You win a NASCAR race at Nashville Super-speedway and you take home a guitar – it is the home of the American music industry after all.
Ford Fusion racer Carl Edwards took home the guitar after the Busch Series race last weekend – to add to the two he already has. The win allowed the Roushteam driver to retain his 2007 series points lead. He’s now on 1200, with second-placed Dave Blaney on 879.
Edwards started from grid eight, but in the final laps was uncatchable.
“I really had a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a great race, it’s a great track and it’s an honour to finish in front of David Reutimann like that. He was running really well today.”
It was by no means plain sailing for Edwards.
Initially he dropped back, but the crew made set-up changes and got on top of a problem where a front wheel kept coming loose.
Their work gave Edwards the winning car and another chance to perform his obligatory post-race back-flip in the winner’s circle.
“The car was so great in practice,” he said. “So awesome that I felt really confident going in. I felt like it was our race to lose, and then they dropped the green flag and we went backwards like a rock.
“I was really nervous there for a little while because I thought we must have missed something.
“PK [Pierre Kuettel, crew chief] and the guys did a great job of regrouping. I was feeling pretty rough there and they made the car a lot better.
“They made some pretty good-sized changes for this place and the car got better. [It] was so great that I took my time and it made it pretty simple to get back up to the front. I can’t thank my guys enough for having such a great car and being able to respond to the adversity today.”
Three Toyota Camrys followed Edwards across the line. David Reutimann finished second followed by Blaney and Jason Leffler.
Despite a miscue by his Michael Waltrip Racing crew during a pitstop, Reutimann was pleased with second and missed winning by only five seconds.
“It showed that we had a good car and that nobody on the team panicked,” he said of the pitstop bungle. “Those types of things happen every once in a while, but they picked me up two spots on the last stop. Those guys give me great stops every week.
“No matter what happened, I think we had a second place car today and that’s where we ended up.
“It would’ve been nice to make Carl [Edwards] pass us there at the end, but I’m happy with where we finished.”
Blaney recovered from an early race tangle.
“Carl [Edwards] was definitely the best car out there today,” he said. “We could run with him later in the runs, but not right at the restart. For whatever reason, we’d get the car a little too free [oversteering] early in runs and had to make up some ground as the laps wore on.”
Leffler also had a wheel come loose – when he was leading the race – allowing Edwards to overtake him.
“We had a good car, but we had a wheel get loose late in the race,” he said.
“When Carl got by me, it started to get really bad and I had to let David and Dave by.
“We’re capable of running up front and the two races we’ve finished without problems we finished in the top 10, so if we keep doing that, we’ll be fine.”
Regan Smith completed the top five in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo.