If Carl Edwards keeps this up, he’ll have his own Gibson Guitar museum.
Edwards collected another Gibson guitar trophy on Saturday, winning for the sixth time at the Nashville Superspeedway as he cruised to victory in the Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts 300.
Five of his six victories in Nashville have come in the Nationwide Series, including the track’s only other event this year, in April. He also has six victories this season. Edwards, who leads the points race in the Sprint Cup circuit, has won five Nationwide races.
“[The guitars] seem pretty easy to come by for a while, and then we went through a long drought. I thought I had forgotten how to drive around this place for a couple of years,” Edwards said. [The Roush Fenway Racing team]… have really stepped up and we have very dominant cars here. It is really fun to drive them.”
Edwards led 125 of the 225 laps, despite battling a cold and receiving penalty for speeding after a caution flag on lap 82. He was sent to the back of the line for the restart. But he worked his way back up front on the concrete track, taking the lead from Aaron Dillon on lap 120.
“Carl is awesome here. I felt like he was kind of playing with us there at the end of that race,” Roush Fenway teammate and runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said. “Even if we would have had ours a little bit better, I’m not sure we would have got him or not.”
Stenhouse moved up one spot in the Nationwide standings to second place, five points behind new leader Reed Sorenson. His eighth-place finish was good enough to unseat previous leader Elliott Sadler, who finished 30th. Sadler, who is sponsored by Nashville-based Hunt Brothers Pizza, falls to third in the standings and is 14 points behind Sorenson.
Rounding out the top five on Saturday were Dillon (third), Justin Allgaier (fourth) and Aric Almirola (fifth). The only other Sprint Cup drive in the race, Brad Keselowski, placed 12th.
Dillon’s third-place finish came just 24 hours after he won the Camping World Truck Series’ Lucas Deep Clean 200. In the Nationwide race, Dillon led nine laps but couldn’t fend off Edwards when the latter zoomed inside to regain the lead.
“I don’t think he hit me,” Dillon said of Edwards. “I just got really loose when he was under there. It was my decision to race him hard right then, trying to keep the lead. I wish I would have let him go and just run behind him for a little bit. I don’t think Ricky would have ever passed us.”