Carl Edwards defeated the Monster Mile leading 179 laps of the 200-lap race at Dover while easily holding off Brad Keselowski after the final restart.
After the race Edwards did his patented back flip and climb into the front grandstands high-fiving adoring fans.
“This track is so much fun; other than my back flip which was terrible,” Edwards said. Looking forward to Sunday’s Chase race he added “my Cup car was very, very good,” in practice and qualifying.
It was Edwards ninth win on concrete more than anyone else in Nationwide history. It was his seventh Nationwide win this year and 36th in his career.
The winner was never seriously challenged, but, was helped by a caution with 40 laps. Ironically some drivers felt it helped them too.
“It was a lot less dramatic than the last one so that’s good. Early in the race it was easy. The car was really superior, but those guys worked on their cars and they got better and better.
By the end of the race, that was all I had. Brad and Clint, I think if they had been out front it would have been very difficult to pass them, so I’m just grateful we were as good as we were and we had good enough pit stops and restarts and everything to stay in front,” added Edwards.
Keselowski, who finished second, said “I almost felt like we were first in class. Carl was just way faster than anyone else.” He added that he thought the restart might have helped him, but, didn’t.
Clint Bowyer, who finished third said, referring to the final caution, “it was little unclear we pitted and the caution came out. (It was a) fun day, we were just a little bit off. You couldn’t stay up there and put the pressure on him (Edwards.). Kasey Kahne finished fourth.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s quest for his first series title got a boost when his closest rival, Elliott Sadler, who sat on the pole, had an ill handling car and an unlucky pit stop. After finishing fifth, Stenhouse has a 22-point lead. “We just proved today we didn’t have the best car worked on it and got a top five that’s what we need.”
Sadler, who finished 14th said “As soon as we pitted the caution came out and put us in a hole,” said Sadler who fell behind by two laps. “We’ve got five races left and anything can happen.