By Amanda Vincent, NASCAR reporter
- Edwards takes the win
- Last lap crash claims front runners
- Busch salvages second place finish
With the other front-runners crashing behind him, Carl Edwards drove to the checkered flag at Dover International Speedway on Saturday to claim victory in the 5-Hour Energy 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Edwards and Joey Logano were racing side-by-side for the lead on the final lap when Logano’s car got loose and hit the wall. Clint Bowyer, who was running third at the time, drove up the side of Logano’s No. 20 car before almost flipping over. Several other drivers at the front of the field were collected, including Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, Steve Wallace and Mike Bliss.
I wasn’t sure whether I touched him (Logano) or not.
Logano was credited with a 13th place finish and Bowyer 14th.
“I wasn’t sure whether I touched him (Logano) or not,” Edwards said in victory lane.
Edwards then watched a replay of the incident.
“I’m glad I didn’t hit him,” he said.
The race was immediately red flagged. When the action came to a halt, those who were still able, received the yellow flag to complete the lap and take the checkered flag.
Despite getting caught up in the wreck, Busch, who was running sixth prior to the incident, crossed the start-finish line to finish second.
“We didn’t deserve second,” Busch said. “We salvaged a good day.”
Busch had to work his way up through the field early after starting 13th when qualifying was rained out and the starting grid was set based on practice speeds.
He had moved up to within sight of the lead before he was involved in an incident trying to entering pit road during a caution on lap 85. A traffic jam, of sorts, getting onto pit road bunched up Logano, Busch and Reed Sorenson. The No. 32 of Sorenson sustained the most damage.
After restarting 18th, Busch was able to make his way back up to sixth position and stalled there. He was unable to get any closer to the front until the last lap wreck that ended the race.
Saturday’s race saw two rain delays, one that postponed the start of the race an hour and 15 minutes, and another 28 minute delay just past lap 140.
The caution came out on lap 140 when then-points leader Justin Allgaier cut down a tire and hit the wall. As the field ran around under caution, more rain came and put the race on hiatus.
Just before the rain, Tony Eury Jr., crew chief for Josh Wise, made the call to leave Wise out on the race track as everyone else pitted.
We didn’t deserve second.
“It’s been misting all day,” Eury Jr. said. “It was a no-brainer.”
With the race past the halfway point, Wise, Eury Jr. and the No. 7 team were gambling on the rain continuing and NASCAR calling the race. The gamble ended up not paying off. The race continued and Wise ended up 17th.
Sorenson was able to drive past the last lap carnage to finish third.
Ricky Stenhouse, who started on the front row and led 33 laps early before the handling went away on his car causing him to slide back through the field, ended up fourth. David Reutimann finished fifth after starting the race in the back because he missed the drivers meeting.