After traveling over 2,000 miles to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the famed Milwaukee Mile, Carl Edwards made sure the trip was worth his efforts en route to his first series victory in 2009.
Courtesy: Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards made the trip from Infineon Raceway worthwhile on Saturday night, winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series NorthernTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile.
Edwards left Infineon earlier in the day, where he practiced his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, to race at Milwaukee. Having to start at the rear of the field, Edwards tiptoed through the field early in the race.
After his Cup counterpart, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch, led for numerous laps, Edwards chased him down and made the pass for the lead on Lap 205.
Despite two caution periods in the final 50 laps, Edwards easily pulled away to his first Nationwide victory of the season. He also repeated as the Milwaukee race winner, going to victory lane in 2008 with new crew chief Drew Blickensderfer.
“It seems like almost every week, we’re getting faster and faster,” Edwards said. “It’s really cool to get that first win. Hopefully, it kicks off the rest of the season like it did last year.”
Edwards’ 2008 win at Milwaukee kicked off an impressive second-half run where he won seven of the final 19 races. Can he do it again this season?
“We could go win every race,” Edwards said. “That’s how we try to approach them. As good as last season ended, it didn’t get good until a year ago tonight. All my guys are aware of that, I was aware of that. People were mentioning that to me as I was getting in the car: ‘Hey, do you remember last year?’ I thought, ‘Boy, if we could do that again and get it going, there’s no reason we can’t have the same success.’”
The victory was the first of the season for Dan Stillman, who replaced Blickensderfer as Edwards’ crew chief.
Busch finished second, despite leading the most laps (80) for the eighth consecutive race.
“I was out front and he passed me,” Busch said of Edwards. “His car was better than my car was. Any time I tried to go harder I got loose.”
JR Motorsports’ Brad Keselowski finished third. Polesitter Erik Darnell, Edwards’ teammate, finished fourth after rallying in the closing laps. Roush Fenway’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Rusty Wallace Racing’s Steve Wallace, Phoenix Racing’s Mike Bliss, Richard Childress Racing’s Stephen Leicht, Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Ron Hornaday and Braun Racing’s Jason Leffler.
Busch saw his series lead over Edwards cut to 127 points, with Keselowski third, 218 out of the lead.