LAS VEGAS, Nev. (February 28, 2009) – Carl Edwards had a very exciting race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. He rebounded from a mid-race tire issue that shot him from the lead back to the 26th position and put him one lap down. He was also caught speeding on pit road, but Edwards fought a valiant fight capturing the “Lucky Dog” position and marching through the field to fight Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle for the win. Edwards just fell short of a Vegas win racing Biffle side-by-side during the last laps of the Green-White-Checkered finish. Biffle won and Edwards finished second, for his third consecutive top-5 of the 2009 season, and captured the lead for the overall NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings.
Edwards started seventh in his Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion and survived a flurry of early race cautions. He advised that his Ford Fusion was just a little tight, but was set up pretty good. Edwards moved into the top-5 for the first time on lap 15 and was in 3rd by lap 24. Edwards pitted on lap 28 during the 4th caution for fuel only. He entered pit road in 3rd, but because of the different strategies he resumed racing from 14th.
Edwards had the fastest car on the track and he flew by the competition, passing Kevin Harvick for the lead on lap 56 to collect his five bonus points. Edwards pitted on lap 68 during the fifth caution flag and the Save-A-Lot crew blistered off a 13.6 second stop allowing Edwards to retain the top spot when racing resumed on lap 73.
The wreckfest continued with two more cautions and a red flag on lap 90. Racing resumed on lap 93 and Edwards had a rough restart. He radioed in to crew chief Dan Stillman that he had a loose tire. Immediately after that his rear tire tore apart and sent Edwards spinning. He was able to recover, but after his stop for four tires only he was one lap down fighting for the “Lucky Dog” position.
He started his fight to the front on lap 102 from the 26th position. He quickly started passing the field and was in 15th by lap 124 and 10th by lap 156. Edwards’ Roush Fenway teammate David Ragan wrecked on lap 170 causing the 10th caution, but helped Edwards grab the “Lucky Dog” and put him back on the lead lap in the 8th position. More bad luck hit the No. 60 Save-A-Lot team when NASCAR advised them that Edwards was caught speeding on pit road and would have to go to the end of the longest line. This set up a grand finale with Edwards fighting his way past several cars to catch the rest of the lead lap cars.
The 11th caution flag flew on lap 177, which fell in Edwards favor by closing up the field. The race went green on lap 181 and Edwards was able to forge his way to 3rd by lap 185.
After the 12th caution of the race, only one caution short of the race record, Biffle had a slow restart on lap 208 and Edwards was able to pass Leffler for second. He pulled up to Biffle and fought for the lead, but got loose entering turn 3, just falling short of the win to teammate Biffle. Edwards finished second for his third consecutive top-5 finish and took over the number one spot in the Overall NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings.
"It had to be an exciting finish for the fans. I drove it in there as deep as I thought was reasonable on Greg (Biffle)," said Edwards. “I wanted to keep my leg in, but I thought I'd wreck him. It was an awesome win for Greg and CitiFinancial. It was a great race for my Save-A-Lot team and a great points day. That's the only consolation."
Following their second place finish at Las Vegas, Edwards and the No. 60 Save-A-Lot team took over the number one spot in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. They lead Brian Vickers by 48 points and Kyle Busch fell back by 109 points. The Nationwide Series is off for the next two weeks and the next Nationwide Series race will be at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 22, 2009.
Save-A-Lot is the nation's leading extreme value, edited assortment grocery chain, operating more than 1,150 value-oriented stores in all types of neighborhoods — urban, rural and suburban — and delivers terrific savings, up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores.
The Save-A-Lot store network spans from Maine to California, serving more than 4 million shoppers each week. Customers enjoy savings on exclusive Save-A-Lot brands and national brands, plus USDA-inspected beef, pork and poultry, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and non-food items. Save-A-Lot also offers a selection of baked goods, dairy, frozen food items and general merchandise Save-A-Lot is a wholly owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU INC., a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel. For more information visit www.save-a-lot.com
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.