Edwards Claims Second Home Win At Gateway It took three days for Carl Edwards to get to Gateway International Raceway from his home in Columbia, Mo. – on a bicycle.
Once at the track, however, Edwards picked up his pace considerably for Saturday night’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. In the final 55-lap green-flag run, Edwards’ No. 60 Ford streaked away from the No. 20 Toyota of Joey Logano, taking the checkered flag 6.877 seconds ahead of the 18-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing phenom.
“That was unbelievable,” said Edwards, who picked up his second win of the season and the 15th of his career to the delight of a strong contingent of supporters in the grandstands. “It’s unreal. There won’t be a guy tomorrow who has a better day than me. Thank you everybody up in the grandstands. Thanks a lot.”
“The 20 car has been great this year. Racing with them has been a challenge, but a fun one.”
The No. 20 Camry has nine victories this season with four drivers behind the wheel. Logano accounted for one of the wins, at Kentucky.
Jason Keller was third Saturday, posting his best finish since running second at Chicagoland in 2004. Jason Leffler was fourth, followed by Brad Keselowski, who recovered from a late-race accident to finish fifth. Rookie Landon Cassill ran sixth, a career best in the series.
Edwards was third for a restart on Lap 146 of the 200-lap race, chasing Leffler and seventh-place finisher James Buescher, both of whom had taken two tires under a caution caused by a wreck involving Keselowski and David Reutimann, who entered the race second and third, respectively, in the series standings.
With four new tires, however, Edwards soon ran down the two cars, passing Leffler for the lead on Lap 152. From that point he pulled away.
A pileup moments after a restart on Lap 116 wiped out a handful of strong cars and stopped the race for nearly 25 minutes. Scott Wimmer’s No. 29 Chevrolet spun into the Turn 2 wall after a tap from Cassill. The chain-reaction crash that followed also eliminated the cars of defending race winner Reed Sorenson, Mike Bliss and Steve Wallace.
“I think I saw the 5 (Cassill) get into somebody,” Bliss said after climbing from his car. “I was just hoping to get through it, but I didn’t.”
Cassill, whose Chevy survived the wreck with minimal damage, said side-by-side racing between Wimmer and Sorenson might have been responsible for the accident.
“I think the 29 (Wimmer) got a little loose with the 40 (Sorenson) outside of him,” Cassill said. “I didn’t mean to hit him.”
Notes: A partial power failure at a neighboring substation in East St. Louis, Ill., caused a brown-out at the speedway, knocking out power to infield facilities and the caution lights surrounding the track. Stadium lights were powered by a backup generator, and the race started on time, but a subsequent partial failure of inside lighting in Turns 1 and 2 prompted NASCAR to call a competition caution on Lap 71 to make sure conditions were safe. ... Series points leader Clint Bowyer finished eighth. ... Polesitter Jamie McMurray fell out with engine trouble after completing 152 laps and finished 27th.
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