Saturday, August 11, 2012

Carl Edwards returns to Nationwide and wins at The Glen

Credit: Jared Wickerham, Getty Images
Carl Edwards returned to the Nationwide Series to make a statement and walking away with the checkered flag is what he intended.

In his first Nationwide start since 2011, Edwards was one of 10 Cup drivers pulling double duty on the twists and turns at Watkins Glen International. Edwards' victory, his 38th in the Nationwide Series, is now third on the list of all-time victories in the series, breaking a tie with Kevin Harvick.

Edwards faced a hard charge from Brad Keselowski on the final restart after caution for debris,  but Keselowski restrained his attempts to pass Edwards and settled for second. Explaining himself after the race, Keselowski said, "I didn't pull any aggressive moves out of the arsenal. That's intentional, obviously. I don't need to start any trouble over here in this series when I've got the Chase coming around." He continued, "Just banking up nice-guy points. So when the Chase comes, I can use them up. And I plan on doing that. Just banking 'em up."

Battling for the points, Sam Hornish Jr. had an outstanding day after running up front for the entire race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. raced quietly in the top 10 with little mention on the television broadcast. Points leader Elliott Sadler finished in 12th, allowing the points gap to close slightly. Sadler leads Stenhouse by just 13 points.

Having a difficult day were Austin Dillon (third in points prior to the race) and Danica Patrick. Dillon's day was disastrous, plain and simple. From wrecking to incurring a penalty for missing the inner loop while avoiding a wreck, the No. 3 car blew a tire and fell apart in the closing laps after Dillon made contact with Michael Annett.

Patrick's day never had the chance to get started. She wrecked on Lap 1 and not of her own doing,  Ryan Truex Jr. went into Turn 1 and got loose, heading across the grass then spun onto the track. Patrick was right there. With severe damage and a crinkled hood, she pitted for repairs, tried to get back on the track, but had to go behind the wall. headed behind the wall for repairs. Unfortunately for her, the No. 7 GoDaddy car didn't make it back in the race and she finished 43rd.

The points shifted a bit as a result of the action today: (1) Sadler (2) Stenhouse Jr. -13 (3) Hornish Jr. -24 (4) Dillon -29 (5) Allgaier -74 (6) Annett -109 (7) Whitt -161 (8) Bliss -205 (9) Scott -263 (10) Nemechek -291.

Race results:
  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Sam Hornish Jr.
  4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  5. Ron Fellows
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Paul Menard
  9. Justin Allgaier
  10. Brian Scott
  11. Michael Annett
  12. Elliott Sadler
  13. Miguel Paludo
  14. Mike Bliss
  15. Ryan Truex
  16. Victor Gonzelez Jr. 
  17. Jason Bowles
  18. Mike Wallace
  19. Jeremy Clements
  20. Kenny Habul
  21. Kyle Kelley
  22. Joey Logano
  23. Austin Dillon
  24. Cole Whitt
  25. Tim Connolly
  26. Eric McClure
  27. Joe Nemechek
  28. Tony Raines
  29. Alex Kennedy
  30. Daryl Harr
  31. JJ Yeley
  32. Dexter Stacey
  33. Morgan Shepherd
  34. Eric Curran
  35. Timmy Hill
  36. Matthew Bell
  37. Chris Cook
  38. Alex Popow
  39. Josh Wise
  40. Jeff Green
  41. Matt DiBenedetto
  42. Stephen Leicht
  43. Danica Patrick

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