By Joe Dunn
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off this past weekend, Carl Edwards took a break from the fast pace of his normal weekly routine leading to his win of Saturday night’s Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Rather than flying his airplane from his home in Columbia, Mo. Carl climbed aboard a bicycle for the three day ride to East St. Louis, Illinois. The reigning Champion of the Nationwide Series got off to a rather slow start this year with his first win coming last month at Milwaukee. Gateway is considered Edwards’ home track and his win Saturday was his second there. Like at Milwaukee, rookie phenom Joey Logano, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing finished second nearly 7 seconds behind Edwards. The win moved Edwards up one place in the Championship points to third.
Earlier Saturday, all eyes were on Kyle Busch driving the Billy Ballew Toyota in the Craftsman Truck Series at Kentucky Speedway. But this was not to be his day as Series regular Johnny Benson made a daring 4 wide pass with 32 laps remaining to take the lead and hold it for the win.
This weekend will be a big one for Nascar as all three series head for Indianapolis with the Sprint Cup teams at the Brickyard, while the Trucks and nationwide Series head to the O’Reilly Raceway Park. Tony Stewart is expected to make another major announcement regarding Stewart Haas Racing at Indy with speculation that a deal with Ryan Newman will be announced. Penske Racing announced last week that they will not renew Newman’s contract after this year, making him a free agent.
On the Local Scene, Crossville Raceway will be back to regular weekly racing on Friday July 25 and August 1, followed by a $3,000 to win Southern Regional Racing Series Late Model event on Friday August 8th.
I40 Dragway will conduct Testing and Motorcycle drags on Friday followed by their Bounty Racing Saturday. In addition to the Big Bounty event, there is a Grudge Match scheduled between Howe Motorsports and Brad Shultis.
Wartburg Speedway announced recently that they will be closed until August 1st when they will host the Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series with a $4000 Late Model event.