Edwards Brings Home First Career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Victory At Kentucky Speedway
As is often the case in racing, one driver's misfortune became another's opportunity as rookie Carl Edwards claimed victory in Saturday's "The Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in front of 46,194 fans at Kentucky Speedway.
After changing an engine prior to yesterday's fifth-place qualifying run, Edwards started the race at the rear of the field.
"I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around last night because I was frustrated, I knew we didn't have it right after 'Happy Hour'(final practice)," Edwards said. "I woke up this morning and had a good feeling. I was on a mission and that mission was to win," Edwards said
Edwards took over the lead on Lap 111 of 150 when, after leading 66 laps, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Hotel Dodge) blew an engine. He then held off veterans Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge) and Dennis Setzer (No. 46 ACXIOM/Computer Associates Chevrolet) to win by 3.568 seconds.
After posting a career-best finish of second twice in the last four races, the 22-year-old University of Missouri student grabbed his first career series win in his 18th start. He celebrated the win by executing a back-flip off the back of his truck in the Kentucky Speedway front stretch.
"This was unbelievable. I cried the entire last lap," Edwards said. "My crew chief (Mike Mittler) said that we could make it on fuel, I was lifting a little to save fuel. I did not realize how close we were since we died doing doughnuts."
The win by Edwards marked the first victory by a rookie in an NCTS race since Gaughan, the 2002 Raybestos Rookie of the Year, took the checkered flag at Texas last September. Edwards leads the race for that award this year.
The win marks the second straight series triumph for Roush as his teammate, Jon Wood, won at Kansas last weekend. Wood (No. 50 Bob Graham for President Ford) finished fourth after taking his second career pole yesterday.
Wood has posted six straight top-10 finishes while Edwards has finished in the top-five in four of the last five races. Edwards maintains his lead in the rookie series standings and his 10th-place position in the series standings while Wood keeps hold on seventh place.
The good results come as Roush will be making an announcement Tuesday about the future of its NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series programs. Edwards has run without a sponsor since the beginning of the season and Wood's sponsorship with Sen. Graham was due to end after the Kentucky event.
Jason Leffler (No. 2 Team ASE/Carquest Racing Dodge) rounded out the top five.
Travis Kvapil, extended his points lead from six to 41 by finishing sixth. Gaughan (No. 62 Orleans Hotel Dodge) closed out the race 22nd, and slipped from second to fourth (-54) in the points. Musgrave moves to second in the series standings (-41) and takes over third Setzer (-47).
Kentucky Speedway resumes its season August 16-17 when the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series contests "The Belterra Casino Indy 300" and the IRL Infiniti Pro Series battles for "The Kentucky 100" title on The Bull Country Radio Pole Day.
Tickets for both events are on sale now.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~