Carl Edwards could now be dubbed ‘King of the Concrete’ after a conquering win at the Monster Mile in the 26th Annual OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
[media-credit id=62 align=”alignright” width=”230″][/media-credit]The driver of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford even did his trademark victory back flip, although not quite sticking the landing due to the high banking at Dover International Speedway.
“My back flip was terrible,” Edwards said. “I was nervous doing it on the banking. I’m not going to do it tomorrow if I win because there is too much banking.”
Edwards also made his traditional foray into the crowds to celebrate his victory. On the way, he signed one fan’s Subway car and received plenty of congratulations.
“There was one guy up there that had all my gear on and he was just pumped,” Edwards said. “It’s just neat up there and all the drivers should try it.”
This was Edwards’ seventh win of the season. But more important, this was Edwards’ ninth win on the concrete, scoring him a perfect driver rating.
“That was a great race,” Edwards said. “It all starts at the shop because these Ford Mustangs are spectacular.”
“That was a very fast car,” Edwards continued. “Pit stops were great. Strategy was great. And we hung on for the win.”
Mike Beam, Edwards’ crew chief, echoed his driver’s sentiments.
“We really worked hard on the car,” Beam said. “Carl’s feedback was perfect. It worked out well.”
Team owner Jack Roush praised the chemistry of the team, as well as all of the members of the group that works on the car.
“It’s been a great team,” Roush said on the one year anniversary of the team coming together. “We put our Nationwide shop in the same location as the Cup shop. So, the help that Ford was giving would help all of the teams.”
“Thankfully, Carl didn’t crack his noggin on his back flip.”
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, finished second.
“I almost felt like we were first in class until the restarts,” Keselowski said. “We did a great job with our Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger.”
“Carl was just way faster than anyone else,” Keselowski continued. “We weren’t as good as Carl was.”
“I thought we were going to steal one with strategy but it wasn’t meant to be,” Keselowski said. “We just didn’t have enough for him today.”
Clint Bowyer, behind the wheel of the No. 33 Rheem Heating Cooling and Water Heating Chevrolet, scored the third spot in the finishing order.
“I was pretty sure we weren’t first in class,” Bowyer said with a chuckle. “The caution came out and took two tires and then we had to take four and lost a lot of track position.”
“We just got beat up on pretty bad,” Bowyer continued. “Carl was fast and he was the class of the field.”
Ryan Truex, driving the No. 20 Heinz 57 Sauce Toyota, was the race’s top finishing rookie, bringing his race car home in eighth position. Not to be confused with his brother, Cup driver Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan still showed the same affinity for his local, home track.
“I don’t appreciate being called Martin,” Truex said in the media center when he was incorrectly introduced. “But we had a great day.”
“The caution got us off sequence,” Truex continued. “We deserved to be top five.”
“It’s great when you can have good cars and run like that but it’s disappointing when you don’t get the finish you thought you should.”
Probably the luckiest driver on the track for this Nationwide race was Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. Dollar General Chevrolet, who finished seventh.
Sorenson benefitted from a NASCAR error where he should have gone to the rear of the field due to pitting too early, however, NASCAR failed to get the information to him in a timely manner.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Sorenson said. “I knew a lot of cars had to do the wave around. I don’t think it would have affected where we finished.”
“I don’t know what the problem was but all in all it was a top-10 day for the Dollar General car.”
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., driving the No. 6 Blackwell Angus Ford, scored a top five finish. But more important, he came out of the Monster Mile with the points lead, 22 points over Elliott Sadler.
“I wish I would have been a little bit better,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We just never had the car the way we needed it.”
“We stayed tight the whole day,” Stenhouse continued. “We didn’t make any mistakes and that’s what we need to do each and every week.”
“A top five is definitely a good result for us.”
Stenhouse Jr. now sees himself and his team as in control of the championship competition.
“I think we’re in control for sure but we have to control what we do,” Stenhouse, Jr. said. “I’ve got to keep it out of the fence and keep the fenders on it.”
“We’ve got a real good shot at this thing,” Stenhouse said. “We have a race team that’s pretty determined to win this thing.”
No doubt, Elliott Sadler, who had started from the pole position in his No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, was the most disappointed driver coming out of the Monster Mile. Sadler finished fourteenth, trailing Stenhouse Jr. in the point standings.
“We were a little bit too loose with the cloud cover,” Sadler said. “My car would get too free. As soon as we pitted, the caution came out and it put us in a bigger hole.”
Sadler, however, is still hopeful about his championship hopes.
“We got five races left and anything can happen,” Sadler said. “I got to do a better job in practice for how I like it in practice to be able to get into Victory Lane.”
“We just have to find that next level and we will have to win a race or two to get back into this.”
|Unofficial Race Results|
|OneMain Financial 200, Dover International Speedway|
|5||6||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||39|
|8||5||20||Ryan Truex *||Toyota||36|
|21||22||81||Blake Koch *||Dodge||23|
|22||42||15||Timmy Hill *||Ford||22|
|38||20||147||Charles Lewandoski *||Chevrolet||6|