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Carl Edwards has won the 30th Annual Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was a rocky road to the backflip tonight, but in the end it was a restart from hell from Kyle Busch that allowed Edwards the win.
Bypassing the first 180 laps of tonight’s 200 lap event, it all boiled down to 3 drivers when the checkered flag flew over the hood of the No. 60 Fastenal Ford.
Paul Menard won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier today in NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying, but led only the first 26laps of tonight’s event when points leader, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw his hat in the mix as possible contenders for the win.
A late race caution was not the issue for then-leader Brad Keselowski, it was slowing down off of Turn number four here at Charlotte Motor Speedway that took Keselowski out of contention for the win tonight. The spin under caution put Kyle Busch to the lead with around 20 laps left, but the incident would not mark the end of the fireworks in the last 30 miles of tonight’s race.
Fast-forwarding again to the final restart, with just 4 laps left, Kyle Busch chose the outside line as his preferred line of restart. The restart dragged all the way within 30 feet of the pink Start/Finish Line before the throttles were hammered. Busch squandered heading into turn number one, and the fight was on for the win with Stenhouse Jr., Edwards, and Rowdy Busch all in the hunt for the point.
It was Edwards that flexed his muscles by the time the field may their way back to my vantage point off the end of Pit Road here at Charlotte, and it was a 6 car-length lead that Edwards would take with 3 miles left to run. Kyle Busch made his best efforts to reel in the battered No. 60 Fastenal Ford Ford Mustang (the car was seriously trashed, Jack Roush said he would actually kiss the car later tonight for staying together) but would only manage to sneak a peek under Edwards in the final turn.
Kyle Busch blamed the Toyota horsepower for the squandered attempt to take the win, but it was the Fastenal parts of Carl Edward’s No. 60 Ford Fusion that held up after he put a “Charlotte Stripe” on his torn racecar.
Edward’s victory is his 37th in 241 NASCAR Nationwide Series Starts, and his 8th this season. Trevor Bayne finished third as the highest finishing Nationwide Series points contender.
In the points, Elliott Sadler trimmed Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s lead to just 15 as the Nationwide Series takes a two week break from on-track action.