2011-04-28 / Sports

Edwards Beats Busch At Nashville

By Gerald Hodges

Carl Edwards Carl Edwards LEBANON, Tenn. – Carl Edwards returned to victory lane at Nashville for the first time since 2007, as he beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by .521-seconds to win Saturday’s Nationwide Series race.

“At the end of the race, I was pedaling for all I had,” Edwards said. “I was kind of excited at the beginning of the race. I thought, ‘Boy, we’re going to run off with this thing. It’s going to be easy.’ Then at the end, that was white-knuckle. I was driving as hard as I can drive, racing him and Brad (Keselowski).”

“In the end, it’s better to have a race like that, but it was really nerve-wracking for me.”

Edwards led Lap 189 of 225, with Busch coming back to lead Lap 190. Edwards led Lap 191 and finally got clear of Busch, even as Keselowski was challenging from third.

The victory was Edwards’ second of the season and 31st of his career—tying him for fourth all time with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Ingram.

Busch was gunning for a weekend sweep after his victory in Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race but came up short as his Toyota was “just not quite fast enough.”

“I didn’t quite finish that pass,” Busch said. “He had a really fast car. We could keep up with him momentarily but not for the whole run. It was a good show right there, a little bit of racing back and forth. … Brad was right behind us and kind of lurking in the distance there.”

Brad Keselowski finished third and Joey Logano fourth as Sprint Cup regulars swept the top four spots in the Nationwide Series’ first stand-alone race of the season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fifth for the best finish among Nationwide regulars and moved into a tie for the points lead with Justin Allgaier.

The remaining top-10 finishers were: Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, Reed Sorenson, Josh Wise and Aric Almirola.

Top-10 leaders after 8 of 35: 1. Allgaier-264, 2. Stenhouse 264, 3. Leffler-262, 4. Sorenson-260, 5. Bayne-260, 6. Sadler-259, 7. Almirola- 257, 8. Scott-228, 9. K. Wallace 216, 10. Annett-184

Kyle Busch fights for truck win

Kyle Busch had to work a little harder than he expected, but he still scored a win in the Camping World Truck race Friday night at Nashville Superspeedway.

“I felt like we had a dominant truck,” Busch said. “There with about 10 to go, the race really got started and got really interesting.”

Ron Hornaday passed Busch shortly after a restart with eight laps remaining. After another caution, though, Busch returned the favor, slipping under Hornaday in Turn 3 with two laps to go to complete a pole/ victory sweep for the second year in a row at Nashville.

“Hornaday got a good restart and put enough drag on my spoiler that he kind of slowed me down on the frontstretch and stayed alongside me,” Busch continued. “ I cleared him through turns one and two and pulled up in front of him, but he had a little bit of momentum on me and pulled back to my inside down the backstretch and made a bold move driving it so far into the corner.”

Hornaday’s truck slid a little through Turn 3, and he and Busch moved up the track, with Hornaday grabbing the lead.

The yellow waved again, giving Busch a chance to turn the tables.

In the process, Busch led his 20,000th lap across the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck series. In two truck races at Nashville, Busch has two wins, two poles and 271 of 300 laps led. The victory was Busch’s second of the season and 26th in the truck series.

“Kyle had the dominant truck all day, and he had clean air,” Hornaday said. “I had to wear my stuff out trying to stay with him. That restart, that’s the only opportunity I had to run with him. I just gave a show for the fans. That’s all I could do.”

With shot tires, Hornaday was also passed for position by rookie Nelson Piquet Jr. and Timothy Peters, who finished second and third, respectively.

Hornaday was fourth, followed by James Buescher, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, David Starr, Craig Goess and Parker Kligerman.

Top-10 leaders after 5 of 24: 1. J. Sauter-187, 2. Peters- 184, 3. Crafton-183, 4. Hornaday 182, 5. Whitt-175, 6. Dillon 163, 7. Bodine-148, 8. Rogers-144, 9. Papis-142, 10. Kligerman-136

Other racing news: If it weren’t for bad luck, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield wouldn’t have any luck at all. Mayfield was barred from racing by NASCAR after testing positive for drugs. He has since been involved in several lawsuits, including one with his former stepmother. The latest twist happened on Friday, April 22.

When a mail carrier tried to deliver a package too big for Jeremy Mayfield’s mailbox, she tried to drop it off at the home’s front door, but when she went to the house, police said she was attacked by five dogs.

She was hospitalized with bite marks and cuts all over her legs, arms and shoulders. Police have confirmed that Mayfield came outside to intervene, scooping up the badly injured carrier and taking her back inside the home.

The police chief in Catawba, N.C., said the dogs are being quarantined for 10 days because he is not sure if they are up to date on rabies shots. No decision has been made yet on what will happen to the dogs or if anyone will face charges.

Weekend racing: The Cup and Nationwide teams are at Richmond, Va. The Truck teams have an off week.

Friday, April 29, Nationwide Bubba Burger 250, race 9 of 35, starting time: 7:30 p.m.; TV: Speed.

Saturday, April 30, Sprint Cup Crown Royal 400, race 9 of 36, starting time: 7:30 p.m.; TV: FOX. All times are Eastern.

Racing trivia question: When does Mark Martin plan on retiring?

Last week’s question: Where is Trevor Bayne’s hometown? Bayne was born in Knoxville, Tenn., in February 19, 1991.

Contact the Racing Reporter at hodges@race500.com.

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