Carl Edwards’ Copart Ford simply was too strong for a stout field in the WYPALL * 200 Powered by Kimberly Clark NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway today. Each time Edwards was threatened, he was able to pull away from a variety of challengers that included Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, polesitter Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.
Edwards led nearly every lap after claiming the lead from Aric Almirola on lap 37. That pass came shortly after a restart, a strong suit for Edwards all race long.
“It was unbelievable how fast it (his no. 60 car) was; it was the fastest race car I ever had,” said Edwards. He led 153 of 200 laps, including the last 56.
The only time a restart even partially failed Edwards was on lap 143 when Busch forced his NOS Toyota on the outside of Edwards coming off PIR’s legendary turn two. Busch maintained a small edge for most of a lap but was overtaken by the race winner.
Busch soon suffered a cut right front tire and was forced to pit under green. Busch passed several cars as he gamely attempted to get back on the lead lap and finally made it with 10 to go. However, there was simply no chance of catching Edwards, and Busch finished 16th.
Edwards extended his margin of victory to more than five seconds over second-place Harvick, who said: “Our Rheem Chevy was really good. We got a little behind him (Edwards) making our way through traffic.”
Keselowski, who clinched the Nationwide Series championship last week at Texas, took two tires on a mid-race pit stop to gain 22 spots. He made it hold up, finishing fourth.
Scottsdale, Az., resident Danica Patrick struggled through a trying afternoon in her first season of NASCAR racing as she was bumped several times on the way to a cut tire, and tap of the wall, ending with a 32nd-place finish.
Tickets are available for tomorrow’s Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. The Kobalt Tools 500 offers the likelihood of one of the most thrilling NASCAR races in many years. For the first time in the Chase era, there are three drivers—points leader Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick—who could leave Phoenix with the points lead after the penultimate event of the season. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.phoenixraceway.com/tickets or call 866-408-RACE (7223) today!