Matt Kenseth wins Nationwide race

Updated: May 28, 2011, 7:12 PM ET
Associated Press

CONCORD, N.C. -- Matt Kenseth passed Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards with two laps to go and hung on to win Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

[+] EnlargeMatt Kenseth
Geoff Burke/Getty ImagesMatt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenseth passed Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards with two laps remaining en route to the victory.

Kenseth and Edwards exchanged the lead with five laps left in the 300-mile race, but Edwards couldn't counter Kenseth's final pass on the inside.

Kenseth was filling in for Trevor Bayne, who has been sidelined with an inflammatory condition, in the No. 16 Ford and was making his only Nationwide start of the season. Bayne is expected to return to competition next week.

Edwards, who was running low on fuel, hung on to finish second in what's been an impressive week for his race team. Edwards won last week's All-Star race on the same track.

Fellow Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch was third, failing to tie Mark Martin (49) for the most wins in the Nationwide Series.

A week after becoming the first non-Sprint Cup driver to win a Nationwide race this season and a day before he makes his Sprint Cup debut, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth after captured the pole in the morning qualifying.

Reed Sorenson was fifth, while Elliott Sadler recovered from early handling problems to finish 10th and maintain a one-point lead over Stenhouse in the season standings.

It was a rough, hot and frustrating Nationwide debut for former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen, who finished four laps down in 27th. It came a week after Raikkonen finished 15th in his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series and amid uncertainty about his future racing stock cars.

Starting 22nd, the Finland native complained early over his radio of his No. 87 Toyota being too tight. He also wasn't wearing heat shields on his shoes and said his feet were "burning" on the hot, humid afternoon.

He was having trouble turning his car and used colorful language to express his frustrations as he tried to keep his feet off the floor of the car and asked for larger water bottles. About halfway through he radioed in that he scraped the wall, and even after climbing to 15th at one point he complained his car wasn't responding.

Raikkonen's first green-flag pit stop in NASCAR competition ended with him getting caught for being too fast coming off pit road. The pass-through penalty with 58 laps to go dropped him to 27th place and two laps down. Raikkonen then ran over some debris and damaged his splitter, forcing another green-flag pit stop.

He later complained again about how hot the car was and never was in contention in what could be his final NASCAR race. Car owner Kyle Busch said Raikkonen has not paid for any future races with his team.

Kenseth, Busch and Kevin Harvick shared the lead for much of the first two-thirds of the race. Edwards had the lead on a restart with 46 laps to go, and Harvick blew a tire shortly thereafter to fall a lap down.

Cole Whitt finished 15th in his Nationwide Series season debut. At 19, Whitt is the first rookie and youngest driver to lead the Truck Series.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press