Edwards wins from 42nd-place start
CLERMONT, Ind. -- Carl Edwards has an idea that would revolutionize racing.
He'd be in favor of starting the fastest cars in the back so the fans could enjoy watching them blow past their competition while trying to get to the front.
Edwards explained his unique idea after giving a good example of why such a plan might work. He came from the back of the pack Saturday to win the Nationwide Series race at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
Edwards started 42nd out of 43 drivers because he spent the day at Brickyard 400 qualifying and got into the Saturday night race on owner points. He moved up 15 spots by the end of the fourth lap, and took the lead for good in Lap 179.
"I definitely like starting in the back," he said. "It would be fine with me if we qualified for points and inverted the field every week. I think that would be a lot more exciting racing. It's fun when you've got fast cars starting in the back. I know the crowd likes it, especially for these short races."
Kyle Busch, who started 41st and qualified because of owner points, finished second.
Busch leads Edwards by 192 points in the Nationwide standings. Edwards knows he can't make many mistakes if he is to catch up. Busch has finished in first or second in every race since a June 6 victory in Nashville.
"I believe that 18 team has run first or second for the last couple months," Edwards said. "They have not slipped. For us to be able to beat them, we have to pretty much run first every week."
Busch felt lucky to finish second. He got away with some unusual mistakes late in the race.
"We didn't deserve to get second because when we bounced it off the wall twice at the end of the race, we should have fell back to about fifth or sixth," he said.
Matt Kenseth, who drove at ORP for the first time in 10 years, finished third.
Trevor Bayne, an 18-year-old who earned the pole, finished seventh. He led the first 34 laps before making contact with Steve Wallace and falling out of contention. The accident moved Ron Hornaday Jr., Friday's trucks winner, into the lead.
Scott Wimmer passed Hornaday to take the lead in Lap 54. Edwards moved into third and challenged Hornaday for second.
Wimmer led until a yellow in Lap 92, and most of the leaders went to the pits. Jason Keller is one of the few racers who didn't stop, so he was in front when the other drivers returned to the track.
Edwards took the lead in Lap 121, but lost it to Busch after a caution in Lap 170.
"The last pit stop, I was searching for gears and Kyle Busch got ahead of us," Edwards said. "The 18 car had a good stop and then, the race was on. It was a pretty good battle. It was a lot of fun. That was just hard, hard racing."
Edwards regained the lead in Lap 179 and began pulling away.
"At this track, it's all about your race car," he said. "I've been here with cars that are not fast, and it sure is easier when you've got a car like the one we had tonight."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press