2011-05-19 / Entertainment

Kenseth Cruises To Dover Win Edwards wins Nationwide race in overtime

By Gerald Hodges
THE RACING REPORTER


Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth DOVER, Del. – Matt Ken-seth found victory lane for the second time this season, as he won Sunday’s Fed-Ex 400 easily ahead of Mark Martin.

During the last round of pit stops, Kenseth’s team elected to give him only two fresh tires, while most of the other teams took on four.

The decision was the right one, because Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards, two drivers that got four fresh tires were not able to gain on Kenseth.

“At the time we weren’t sure two tires was the way to go, but it turned out to be the right call,” said Kenseth. “There was a lot of loose rubber on the track, and we felt like the way the car was handling, we could maintain our speed for the remainder of the race.”

Mark Martin, did not pit on the final round of stops, and managed to stretch his fuel and tires to a secondplace finish.

“This team was good today,” said Martin. “We had a fast race car, and we couldn’t have won the race unless we had more speed, but the team did everything they could do to keep me up front.” “This certainly was not a win, but it was a great day for us.”

Marcos Ambrose finished third, while Kyle Busch, the winner of Friday night’s truck race, was fourth. Brian Vickers came home fifth, and Clint Bowyer edged out Carl Edwards, Saturday’s Nationwide winner, for sixth, while Edwards claimed seventh.

“I really thought we were making the right call,” said Edwards. “I thought four tires were the way to go, because of the rubber buildup on the track. But obviously, they didn’t make that much difference.”

Unlike Saturday’s Nationwide race when 14 cars were wrecked, Sunday’s event had only a few minor wrecks with no major pileups between any drivers.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, who are under probation for rough driving tactics during the Southern 500 at Darlington, drove very respectful around each other.

Top-25 Chase contenders after 11 of 36: 1. Edwards- 416, 2. Johnson-392, 3. Kyle Busch-379, 4. Earnhardt-364, 5. Harvick-362, 6. Kenseth- 342, 7. Newman- 340, 8. Bowyer-336, 9. Kurt Busch- 336, 10. Stewart-328, 11. Marfaster tin-324, 12. Biffle-311, 13. Hamlin-304, 14. J. Gordon- 299, 15. Montoya-296, 16. Allmendinger 295, 17. Menard- 291, 18. Kahne- 286, 19. Truex-282, 20. Ambrose-281, 21. Ragan-270, 22. McMurray 267, 23. Burton-258, 24. Keselowski- 251, 25. Labonte-251

Carl Edwards needed nine laps of ‘overtime’ to win his third Nationwide Race of the season and his second career victory at the “Monster Mile” of Dover.

Edwards had to hold his lead against two greenwhite checkered starts and the charging car of Joey Logano. In the end, Edwards hung on by a thread as Logano lost control and collected several cars behind him in one of the wildest Dover finishes ever.

At first, Edwards thought he had hit Logano to start the massive Lap 209 wreck that destroyed the cars of Logano and Clint Bowyer, among others.

“Damn it – I didn’t mean to hit him,” Edwards radioed after the accident. “Is everybody all right?”

Replays showed that Edwards made no contact with Logano as the two raced for the lead. Logano had a lead of almost a car-length before the rear of his car slammed the outside wall. Logano bounced off the wall and into the path of Bowyer, whose Chevrolet careened into the inside wall.

“I’m just glad it worked out,” Edwards said after the race. “I’m glad that I didn’’t hit him. I’m glad that everyone was OK. But that’s a product of what we do. When it comes down to it … this racetrack, we’re driving so hard here, and there’s so much grip, and you’re giving everything you can, and the cars are so close there at the end.”

Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse, David Reutimann, Elliott Sadler, Kenny Wallace, James Buescher, Aric Almirola and Mike Wallace.

Top-10 leaders after 11 of 34: 1. Sadler-379, 2. Sorenson 369, 3. Leffler-364, 4. Stenhouse-363, 5. Allgaier- 361, 6. Almirola-339, 7. K. Wallace-307, 8. Scott-286, 9. S. Wallace-282, 10. Wise-274

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