Today at Watkins Glen was Carl Edwards first start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season. Edwards hasn't raced in the Nationwide Series since last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He hasn't won in the Nationwide Series since last October at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Actually, that's his last win in NASCAR, including in the Sprint Cup Series. But today he stepped back into a Nationwide Series car and went to victory lane.
Edwards only led nine laps on the whole day, but he led the most important laps. Edwards took the lead from Brad Keselowski on the second to last restart of the race, and was able to hold Keselowski off on the final restart and on the last lap. Keselowski got along side of Edwards coming out of the final turn heading towards the white flag, but Edwards pushed Keselowski wide and was able to hold onto the lead.
Keselowski, who lead 43 of the 82 laps, the most of anyone, had to settle for a second place finish. Keselowski said he was nice to Edwards at the end of the race. "I'm saving those nice guy points for the Chase," said Keselowski.
Joey Logano had a car that could have possibly won the race but was plagued by issues in the latter part of the race. Logano was spun out in turn seven by Edwards with about 25 laps remaining. He pit for tires and was charging towards the front-he got to fifth with seven laps left- when his engine started to let go. He restarted in ninth on the final restart with two laps to go, but finished 22nd.
Logano wasn't happy with Edwards after the spin. He told his crew chief that when he got back up front he would pay back Edwards, but he never got the chance. After the race Logano told Bob Pockrass of Sporting News "Edwards dumped me, and he'll just say he's sorry," but beyond that he had no comment.
The title contenders for the Nationwide Series all had interesting days. Elliott Sadler expected his car to run up front, but he never got any higher than 10th. Defending champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said he thought that Sadler would run better than him, but only by a couple of positions. But Stenhouse instead ran much better than Sadler, finishing fourth, while Sadler finished 12th. Stenhouse came into the race in third in the standings, but left Watkins Glen second in points, 13 behind Sadler. Austin Dillon came into the race second in the standings, but is now fourth, 29 points behind Sadler. Dillon's day turned sour when he got penalized for blowing past the chicane. A car spun in front of Dillon so he went straight through the chicane, but didn't come to a full stop like he was supposed to. Less than a lap later Alex Kennedy slammed the wall in the "S" curves in front of Dillon, so Dillon spun to avoid Kennedy's car. Dillon lost a lap from spinning, and had to start at the back on the restart because of the penalty. Dillon also severely damaged the right front fender on his car when he ran into the back of Michael Annett with five laps remaining. Dillon finished 23rd. Sam Hornish Jr. entered the race in fourth in the standings, but is now third, 24 behind Sadler. Hornish's day got off to a good start when he won the pole for the race in qualifying. He led the first 15 laps of the race before Keselowski got by him, and finished in third. Hornish is now the higher in the standings than he's ever been in his whole NASCAR career.
Danica Patrick's day ended a lot earlier than she thought or hoped it would. Patrick suffered a lot of front end damage when he she ran into the back of Ryan Truex's car in the very first corner of the race. Truex suffered wheel-hop entering the first corner and spun through the grass in the hopes that he wouldn't take out the rest of the field. Instead he slid back up onto the track right in front of Patrick who had nowhere to go but right into the back of Truex.
Sam Hornish Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -13
Sam Hornish Jr. -24
Austin Dillon -29