NASCAR: Carl Edwards cruises to Nationwide win in Nashville

nascar nationwide carl edwards. LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC
Carl Edwards celebrates after sticking his landing Saturday night at the Nationwide race in Nashville.

By AL PEARCE on 7/23/2011

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Carl Edwards got his fifth Nationwide Series win this year and the 34th of his career in easy fashion in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday night. Edwards led three times for 124 laps in a Mustang from Roush Fenway Racing.

Pole-winner Brad Keselowski led three times for 89 laps before his Dodge Challenger’s engine went soft, leaving him 12th. Only Elliott Sadler (once for three laps before a gear problem left him 30th) and third-place Austin Dillon (twice for nine laps) also led during the 225-lap race at the 1.333-mile track.

Roush Fenway driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second, with Dillon, Justin Allgaier and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five. Sam Hornish Jr., Drew Herring, new points leader Reed Sorenson, Trevor Bayne and Kenny Wallace completed the top 10.

Keselowski led the first 58 laps and 31 of the next 58 before slowing and slipping back. Edwards, who had led laps 59-82, was virtually unchallenged the rest of the way, leading 121-178 and the final 42 laps, from 184 to 225. Sadler, who started as the points leader and finished third-ranked, led laps 84-86. Dillon, making only his 10th career Nationwide start and third this year, lead laps 117-120 and 179-183.

"I had an unreal car, a super fast car, a really great car," said Edwards, who overcame a pit road speeding penalty en route to winning. "I hate that the 22 (Keselowski) had problems because we were gonna have a heckuva race. They were awfully good until they had their problems. They would have been tough."

Edwards’ win was the 17th in 20 races this year by a full-time Sprint Cup driver. Sorenson, Stenhouse and Allgaier have each won once.

TOP 10 FINISHERS

1. Carl Edwards, Ford

2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford

3. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet

4. Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet

5. Aric Almirola, Chevrolet

6. Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge

7. Drew Herring, Toyota

8. Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet

9. Trevor Bayne, Ford

10. Kenny Wallace, Toyota

POINTS LEADERS

1. Reed Sorenson, 702

2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., -5

3. Elliott Sadler, -14

4. Justin Allgaier, -30

5. Aric Almirola, -71

6. Jason Leffler, -94

7. Kenny Wallace, -97

8. Steven Wallace, -144

9. Michael Annett, -152

10. Brian Scott, -165

Next event: July 30, Clermont, Ind.

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