By Amanda Vincent, NASCAR reporter
- Edwards wins battle with Busch
- Busch ends 2nd with disappointment
- Keselowski claimed final podium step
I was pedaling for all I had.
There may have been 43 cars in the Nashville 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, but two of them stole the show. Carl Edwards battled Kyle Busch to claim his fourth guitar trophy in series competition at the track, his first since 2007.
"It's a fast Ford Mustang," Edwards said of his Roush Fenway Racing car in victory lane.
According to Edwards, although he and Busch are fierce competitors, they raced each other clean all afternoon, except for one incident late in the race. "I hit Kyle trying to side draft him one time," he admitted.
Edwards and Kyle Busch pulled away to put a more than seven-second cushion between themselves and the rest of the cars in the race. Several times throughout the day, the duo pulled away from everyone else, with other drivers having a few only chances of catching them due to when the caution flag waved to bunch the field back up.
The top duo raced side-by-side with about 36 laps to go and exchanged the lead several times. Edwards took the lead for good with 33 laps to go and pulled away from Busch, along with everyone else.
"I was pedaling for all I had," Edwards said.
Busch, though, had a different perspective. "Must be nice to drive up off the corner like that," Busch lamented to his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team over the radio as he watched Edwards drive away in his No. 60 RFR entry.
Busch, who won in Nationwide competition at Nashville Superspeedway in 2009, was relegated to a runner-up finish this time around.
With Edwards and Busch being in a class by themselves most of the afternoon, Brad Keselowski claimed the honor of being the best among everyone else with a third-place finish in his Penske Dodge.
"We were a solid third or fourth place car today," Keselowski said, adding that the Roush Fenway cars were "so dang fast."
Right there in third and fourth-place territory with Keselowski was race pole-sitter Joey Logano, who finished fourth. "We were a third place car, but a distant third-place car," Logano said.
The JGR driver's fourth-place finish with a "third-place" car was a result of a couple of slow pit stops for his No. 20 team. Under a yellow flag pit stop on lap 50, his team had a problem with a left right lug nut that slowed down the stop. Later, when the field cycled through a series of green flag stops that begin around lap 112, the No. 20 team turned in another slow stop.
Logano's pit crew may have been his downfall through most of the race, but they played a major role in getting him out in the lead during a caution on lap 141. Logano and his crew opted to take fuel only to restart the race in the top spot.
Upon the restart, both Busch and Edwards blew by Logano, and Logano didn't see the front of the race field for the remainder of the afternoon.
Two more of those "fast" Roush Fenway Racing cars finished in the fifth and sixth positions, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. taking fifth and Trevor Bayne finishing sixth.
"To get a top-five finish with all those (Sprint Cup) guys up there is pretty cool," Stenhouse Jr. said. He was the highest-finishing driver of those earning Nationwide Series points.