Edwards completely dominated the Nationwide race at Dover, leading 179 of the 200 laps to win Saturday’s OneMain Financial 200. After his sponsor plugs and round of “thank you’s,” Edwards reminded us that his Sprint Cup car is even better than his dominant Nationwide car. “Our Cup car is very, very good so hopefully we will get a win with that Aflac Ford.”
Brad Keselowski brought his Dodge home in second, trailing Edwards at the line by 0.791 seconds. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne finished third and fourth with points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounding out the top five. Stenhouse stretched his points lead to 22 over Elliott Sadler with his third top five in the past four races.
“It was an up and down day, but a solid day for us,” said Stenhouse. “Good points day and I think that’s all we got to do. We have to run top five and I think we’re capable as a race team to do that. Just proved today that we didn’t have the best car but we worked on it and came home top five.”
Edwards muscled past Sadler during a restart on lap 10 following a short caution for debris brought out when rookie Timmy Hill bottomed out, snapping the splitter off of the No. 15.
Two-tire pit strategy by Keselowski during the competition caution gave him the lead during the restart on lap 42 but just five laps later, Edwards reclaimed the lead from Keselowski and continued to keep his competitors at bay.
The fourth caution of the day, brought out by Brian Scott, interrupted a series of green flag pit stops, trapping several cars one lap down. Scott had trouble slowing his car on entrance to pit road, clipping the sand barrels to avoid contact with Stenhouse.
Sadler chances at a win diminish when he was trapped two laps down as the caution flag flew. Sadler restarted as the third car one lap down after taking the wave around, but the lack of an additional caution kept him off of the lead lap, relegating the championship contender to 14th.
During the caution, Reed Sorenson was forced to come down a closed pit road as he desperately needed fuel. NASCAR did not penalize Sorenson, allowing him to restart in the second position.
“Well I didn’t really know what was going on,” said Sorenson. “I knew there were a bunch of cars a lap down. All I know is my spotter (Trent Owens) said line up behind this car (Edwards) and that’s what I did, so I don’t know if it was a mistake or not.”
Sorenson went on to finish seventh and now sits 49 points behind first. “I don’t know if it would have affected us too much, where we finished. It might have, but I don’t think it would have too much.”
NASCAR later released a statement via twitter (@NASCAR_NNS).
“During the final caution of the race, the No. 32 car took service on pit road when pit road was closed and should have been issued a penalty. #NASCAR missed the call on the restart – as the No. 32 car should have restarted at the tail end of the field.”
So some did well, some did poorly and some got away with things; but yet that is the Nationwide Series. Drama is always near in the series and sometimes that is what keeps the fans interested.