Edwards outruns Busch for Nationwide win at Atlanta
Hampton, GA (Sports Network) - Carl Edwards bounced back from an early-race
pit-road penalty and then held off Kyle Busch, as well as his other fellow
Sprint Cup Series competitors Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne, in the closing
laps to win Saturday night's Great Clips 300 Nationwide Series race at Atlanta
Edwards, the pole sitter, received a penalty for equipment violation during
his first pit stop in the 300-mile race. An air gun and hose got away from his
stall after he pitted. Edwards fell to the tail end of the lead lap but
quickly moved through the field and reclaimed the lead just past the halfway
After a restart with 27 laps remaining, Harvick passed Edwards for the lead.
An accident involving Reed Sorenson and Trevor Bayne on the following lap
forced the sixth and final caution. When the race resumed with 19 laps to go,
Edwards moved ahead of Harvick to take the lead for good.
Busch took second from Harvick with less than 10 laps left and attempted to
chase down Edwards, but Edwards crossed the finish line 0.7 seconds ahead of
Busch for his sixth win of the season and the 35th of his Nationwide career.
His first win in the series came in March 2005 at Atlanta.
"That was as hard as I could race out there," said Edwards, who led a race-
high 101 laps. "Racing against Kyle, Kevin and Kasey was a lot of fun. This
track is as good as it gets. It was a blast, and I can't wait for tomorrow
[the 500-mile Sprint Cup race at Atlanta]."
Busch has yet to win in eight Nationwide races at Atlanta. Last week at
Bristol, he surpassed Mark Martin for most career wins in the series with 50.
"We had a good car but just not good enough," Busch said. "We knew it would be
a race against the Fords, and they were great under the hood. I just hated
that we didn't have enough under the hood to run with them a little bit
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. overcame two lengthy pit stops to finish third and remain
the points leader.
"We struggled there in the pits, but we were able to overcome it," he said.
"We cut a right-front tire that almost caused us some trouble there."
Harvick took the fourth spot, while Kahne completed the top-five. Kahne won
the pole for the Sprint Cup race earlier in the day.
Justin Allgaier, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Jason Leffler and Elliott
Sadler finished sixth through 10th, respectively. Keselowski made his first
start in the series since suffering a broken left ankle and a sore back from a
crash while testing one month ago at Road Atlanta.
Stenhouse widened his lead to 13 points over Sadler. Sorenson fell to 40
points behind the lead after his 32nd-place finish.
Allgaier bumped into his Turner Motorsports teammate Sorenson, who then
collected Bayne. Sorenson and Bayne hit the wall and suffered significant
damage their cars, which put them out of the race.
Sorenson noted that he was not happy with Allgaier and planned to speak with
him after the race. Allgaier accepted the blame and said he would apologize to
09/03 23:50:05 ET
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