Bank of America 500 Pit Note #11
Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage 300 Race Recap
Carl Edwards led only five laps Friday evening, but they were the money laps as he won the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Edwards overcame an early brush with the Turn 4 wall on Lap 32 of the 200-lap event and after repairs were made, roared back through the field.
Edwards took the lead on the final restart of the night from Kyle Busch and was able to hold off a last lap charge by Busch to score his eighth win of the year. The win was his second at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Finishing third was Trevor Bayne and rounding out the top five were Elliot Sadler in fourth and Brian Scott in fifth. Sadler also won $100,000 by taking the honors in the final Nationwide Dash 4 Cash race of the year. Sadler had a spirited battle with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for most of the race for the cash, until Stenhouse faded following the final caution.
Early race leader Brad Keselowski looked to have the car to beat before a cut right rear tire forced his No. 22 to the end of the lead lap. Track position only allowed Keselowski to get back up to finish in sixth.
There were 11 leaders among seven drivers, as the race was slowed by seven caution periods for 31 laps. Edwards averaged 134.195 mph in claiming the victory.
Rounding out the top 10 were Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brian Vickers.
Post-Race Quotes - Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage
Carl Edwards (No. 60 Fastenal Ford, Winner) – “I thought [Kyle Busch] was gonna get me; he has the ability to turn it on there at the end. But he raced me clean and I appreciate that. It kind of started out pretty poorly due to me running into the wall. I’d like to think those were all Fastenal parts that were on the car that didn’t break. After that, Mike [Beam, Edwards’ crew chief] did a really good job of convincing me everything was going to be okay, and it was. And then that last restart – if Trevor hadn’t given me that push we would have had a really hard time. So [it was] just a really, really good team effort. The car was the best it had been all night at the end, and that’s what we needed to win. I’m just glad we won this race.”
Mike Beam (Crew Chief, No. 60 Fastenal Ford) – “We won’t give up, and luckily Carl [Edwards] is the same. Once we saw the damage – he flattened the right side out, but it hadn’t totally made it so that we couldn’t work on the car. Luckily his toe was not too bad. We got lucky there. Carl just drove his guts out there. Luckily, we won the race.”
Jack Roush (Car Owner, No. 60 Fastenal Ford) – “I think I’m gonna lose my mind here. You know, we’ve put all the engineering in the cars, and we’ve got all the manufacturing. Carl wrecked his car today, and the car decided it wouldn’t give up. I’m going to talk to that car, and I’m going to give that car a kiss tonight. That car had heart. It was bent, and it was aerodynamically not sound. It was mechanically not intact and it stood up under Carl and carried him to a victory.”
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, Second Place) – “I was really good on long runs. Slow on short runs. I didn’t have enough under the hood to keep up. Got out-motored on that last restart, finished second. Unfortunately, the Toyotas don’t have enough horsepower.”
Trevor Bayne (No. 16 Fastenal Ford, Third Place) – “It’s been a while since we’ve been in here. I was really happy with that run. We’ve had some really good cars the past few weeks, but we haven’t got the finishes. We had speed, and I’m glad we finally got to showcase that with a finish. We spent the first part of the race really tight, and finally on the very last run we got it dialed in. [Question: How does this affect your confidence for tomorrow?] It’s a lot. Track time is awesome, too, at these kinds of places. With the new pavement, you don’t really think of this as being a bumpy race track or having patches on it, but I learned a lot tonight for tomorrow on the line and little things about the track characteristics and not overdriving the race car.”
Elliott Sadler (No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, Fourth Place, Dash 4 Cash Winner) – “This is a great program that Nationwide has put together. It’s very awesome of them to give us the extra incentive for the drivers but also bring in the fans and get them involved. That just says a lot for them and our sport. We’ve always been a ‘Fans First’ sport, and to bring them in to have the opportunity to win this kind of money is awesome. I said to Joe [Thornton, fan winner] before the race, ‘I’m either gonna be a hero or zero for you tonight.’ We raced hard to be able to win the money here tonight. This is a very special race for me tonight. Anytime you see pink on my race car, it means a lot to me and my mom and what she’s been through. For us to be able to shave some points off tonight, win the Dash 4 Cash and finish top five at the end is a really good night for our race team. One hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money; it’s a lot of money to a lot of people. And to hear that they can use that money to pay their house off, with this economy, makes it extra special for me and my team.”
Joe Thornton (Fan winner Dash 4 Cash, from Newport Richey, Fla.) – “It was a thrill just to come to the races. But to win the $100,000 – I’m speechless. I don’t know what we’re going to do with it. Maybe pay our house off. It’s unbelievable. Everybody didn’t believe me that I won the trip, and I called them today at 2:00 in the morning to tell them to watch me on TV because I was gonna win that money.”
Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge, Sixth Place) – “We had an amazing Dodge again. Something cut down a right rear tire. We needed some more laps. I think we could have recovered but didn’t have enough laps left. It was one of those deals. Each restart we moved forward and forward.”
Joey Logano (No. 20 GameStop/Cabela’s Big Game Toyota, 19th Place Finisher) – “It’s hard to say what happened. I know somebody got right on the outside of my door. Just the way he’s been racing lately. Don’t know if he’s trying to keep up with Ricky [Stenhouse] or what’s going on. I don’t really like that.”
Families to Intro Drivers – Charlotte Motor Speedway is the home track for the majority of NASCAR teams and nothing says “home” quite like family. That’s why Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith has invited the drivers’ families to introduce them at Saturday’s Bank of America 500. Driver introductions will take place at approximately 6:45 p.m. on the pre-race stage. Drivers will then ride in pace trucks in a parade lap.