Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage
Carl Edwards took advantage of a push from his teammate Trevor Bayne on a late race restart to pull ahead of Kyle Busch and hold on to win the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Edwards only led the race one time for the final five laps en route to the victory. Edwards beat Busch to the finish line by .223 seconds. Trevor Bayne held onto third place after pushing Edwards to the lead, finishing ahead of Elliott Sadler. Brian Scott was the last car of the top five to take the checkered flag. Brad Keselowski rebounded from a flat tire to come home in sixth place after leading a race high 119 points. Justin Allgaier crossed the finish line in seventh ahead of pole sitter Paul Menard. Points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was ninth under the black and white flag as he floundered at the end of the race and Brian Vickers rounded out the top 10.
The victory was Edwards 37th career win, trailing only Busch and Mark Martin on the all-time wins list. This was Edwards eighth win of the 2011 season and his 24th top 10 finish of the year. This marks the second time that Edwards has taken home the trophy from Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Nationwide Series. “Trevor was behind me, so that’s what got me the lead,” Edwards said. “That meant a lot. He could have gone three-wide so this is huge. I hit the wall really hard (early in the race) and messed the right side of the car up, but it’s a big week for Ford. It’s the 110th anniversary of Ford Racing.”
Busch was not very talkative after the race but did have an opinion of why he didn’t get the win. “I got out-motored and didn’t have enough under the hood,” Busch said. “Unfortunately the Toyotas don’t have enough horsepower.”
Sadler was the highest finishing driver in the Nationwide Dash for Cash in this, the final race of the promotion, and took home an extra $100,000 for the effort, along with a lucky fan – Joe Thornton. “It’s a thrill just to come to the races, but to win the $100,000 I’m speechless,” said Thornton, 61 of New Port Richey, Florida. “I don’t know what we’re going to do with it, my wife wants to pay the house off, we’ll see, it’s just unbelievable.”
Sadler was also pleased with the finish of the race in relation to Stenhouse. “We chipped away at it a little bit. I think we got five points tonight. If we can do that every race we’ll be right there at Homestead.”
Keselowski was realistic in his post race quotes. “It wasn’t meant to be today. The Discount Tire Dodge Challenger was fast. We had a shot at winning today and just ran over something while leading and cut down the right rear tire. I was still able to get up to sixth on those last restarts from 13th which I guess was okay. Honestly, I felt like if I had a couple more cracks at it, I could have got back up to the lead. Just wrong place, wrong time. One of those days.”
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