News & Media


Edwards rolls to another concrete win at Nashville

July 24, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

LEBANON, Tenn. -- Carl Edwards did not let a penalty for speeding on pit road slow him down Saturday night, as he regained position quickly and dominated the field en route to a victory at Nashville Superspeedway in the Federated Auto Parts 300.

After leading from Laps 59 to 82, Edwards made a yellow-flag pit stop but approached his stall a bit too fast, and was forced to restart in the 14th position. However, it only took him 37 laps to regain the lead and backflip his way into Victory Lane at Nashville for the sixth time in his career -- five times in the Nationwide Series and once in the Truck Series.

Federated Auto Parts 300

Results
Pos.DriverMake
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford
3. Austin Dillon Chevrolet
4. Justin Allgaier Chevrolet
5. Aric Almirola Chevrolet

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came in second place, followed by the weekend's Truck Series race winner, Austin Dillon, in third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Aric Almirola in fifth.

Even though Brad Keselowski started the race on the pole and led for 89 of the first 116 laps, engine problems saw him fall to a 12th-place finish, allowing Edwards and his extremely fast No. 60 Ford to dominate the race despite the pit-road penalty.

Edwards, who led 124 laps, said he thought the penalty would be a problem for him in the race, but the speed of his Ford through traffic nullified the loss in position.

"I can't believe I was leading and I sped on pit road," he said. "That was really, really not smart. But in the end it made our night more fun. I probably learned more."

Stenhouse, a teammate of Edwards' at Roush Fenway Racing, noted Edwards' fast car in the race. He added that his own Ford had a few slight problems, but that adjustments still might not have been enough to overtake his teammate.

"We were just too loose on that last run," Stenhouse said. "We were tight in the middle part of the race. I never really got it exactly where I needed it. We were one adjustment away from being really fast, but Carl's Fastenal Mustang has always been really good here.

"But at the end of the day it was a really good day for Roush Fenway."

Edwards hit a milestone during the race, leading his 1,000th Nationwide lap of the season, a career high, which he said is all due to the team's effort and willingness to listen to the drivers.

"It boils down to [team owner Jack Roush] and the guys listening to us complain and not ignoring us," he said.

Edwards did say, however, that the fast car was not all that got him to Victory Lane, as the invocation from Pastor Joe Nelms, which featured Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby references, as well as a number of racing puns, and had the drivers laughing during pre-race activities. The video of the invocation has already gone viral on YouTube.

Notes-n-Nuggets

• This is Carl Edwards' 34th Nationwide victory in his 230th start. Edwards is only three wins behind Kevin Harvick (37) for third place all-time.
• This is Carl Edwards' fifth victory of 2011. His five wins rank second in 2011 to Kyle Busch with six.
• Carl Edwards has five victories at Nashville in 13 starts -- twice as many as any other driver.
• Carl Edwards has Won more races at Nashville in the Nationwide Series than any other track he has competed on.
• This is Carl Edwards' 12th top-10 finish in 13 Nashville starts and his eighth Nationwide concrete win, most of all drivers.
• Carl Edwards' 1,038 laps led in 2011 are the most he has ever led in a single season in the Nationwide Series.
• The 617 laps Carl Edwards has led at Nashville are the most of all drivers.
• Roush Fenway Racing earned its Seventh victory of 2011 and 119th Nationwide Series victory.
• This is Roush Fenway Racing's fourth 1-2 finish of 2011 -- all in the past nine races.
• Ford earned its eighth victory at Nashville, tying Chevrolet for the most among all makes.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (second) earned his 15th top-10 finish of 2011 -- the most of all drivers.
• Austin Dillon (third) scored a career best finish in his 10th start. Dillon has finished in the top 10 in all three Nationwide starts this season.
• Justin Allgaier (fourth) scored his best finish since his victory at Chicagoland.
• Aric Almirola (fifth) earned a second consecutive top-five finish and third of 2011.
• Sam Hornish Jr (sixth) scored his career best finish in his 27th start. His previous best was seventh at Richmond in April 2011.
• Drew Herring (seventh) eanred a career best finish in his sixth start.
• Kenny Wallace (ninth) scored his ninth top-10 finish of 2011 including the past four races.

"I turned to Jack after that and said if anything happens [Saturday night], I'd like him to be at my funeral," Edwards said, laughing. "That was one of the best invocations that I've ever heard."