Edwards Wins Able Body Labor 200
Busch's championship clinch hopes fall just short
From Sporting News Wire Service Carl Edwards won Saturday's Able Body Labor 200 to postpone Kyle Busch's formal NASCAR Nationwide Series championship clinching party for one week. But Busch still had cause for celebration. With a 190-point lead entering next Saturday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch needs merely to start the Ford 300 to claim his first title in one of NASCAR's top three national touring series. Saturday's race also fanned the smoldering rivalry between polesitter Denny Hamlin and fifth-place finisher Brad Keselowski into full flame. The drivers traded shots with their cars after a restart on Lap 157, with Keselowski spinning Hamlin's Toyota in Turn 1 to bring out the sixth and final caution of the race. "That's 25. 25 (career Nationwide) wins," said Edwards, who beat runner-up Kevin Harvick to the finish line by 2.415 seconds. "I know Kyle's almost clinched the championship, but that's what we came here to do, to win this race." Reed Sorenson ran third in Todd Braun's No. 32 Toyota, followed by Clint Bowyer and Keselowski. Busch's clinching prospects were in jeopardy early in the race, after he spun the No. 18 Toyota off Turn 2 in front of Clint Bowyer's No. 29 Chevrolet on Lap 7. Busch tagged the outside wall with the right rear of his car and the inside wall with the left front. Busch's team worked on the car on pit road and got Busch back on the track before he lost a lap. After restarting 35th, Busch worked his way to 12th in the running order by Lap 30 of 200. Busch ran as high as fourth before the final caution but faded to ninth at the finish. With Edwards winning and leading the most laps, Busch needed to finish seventh or better to lock up the title. Asked about the early-race spin, Busch gave a terse explanation. "I was driving a bucket of (expletive)," he said. Keselowski and Hamlin had a lot more to say after the race, thanks to the Lap 157 incident that started with Hamlin bumping Keselowski and ducking beneath him. Keselowski retaliated in the corner and turned Hamlin's No. 20 Toyota. Hamlin kept the car off the wall but had to pit and restarted at the back of the field on Lap 164. He finished 12th. "On the last restart there, Denny got into the back of me and pushed me up the track," Keselowski said. "I was going to return the favor. When he did it to me, I saved it. When I did it to him, he didn't save it. We just got into a pushing match. I don't really hold any grudges. I don't know why he wanted to do that. But whatever, that's just how racing, is I guess. "To me, I was over it. I'm focused on running the No. 88 Junior Motorsports car and trying to run up front, chase down Carl (for second in the standings) and finish second in points. I haven't put a lot of thought into (the rivalry), but apparently he has." Hamlin implied he'd have a shot at revenge in next Saturday's race. "I can sit here and bash him for the next 20 seconds or so and give you all a bunch of sound bites," Hamlin said, "but I'm just happy that I signed up for next week's Nationwide race, and you know in turn, there's a lot of guys that owe him. There's a lot of guys that have a lot of chips that they're going to cash in, I'm just going to be the first to the pay window.'' Later on, after Hamlin spoke to NASCAR president Mike Helton, the two drivers had what USA Today reporter Nate Ryan described as an animated but civil discussion. Tickets to witness the championship atmosphere of the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix International Raceway can be purchased online at the newly-designed PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.
Related PIR News
Fans will enjoy a full weekend lineup of entertainment for the Can-Am 500 race weekend at Phoenix Raceway, Nov. 11-13. This fall will feature a new post-race Phoenix Raceway After Dark show with Christopher Shayne on Friday, Nov. 11. PIR mainstays like Harry Luge and METALHEAD will return to Busch Garage all weekend long, while NASCAR’s favorite DJ Michaelis will be back to add his unique spin on driver introductions before the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that the health and beauty supplement brand youtheory® has been named the official sponsor of the Restart Zone at PIR for the Can-Am 500 race weekend on Nov. 11-13. The youtheory partnership marks the first sponsored restart zone at the track. Phoenix Raceway also welcomes youtheory as the official health supplement of the track.
Fans attending the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Phoenix Raceway will be entertained with live music before the start of the race as multi-platinum rock group Hinder will perform a pre-race concert in the Fan Midway area at 10:30 a.m. MST.
Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Jennifer Staton has been named Senior Director of Partnership Sales & Marketing. Staton has been with International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), the parent company of PIR in Daytona Beach, Fla., since 2006.
Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced Ticket Galaxy as the title sponsor of the track’s upcoming November NASCAR XFINITY Series race and as PIR’s official secondary market ticket provider. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Daniel Suárez and Ticket Galaxy President Steve Kobelski joined Sperber for the announcement at the Hard Rock Café in Downtown Phoenix on Tuesday. The Ticket Galaxy 200 will serve as the semifinal race in the Chase for NASCAR XFINITY Series title and air on NBC Sports Network in primetime on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. Eastern).