Edwards Triumphs in Texas NNS Shootout
Roush Fenway Racing star Carl Edwards powered and his No. 60 machine away from Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car on a final restart en route to taking a green-white-checkered flag NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
Edwards led 53 of 205 race laps including the closing 15, but had to protect the top spot on a Lap 203 restart following the fifth caution of the race that began on Lap 199 when the No. 09 racecar leaked fluid on the Texas quad-oval. He chose the inside line, charged away when the green flag waved and grabbed his third victory of the season by 0.702 seconds over Busch.
The win was Edwards first in the series at Texas gives him 18 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes this season.
"It's a special day; it means a lot to win here. Our car ran perfectly. Kyle and those guys have a spectacular car and he does a really good job on the restarts. He's tough; he raced me really well on the restart before that. I knew if I gave him an inch he'd beat us. I just got the best restart I could and it ended up winning us the race," Edwards said.
In addition to turning a signature backflip, Edwards may have started a new winning tradition by running several rows deep in the grandstands to celebrate with enthusiastic Lone Star State race fans. "I saw the gate open and I wanted to go up there and be with the people. Man, that's fun. It felt good up there. We may have to do that every time," he added. Busch saw his five-race Texas NNS winning streak snapped and was in a less than celebratory mood after leading a race-best 107 laps and collecting his 21st top-five and 24th top-10 finish in his 27th NNS start of the season.
"Our car was fast in the beginning, but we just didn't quite have the speed it took towards the end of the race. (Carl Edwards) got better adjustments or something, but they got a lot of speed out of their car towards the middle and end of the race. I don't know if it was under the hood or through the corners. Through the corners it seemed like I could make up a little ground, but I couldn't maintain it down the next straightaway.
"That's not what lost it. Carl jumped the (last) restart by about three lengths before the double red marks on the wall. My understanding in the rules, you're not supposed to. You can't make up two car lengths on a guy who already has two car lengths on you by the start/finish line. It's not going to happen. I got too far behind and couldn't run up on him. The race was lost instantly, disappointing day finishing second," Busch said.
Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski clinched his first series championship and the first NASCAR title for his famous owner Roger Penske by delivering a third-place Texas finish. Keselowski holds a 465-point championship lead over Edwards with two races remaining on the schedule after collecting 24 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes in 33 starts this season.
"I'm here because of the sacrifices of others, the people that supported me, whether it's family, friends, mom, dad, teamwork, the fans that support me and the sponsors that I have. Without them, none of this is possible," Keselowski said.
Joey Logano, winner of three straight NNS Kentucky Speedway events, and Martin Truex, Jr., rounded out the race top five.
The series moves further west to Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 13. Coverage will begin at 4:00 p.m. on ESPN2, Motor Racing Network radio and Sirius XM Radio 128.
Story by Mike Schmaltz