NATIONWIDE Missouri/Illinois Dodge Dealers 250

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Edwards cruises to win at Gateway

Jul 20, 2008 - 5:02 AM MADISON, Illinois (Ticker) -- Carl Edwards is making a push toward defending his NASCAR Nationwide Series title.

The reigning series champion captured his second win in five races Saturday night, capturing the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway.

With the victory, Edwards moved up a spot to third in the standings - 201 points behind leader Clint Bowyer, who finished eighth in a Chevrolet.

"This was a special win for me - I must have had a thousand friends in the stands," said Edwards who grew up in Columbia, Missouri and considers Gateway his hometown track. "I tell you what, there won't be a happier guy tomorrow than me."

In a Ford, Edwards passed young phenom Joey Logano with 48 laps remaining and cruised to the easy victory, winning by nearly seven seconds.

"It felt great to be back in the car again," said Logano, who last raced at Milwaukee - the site of Edwards' previous win. "I just wish I could have brought back a win. It's the second race in a row I've finished second to Carl Edwards."

Logano, who is rumored to be the Sprint Cup Series replacement for Tony Stewart at Joe Gibbs Racing next season, now has four top-10 finishes - including a win and two runner-up finishes - in just five starts.

Brad Keselowski brought his Monte Carlo home fifth and remained second in the standings, just 170 points behind Bowyer.

Jason Keller finished third in a Chevrolet, followed by Jason Leffler's Toyota.

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