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Edwards Gets First NNS Win In First Start of Year

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 11 2012

Carl Edwards engaged in a rare post-race celebration on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

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Carl Edwards passed Brad Keselowski after a restart with 10 laps left in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, held the lead on a restart with two laps to and went on to win his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the season.

“This win means a lot,” Edwards said. “That was a lot of fun. I had a really good time racing out there. I’m really glad that Jack (Roush, his team owner) and Ford and Subway and everyone put this together so that I could run this car. Scott (Graves, his crew chief) did a great job with the car. We had virtually no practice and it almost qualified on the pole and we won the race. The car ran really well. I made one pretty big mistake coming to the white flag and Brad got up beside me, but fortunately, we were able to battle and get back ahead of him.

“It was just a really fun race. I had a good time two runs from the end Kyle (Busch) and I battled really hard. He can go deep into those braking zones, so we went after it pretty hard. That was a lot a fun. And just overall it was a really good day. The only big mistake was running into Joey (Logano) there and spinning him out. I felt bad about that, but we were all racing pretty hard for position right then, but, overall, I’m just really grateful for the opportunity and I’m glad we got the win.”

Edwards took the top spot from Keselowski on lap 73 of 82, completing a pass to the outside as the cars approached the esses at the 2.45-mile road course. Keselowski regained the lead momentarily on Lap 76 but lost it again to Edwards’ crossover move as the cars approached Turn 1 to start Lap 77.

That’s when a caution for Austin Dillon’s blown tire slowed the field and set up a restart with two laps left. After a side-by-side battle in Turn 7 on Lap 81, Edwards held off Keselowski to win by 1.130 seconds.

Pole-sitter Sam Hornish Jr. ran third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and road course speicalist Ron Fellows.

Danica Patrick crashed out of the race on the first laps and finished 43rd.

Edwards is a former full-time driver in the NNS and a former series champion. However, he opted to give his full attention to this Cup effort in a bid to win a championship in that series.

“This was the first time,” Roush said, “Carl felt like it was worthwhile for him to run a Nationwide car this year – running the two practices Nationwide and Cup was really hard on him and hard on Kate (his wife), I think, for what he would carry home at night. So, anyway, this was a rare opportunity we had to have Carl in a Nationwide car.”

Saturday’s race was also the first ever for crew chief Graves.

“This was obviously a great opportunity,” Graves said. “A few weeks ago when it was brought up to me that I could do this I jumped on the chance to work here with Carl. I had worked with him last year in Nationwide and had a really successful year with him there and to do this was a great opportunity and I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

RACE RESULTS

1. (2) Carl Edwards, Ford, 82, $52,050.

2. (4) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 82, $26,925.

3. (1) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 82, $29,093.

4. (10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 82, $27,143.

5. (15) Ron Fellows, Chevrolet, 82, $16,925.

6. (5) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 82, $13,475.

7. (11) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 82, $12,725.

8. (3) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 82, $12,350.

9. (8) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 82, $20,618.

10. (9) Brian Scott, Toyota, 82, $19,418.

11. (19) Michael Annett, Ford, 82, $18,468.

12. (7) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 82, $17,993.

13. (14) Miguel Paludo, Chevrolet, 82, $17,893.

14. (20) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 82, $17,768.

15. (13) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 82, $18,168.

16. (16) Victor Gonzalez Jr., Toyota, 82, $18,343.

17. (27) Jason Bowles, Toyota, 82, $21,193.

18. (28) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 82, $17,518.

19. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 82, $17,443.

20. (34) Kenny Habul, Toyota, 82, $11,125.

21. (24) Kyle Kelley, Chevrolet, 82, $11,350.

22. (6) Joey Logano, Toyota, 82, $10,825.

23. (30) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 82, $17,218.

24. (12) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 81, $17,118.

25. (39) Tim Connolly, Chevrolet, 81, $17,518.

26. (40) Eric McClure, Toyota, 77, $16,998.

27. (26) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, Engine, 55, $10,475.

28. (41) Tony Raines, Dodge, Vibration, 45, $16,873.

29. (25) Alex Kennedy, Toyota, Accident, 37, $16,838.

30. (38) Daryl Harr, Chevrolet, 33, $17,103.

31. (31) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Electrical, 27, $16,743.

32. (42) Dexter Stacey, Chevrolet, Handling, 25, $16,683.

33. (43) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Brakes, 23, $10,185.

34. (35) Eric Curran, Dodge, Electrical, 18, $10,125.

35. (29) Timmy Hill, Ford, Alternator, 14, $10,085.

36. (37) Matthew Bell, Ford, Accident, 11, $16,518.

37. (32) Chris Cook, Chevrolet, Overheating, 8, $10,000.

38. (17) Alex Popow, Toyota, Accident, 5, $16,424.

39. (18) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Vibration, 3, $9,820.

40. (33) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $9,695.

41. (36) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, Brakes, 2, $9,655.

42. (22) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, Brakes, 2, $9,615.

43. (23) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, Accident, 2, $16,002.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 91.1 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 12 Mins, 19 Secs.

Margin of Victory: 1.130 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 15 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders: S. Hornish Jr. 1-11; B. Keselowski 12-19; S. Hornish Jr. 20-23; A. Kennedy 24-28; B. Keselowski 29-50; K. Busch 51; R. Truex 52-53; M. Paludo 54-57; J. Allgaier 58; J. Clements 59; B. Keselowski 60-72; C. Edwards 73-75; B. Keselowski 76; C. Edwards 77-82.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): B. Keselowski 4 times for 44 laps; S. Hornish Jr. 2 times for 15 laps; C. Edwards 2 times for 9 laps; A. Kennedy 1 time for 5 laps; M. Paludo 1 time for 4 laps; R. Truex 1 time for 2 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 1 lap; J. Clements 1 time for 1 lap; K. Busch 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler – 783; R. Stenhouse Jr. – 770; S. Hornish Jr. – 759; A. Dillon – 754; J. Allgaier – 709; M. Annett – 674; C. Whitt – 622; M. Bliss – 578; B. Scott – 520; J. Nemechek – 492.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 11 2012
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