By: Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
- Edwards leads 124 of 225 laps
- Stenhouse Jr, Dillon finish 2nd, 3rd
- Roush Racing’s 4th 1-2 finish in 2011
Edwards wins Nashville 300 NNS race
Carl Edwards fought off cold symptoms to dominate the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford on Saturday night by leading 124 of the 225 laps that made up the race on his way to the win.
“I felt bad that Brad had engine trouble. We would’ve had a great race.
“I feel a lot better now,” Edwards said in victory lane.
RFR teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second in the No. 6 Ford to give the organization its fourth one-two finish in NNS competition in 2011.
“We’ve come a long way as a race team,” Stenhouse said of finishing second after not being able to qualify for the same race a year ago.
Austin Dillon finished third in the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet.
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Penske Dodge, and Edwards were the only two Sprint Cup Series regulars in the Nashville race field, and the two ran first and second for much of the first half of the race.
Keselowski started on the pole, and Edwards moved up from his third-place starting spot to run second behind Keselowski in the opening laps.
Edwards ran second to his Cup counterpart until the field began cycling through green flag pit stops on lap 53. Edwards found himself ahead of Keselowski once the cycle of stops completed, and he began to pull away from the field.
The first caution of the race came out for debris on lap 82. Edwards was caught speeding on pit road, and as a result, restarted in the back. Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 2 KHI Chevrolet, and Dillon took only two tires to restart the race on the front row.
Keselowski, after restarting third, got by Sadler and Dillon to take the lead on lap 86. Several laps later, though, he reported to his team that he thought he was down a cylinder. As Edwards made his way back toward the front, Keselowski fell back. He did manage to remain on the lead lap and finish 12th.
“I felt bad that Brad had engine trouble,” Edwards said. “We would’ve had a great race.”
Edwards made his way back up to the lead on lap 125, and Stenhouse joined his teammate on the front row on a restart after the second caution of the race that Mikey Kile brought out with a spin on lap 128.
The Roush Fenway duo of Edwards and Stenhouse led the way until the third and final caution of the race came out for debris on lap 176. Dillon, once again, took only two tires to get off pit road first and claim the race lead.
“We took two tires,” Dillon said. “Our car just couldn’t fire on four.”
Edwards and Stenhouse quickly got by Dillon, though, and Roush Fenway Racing held the first and second positions for the remainder of the race.
Justin Allgaier finished fourth in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, and Aric Almirola finished fifth in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.