Edwards Scores First Win of Season in Dominating Performance at Texas
FT. WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2011) -- Carl Edwards started on the pole and never looked back Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
Edwards scored the first win for a Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in dominating fashion, leading a race-high 169 of 200 laps and crossing the finish line .482 seconds ahead of second-place Brad Keselowski. He claimed his second consecutive NNS win at the 1.5-mile speedway and the sixth overall for Roush Fenway Racing at Texas. Edwards racked up his 30th career Nationwide Series win and is just the fifth driver in series history to win 30 or more races. He won his 24th pole position in 217 career starts.
“This is huge,” Edwards said of scoring the first Mustang win. “I have a Mustang at home. It doesn’t run as well as this one. I drove it a little bit the last couple of weeks and this just feels so good. It is so cool to drive a Mustang to victory lane here at Texas. I can’t even fathom the historic nature of this win.”
“A year ago we were struggling. We were not fast enough and Jack [Roush, car owner] and all the guys at the shop, the engineers, Doug Yates and everyone pulled together. We have great engines now and great pit stops. Mike Beam [crew chief] puts the fastest car on the race track underneath me every week and Jack lets us go do all this. Mike was adjusting while Jason [Hedlesky, spotter] was telling me the line and Jack was telling me what Ricky [Stenhouse Jr.] said. It is a good day. It ended the way you wish every race would. Teamwork led us to victory lane.”
The only close call of the night for the No. 60 Fastenal team came on lap 89 when the lapped car of Tim Schendel cut a tire as Edwards and Kyle Busch caught him between Turns 1 and 2. Schendel shot up the track between the leaders, crashing into Busch and slightly damaging Edwards’ car.
Beam said he was tempted to bring Edwards to the pit lane to check on the car until the driver said it wasn’t necessary.
“I couldn’t really see it but a photographer took a picture and I could see a close up of the brace hanging out of the left quarter panel and I thought it was broke off,” said Beam. “I was really wanting to stop there and luckily it came to one to go and Carl made that call there and I am glad he did after it happened. I was concerned by that brace hanging out there but luckily it wrapped around. We were very fortunate.”
Next up for the No. 60 Fastenal team is April 16 Aaron’s 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race will be televised live on ESPN 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network.