better than his car, just slightly,” Edwards said. “He’s savvy enough of a racer, he knew how to keep me behind him and how to force the issue. He made it really hard on me, but he also gave me plenty of room. You can race a bunch of different ways out there, but that was a very clean race. That was really good. It was fun. I was really having a blast out there.”

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 7 60 Carl Edwards Ford Ford. Drive One. / Ford Mustang 0 225 Running
2 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 0 225 Running
3 9 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 0 225 Running
4 1 20 Joey Logano Toyota Harvest Investments 0 225 Running
5 4 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford RickyVsTrevor.com 39/0 225 Running
6 2 16 Trevor Bayne Ford RickyVsTrevor.com 39/1 225 Running
7 3 33 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating 0 225 Running
8 13 32 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Dollar General 36/0 225 Running
9 12 7 Josh Wise Chevrolet Eutechnyx 36/1 225 Running
10 16 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Grand Touring Vodka 35/1 225 Running
11 14 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Wolfpack Rentals 33/0 225 Running
12 11 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota Toyota 32/0 225 Running
13 8 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet Hunt Brothers Pizza 31/0 225 Running
14 5 164 David Reutimann Toyota Flatout Flatbread 0 225 Running
15 19 38 Jason Leffler Chevrolet Great Clips 29/0 225 Running
16 20 99 Ryan Truex * Toyota Pastrana Waltrip Racing 28/0 225 Running
17 15 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 27/0 224 Running
18 26 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Colormatch Coating Solutions 26/0 224 Running
19 17 62 Michael Annett Toyota Pilot Flying J 25/0 224 Running
20 - 70 David Stremme Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 0 223 Running
21 29 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Key Motorsports 23/0 223 Running
22 10 11 Brian Scott Toyota Shore Lodge 22/0 223 Running
23 28 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet RaceDaySponsor.com 21/0 223 Running
24 24 87 Kevin Conway Toyota Extenze 0 222 Running
25 30 81 Blake Koch * Dodge Daystar.com 19/0 222 Running
26 23 39 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet Rimz One Wheels Tires Accessories 18/0 222 Running
27 21 167 J.R. Fitzpatrick Ford Go Canada Racing 17/0 221 Running
28 37 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Racing With Jesus / Imperial Bedding Company 16/0 220 Running
29 22 30 Mikey Kile Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 15/0 220 Running
30 36 28 Derrike Cope Dodge Pouch Tech Inc. 14/0 218 Running
31 18 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 13/0 218 Running
32 34 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds 12/0 217 Running
33 27 15 Timmy Hill * Ford Rick Ware Racing 11/0 215 Running
34 42 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Dodge Wildlife Conservation Society 10/0 143 Engine
35 35 52 Tim Schendel Chevrolet TRX Alliance 9/0 32 Brakes
36 31 79 Tim Andrews Ford Sports Massage USA 0 29 Brakes
37 40 49 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet Jay Robinson Inc. 7/0 10 Brakes
38 43 174 Mike Harmon Chevrolet Riverwalk Cafe 6/0 6 Overheating
39 32 168 Matthew Carter Chevrolet Fleur-de-lis Farms 5/0 4 Electrical
40 39 141 Carl Long Ford Lilly Trucking 4/0 3 Overheating
41 41 05 Willie Allen Chevrolet 31-W Insulation 0 3 Brakes
42 33 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 2/0 1 Vibration
43 38 175 Johnny Chapman Ford Rick Ware Racing 1/0 1 Vibration

* Denotes Rookie

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