NATIONWIDE Kroger On Track for the Cure 250Final
Edwards grabs close win in MemphisOct 26, 2008 - 12:34 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- With a backflip and smile, Carl Edwards moved closer to the top.
Edwards posted his fifth win in the Nationwide Series this year, a crucial triumph in Saturday's Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park.
The leader for 184 laps, Edwards held off David Reutimann, who qualified third and nearly pulled into the lead on the final lap.
"(The final lap) took about a year off my life," Edwards said. "I can't say enough about David Reutimann, he's an unbelievable guy.
"My little brother is probably his biggest fan; he cheers for him more than he cheers for me."
Edwards cruised the three-quarter-mile oval in his Ford Fusion with an average speed of 113.217 miles per hour, holding off a hard-charging Reutimann at the finish and capping the win by hopping out of his car for his trademark celebratory flip.
"I just can't believe it ... it's been a great week," Edwards said. "We are having a good time."
The defending series champion, Edwards entered 196 points behind points leader Clint Bowyer, who finished 16th. The triumph trimmed the deficit in the series standings to 116.
"If we can trim off 80 in one day, you are doing something," Edwards said.
Edwards, who held more than a two-second lead for much of the race, saw it tighten considerably but caught a late break.
Joey Logano - running second for much of the race - went to the pits with nine laps to go, taking a 14.8-second hiatus. The 18-year-old phenom finished fifth, behind Kenny Wallace and Austin Dillon.
"It was a last minute decision," Logano said of the decision to pit on lap 241. "Personally, I thought it was a no-brainer to come in and see if we could get in front.
"We weren't going to beat Carl, and I was pretty sure (Reutimann) was going to pass us. So, our best-case scenario was we were going to finish third, or worst-case was sixth. I thought, 'Hey, what the heck - go for it.'"
Making just his sixth start of the season, James Buescher clocked in at 22.961 to capture his first pole of the year. He finished 19th.
Rookie Marc Davis got off to a good start in his Nationwide Series debut, qualifying fourth Saturday morning. However, the 18-year-old came in 23rd in the race, four laps off the pace.
"We practiced really well, and I thought we had a really good race car," Davis said. "We qualified up at the front, and it looked like we were going to have a really good day.
"Then, all of a sudden, something felt wrong with the car, and it kept getting worse and worse."