Edwards Picks Up First 2012 Win in Nationwide Series
WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Subway team went into the rolling hills of the Southern Tier of New York for their first race in the Nationwide Series of the 2012 season on Saturday. Edwards had two road course wins under his belt, and he and his team were very excited about racing at the Glen on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn track.
Edwards and his Subway team were really focused and Edwards mixed it up with the competition leading nine laps. Once all the strategies had played out and it came down to the end of the race, Edwards was battling it out with Brad Keselowski in an intense dog fight resulting in his 38th Nationwide Series win and his first win in 2012. Scott Graves, Edwards' crew chief, is batting 1.000, too, with a win in his first Nationwide Series race.
When the race started, Edwards commented that his car was a little tight but thought it was very good overall. On the first caution on lap six Edwards stayed out maintaining second place. When the green flag waved on lap nine several different pit strategies were being played out. Keselowski passed Edwards for second on his way to the lead.
Edwards green-flag pitted on lap 22 for a small air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel. He stayed out during the second caution on lap 38. He green-flag pitted for the second time on lap 51 and once the 43-car field cycled through Edwards was in fourth, but quickly fell back to ninth after banging fenders with Joey Logano on lap 53. Racing resumed and Edwards never looked back.
The final laps were intense when Edwards was battling with Keselowski for track position. Edwards grabbed the top spot from Keselowski on lap 73 of 82, completing a pass to the outside as the cars approached the esses at the 2.45-mile road course. Keselowski regained the lead momentarily on lap 76 but lost it again to Edwards in a crossover move as the cars approached turn one to start lap 77.
That is when a caution for Austin Dillon's blown tire slowed the field and set up a restart with two laps remaining. After a side-by-side battle in turn seven on lap 81, Edwards held off Keselowski to win by 1.130 seconds.
When the checkers flew, Edwards was first across the start/finish line chalking up his first Nationwide Series win for 2012 and his 38th career win, breaking a tie for third with Kevin Harvick on the Series' all-time win list.
Edwards parked his Ford Fusion on the start/finish line. The crowd watched with anticipation as he emerged from his car for the first time this year and pumped his arms to the crowd and completed his signature back flip for the fans to celebrate his victory as the crowd roared.
"I can't say thank you enough to the fans that come out and support this sport," stated Edwards. "We rode around in the infield yesterday around all the campgrounds and everybody was so nice. It seems like everybody is having a really good time out here, so I appreciate that. Subway came on board to do this race. Ford, Jack Roush, everyone gave me the opportunity to do this. Whether we won or lost I was having a lot of fun out there. Brad was driving the wheels off of his car. I missed a shift coming to the white flag - a downshift - and he got next to me and then we battled off the corner. It might have actually helped me in the end, but I had fun racing with him, racing with Kyle. I got into Logano there in turn seven one time being real aggressive and I feel bad we spun him out, but I had a really fun time and I can't wait to race tomorrow."