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Edwards Survives Late Metal Storm At Dover

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 15 2011

Clint Bowyer's car launches into the air during the final lap of the Nationwide race at Dover on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Carl Edwards survived a wild final-lap wreck to win the rain-plagued 5-Hour Energy 200 Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

It was Edwards’ third victory of the season. It was a victory he was too shook up about to celebrate with his signature back flip.

Kyle Busch finished second after the final-lap wreck took out front runners Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer in dramatic fashion.

Reed Sorenson was third.

“They just showed the replay and I didn’t touch them, so I am happy for that,” Roush Fenway Racing’s Edwards said. “What a wild finish. I apologize for not doing the back flip there guys. I thought that I wrecked them and I didn’t want to be celebrating over that but it looks like we didn’t hit them, we won the race in our fast Ford Mustang and that is good.”

Logano called the wild finish just hard racing.

“It just looks like Carl was underneath me and he was starting to chase it up the race track,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said. “And, it just looked like he was in that spot –that vulnerable spot – right where it seems like it takes the air off your car a little bit and pushes you around.  It’s not his fault.  It’s just part of us racing really hard hear at the end.  I didn’t get spun out.  It’s just part of it.  It’s just the way these cars are when you get someone underneath you like that it pushes you around.”

Asked if he saw what happened to Bowyer, Logano said, “All I saw was the underside of him.  I saw the underneath of it and I was like, ‘Holy cow.’  It seemed like I got loose and I tried to catch it and overcorrected it into the fence.  I come off the fence and the 33 (Bowyer) ramped off my left rear, I think.  He went for a heck of a ride.”

The race, which started over an hour late because of persistent morning rain, was on lap 140 of 200 when points-leader Justin Allgaier blew a tire on his Turner Motorsports car and slammed into the wall.

The cars at the front of the field headed to pit road when the yellow came out. Josh Wise stayed out, gambling rain would end the race early, and

Josh Wise and his team took a gamble on the rain – and lost. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

inherited the lead.

Before the race could restart, it began to rain and the cars were red flagged and parked.

The race restarted with Edwards in P1 as Wise had to pit before the green dropped.

Logano quickly took the lead and held it until 15 laps to go. He and Edwards went door-to-door for a lap before Edwards eased to the lead.

With three laps to go, Michael Annett crashed to bring out a caution to set up a green/white/checkered restart.

Edwards got a great restart and jumped to a couple-car lead but a stalled car on the apron brought out another yellow and that set up a second green/white/checkered restart.

Logano and Edwards went door to door and Logano eased ahead. Edwards then got close, but did not touch Logano, and Logano lost control.

Collected was Bowyer when Logano’s car bounced off the wall. Bowyer’s car was flipped into the air and slid down the track on the driver side of the car.

“That was pretty wild,” Bowyer, who said he feared his crashing car was going to jump the pit wall and cause a tragedy on crowded pit road.

That ended the race but not the tension as shredded cars littered the front stretch and

Carl Edwards survived the rains and wrecks of Delaware to win the 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

ambulances and wreckers moved in.

Also caught up in the wreck was Brad Keselowski.

“I think the 60 (Edwards) ran over the 20 (Joey Logano) and then all hell kind of broke loose from there,” Keselowski, who had not seen a replay, said. “This is a tough place.  A little wreck like that down the straightaway and the next thing you know, the whole field is involved.  That’s just the way it goes.  I’m disappointed for my guys.  We had a fourth-place finish going.  We’re just racing hard on these restarts; that’s what you have to do to run good.  We were all racing hard and the 60 ran over the 20.  With tight tracks like this, there’s nowhere to go.”

Busch, for once, did not have the fastest car on the track and failed to lead a lap. His runner-up finish was a good one, he said.

“We didn’t quite have the car we needed today, unfortunately this weekend,” Busch, who won the Camping World Truck race on Friday, said. “We kept working on it, trying to make it the best we could.  The nose damage we had from earlier in the race coming to pit road just killed it.  The guys did a good job and we just salvaged along and somehow we ended up second.  We didn’t deserve to be second here, that’s for sure.  Sometimes they get to you.”

Busch said he saw the big wreck but wish he hadn’t.

“I saw Joey (Logano) get out – I’m glad to see Joey is alright,” Busch said.  ”I don’t know about Clint (Bowyer), but I hope he’s good, too.  That was a wicked hit that Joey took in the turn four wall and then him getting climbed over.  It’s good that the front bumpers and the front tires on these cars didn’t come through and hit Joey’s head – the seat or something like that – it could have been really bad.  I’m just glad everyone is alright.”

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 15 2011
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