NASCAR: Edwards wins Nationwide race
AVONDALE, Ariz. ó Carl Edwards improved his bid to win a championship this season, rolling to a dominating win Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway to stay in mathematical contention for the Nationwide Series title.
Edwards, the defending series champion, led a race-high 78 laps and withstood a final challenge from Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin on a late restart to win his sixth race of the season. The victory chipped into Clint Bowyer’s lead ó Bowyer started the race up 91 points, but was in an early accident and finished fourth.
Bowyer now goes to next week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a 56-point lead over Edwards.
“If we run like we’ve been running … we can close 56 points without Clint having trouble,” Edwards said.
But Bowyer can win the championship next week if he finishes eighth or better, regardless of what Edwards does.
“Man, I can’t handle this stuff anymore,” Bowyer said. “We’re still in it. We dodged a bullet, though. If you have a day like that and come back and finish fourth, that’s what wins championships,” Bowyer said. “You have to be able to bounce back. I thought we were done.”