News & Media

Edwards rallies for Nationwide victory at Charlotte

October 17, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

CONCORD, N.C. -- Sadler finishes fourth to win D4C $100,000; takes five points off Stenhouse's lead

Carl Edwards tested the durability limits of his No. 60 Ford on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Rebounding from hard contact with the wall early in the Dollar General 300, Edwards held off Kyle Busch on a five-lap green-flag run to the finish to win his eighth Nationwide Series race of the season and the 37th of his career.

Dollar General 300

2.Kyle Busch Toyota
3.Trevor Bayne Ford
4.Elliott Sadler Chevrolet
5.Brian Scott Toyota

Dash 4 Cash

Aug. 6Iowa/Reed Sorenson
Sept. 9Richmond/R. Stenhouse Jr.
Oct. 14Charlotte/Elliott Sadler

Busch came home second followed by Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler, who claimed the final $100,000 Nationwide Insurance Dash4Cash bonus and cut the series lead of ninth-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to 15 points.

Brian Scott ran fifth, followed by Brad Keselowski, whose dominating run was foiled by a cut tire late in the race. Justin Allgaier, pole-sitter Paul Menard, Stenhouse and Brian Vickers completed the top 10.

Kenny Wallace finished 16th in his 519th Nationwide start, tying the series record of Jason Keller.

Just past 30 laps into the 200-lap race, Edwards smacked the outside wall, spent considerable time in the pits for repairs on Lap 41 and restarted 27th on Lap 45. Gradually, relentlessly, he worked his way back to the front.

On the final restart on Lap 196, Edwards benefitted from a push from Bayne, his Roush Fenway Racing teammate, and surged past Busch into the lead. The final five laps were the only ones Edwards led all night.

"What got us the lead -- Trevor pushed, and that meant a lot," said Edwards, who tied Kevin Harvick for third on the all-time series wins list. "He could have gone three-wide. Man, this is huge. I hit the wall really hard and messed the right side of the car up.

"I thought Brad had it, and there at the end, I thought Kyle was going to get me. He has the ability to turn it on there at the end. But he raced me really clean, and I appreciate that."

The first two-thirds of Friday night's race looked like a replay of the preceding Saturday at Kansas, where Keselowski put an old-fashioned whipping on the rest of the Nationwide field, leading 173 of 200 laps on the way to his fourth victory of the season.

Keselowski wasn't in Kansas anymore, but it didn't matter. After a caution for Ryan Truex's hard hit against the Turn 2 wall, Keselowski pulled away following a restart on Lap 136 and opened a wide margin on everyone save Stenhouse, who managed to stay within five car lengths of Keselowski's rear bumper for the first 15 laps of the run.

Busch, whose car excelled on long runs, gradually reeled in Stenhouse and passed him on Lap 157. By Lap 160, Busch was 1.177 seconds behind Keselowski and closing.

In Turn 2 on Lap 171, Keselowski suddenly slowed. "I've got a flat! I've got a flat!" Keselowski radioed to his crew as Busch blew past, narrowly avoiding contact with the No. 22 Dodge as the two cars traded positions.

The punctured tire caused Keselowski to spin, bringing out the fifth caution of the race and allowing him to change tires without losing a lap. After pit stops under the caution, Stenhouse led the field to the green flag, with Sadler beside him.

Busch restarted fourth on Lap 177 but grabbed the lead from Sadler on Lap 178, as Keselowski, who restarted 13th tried to make up ground.

Keselowski, who led a race-high 119 laps, had worked his way up to ninth before caution for debris on Lap 185 bunched the field for a restart on Lap 189. Joey Logano's brush with the Turn 4 wall slowed the field again on Lap 192 and set up the final restart of the race.

Along with $100,000, Sadler also won $100,000 for race fan Joe Thornton of New Port Richey, Fla., as part of the Nationwide Dash4Cash program.


• This is Carl Edwards' 37th victory in his 241st career start, tying Kevin Harvick for third all-time.
• Carl Edwards scored his eighth victory of 2011, the most wins he has ever scored in a single season.
• Carl Edwards' eighth victory of 2011 ties Kyle Busch for most this season.
• Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch finished 1-2 for the 18th time and seventh time in 2011.
• Roush Fenway Racing won its 123rd Nationwide race, its 11th of 2011 (most) and 12th at Charlotte (most).
• Kyle Busch (second) finished first or second in 13 of his 20 Nationwide starts in 2011.
• Trevor Bayne (third) ties his best career finish.
• Elliott Sadler (fourth) won the Nationwide Dash for Cash ($100,000) and gained five points on points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
• Brian Scott (fifth) scored his third career top-five finish.
• Brad Keselowski (sixth) breaks a streak of three consecutive top-two finishes.

"It's a thrill just to come to the races, but to win the $100,000 I'm speechless," Thornton said. "I don't know what we're going to do with it -- my wife wants to pay the house off, we'll see. It's just unbelievable, you know."