Edwards The Lone Star In TMS Nationwide Race
Carl Edwards dominated the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night as he led 169 laps en route to the victory.
The victory was Edwards’ first of the year in the series. It was the first for the Ford Mustang in the series.
“This is a huge night for Mustang and Ford and this is a true team effort,” Edwards said. “A year ago we were struggling. We were not fast enough and Jack (Roush) and all the guys at the shop, the engineers, Doug Yates and everyone pulled together. We have great engines now and great pit stops and Mike Beam puts the fastest car on the race track underneath me every week and Jack lets us go do all this. The pole today we talked about that pole run being a true team effort. It is a good day. It ended the way you wish every race would. Teamwork led us to victory lane.”
Perhaps the only car which was as fast, that of Kyle Busch, ran into race-ending trouble 88 laps into the race. Just as it appeared he was ready to catch Edwards, a tire blew on the car of Tim Schendel, sending that car up in front of Busch.
Busch could not avoid Schendel and hit him hard from behind. The front end of Busch’s car was deemed unrepairable.
“There was no time to react,” Busch said. “You can’t just stomp on the brakes and turn left, you’re already maxed out with your tires. It’s real unfortunate – these guys did a great job working all weekend to get the car capable of running with Carl (Edwards) there. They unloaded a lot better than we did and we just worked really hard getting to that point where we could run with those guys. I felt like we were better on the long run with this Z-Line Designs Camry, just didn’t quite make it, obviously. It’s going to go down as a wreck, but I felt like we were fast enough to win.”
Edwards admitted that Busch could have given him trouble had he not crashed.
“I think he would have been a real tough challenge,” Edwards said. “Our car got a little better as we went but it looked like we were pretty well matched. I think he and I were going to race real hard. I was able to get in front of him on that restart which was huge. That says a lot about our engines. He was right behind me and we were passing that car and just by sheer luck behind me the car ended up missing us and caught him instead. That could have gone either way. I would have rather raced him for the victory though and I think it would have been a great race but I think or car was a tick faster.”
Defending series champion Brad Keselowski finished second.
“I thought that we were really close today,” Keselowski who almost made it to Edwards’ rear bumper late in the race, said. “It was a good battle at the end. I hope everybody enjoyed it. I thought that I might be able to get him (Edwards). He had about six or seven lap newer tires; more importantly he had the clean air and the ability to put his car where he wanted to and he did a good job with that. I caught a few breaks in lapped traffic to inch closer.
“I felt like I could almost get him and then I’d lose the nose with an aero push. That’s just racing. I needed the track to widen up just a little bit more and maybe could have moved around. All and all, a pretty decent day. I think we made some pretty big strides with our Nationwide program this weekend. I saw a little bit of it a couple weeks ago in California. I felt like if we could have beaten him off of pit road, we might have been able to hold him off with clean air. Who knows; it was a good race.”
Paul Menard finished third.
Joey Logano was fourth and Elliott Sadler fifth.
Justin Allgaier, Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., David Reutimann and Brian Scott rounded out the top 10.
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