By Joe Dunn / firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Edwards made the sweep last weekend at MIS winning the Nascar Nationwide Race on Saturday and taking the checkers again Sunday in the Nascar Sprint Cup Series.
Leading the most laps Saturday on the way to victory over second place Brian Vickers when the caution came out on the final lap. This was Edwards first Nationwide series win at MIS and Fords first since Ryan Newman did it in 2001. “I’m so happy we won this thing,” said Edwards, who won his third Nationwide race of the season, all since Drew Blickensderfer replaced Pierre Kuettel as crew chief in late June. “We’ve been so close before. It feels good to put a Ford here in Victory Lane.” The win moved Edwards into second place in the series points behind Clint Bowyer.
On Sunday, it was again Edwards leading the most laps with Kyle Busch battling with him for the better part of the day. Carl appeared to have a clear edge and the win in hand when Denny Hamlin’s engine exploded with 5 laps remaining. After the cleanup from Hamlin’s engine the restart with 2 laps to go promised to be a shootout between Edwards and Busch, but Carl pulled away at the green flag, never looking back and collected his 5th win of the season. He now stands at second in points in both of Nascar’s top series. With the 5 wins and Busch’s 8 wins these two drivers are dominating Nascar in 2008, as all three series head for Bristol Motor Speedway this week, for Nascar’s most popular week of racing.
Again at Michigan, Nascar impounded a number of the Nationwide cars for dyno testing, but the big news was that the Joe Gibbs Racing organization is in serious trouble with Nascar. Both the 18 and the 20 cars had magnets attached to the cars after the race and prior to the dyno testing in a blatant attempt to interfere with the testing equipment. Nascar is sure to lay out extremely heavy penalties for this one. JGR, released a statement calling for an internal investigation and terminate the guilty parties. The reaction to the team statement was seen by most in the garage area as comical as Michael Waltrip’s explanations of the jet fuel at Daytona last year.
The biggest news of the weekend at MIS was the announcement by Stewart Haas Racing, introducing Ryan Newman as the driver if the SHR #4 car next year. The announcement was the worst kept secret of the week. No sponsors were announced, but Tony Stewart promised that the details would be finalized and announced shortly. When asked how hard it was to convince Newman to sign, Stewart responded.
“We only had to sedate him for about four straight days at which point you have the subliminal messages you just replay over in a loop. After four days of that, I was really surprised, it took really well. Woke up and seemed to think that the week went by really quick.”
“You know what, I think the big thing – talking to Ryan and Krissie, these guys – was just explaining to them how the organization was going to be. Obviously we’re not exactly, this year, with the teams where we want to be right now. But the big thing was showing Ryan what we’re doing, what steps we’re taking, how it’s going to be different next year, and why I think it’s going to be successful.”
“The thing that impressed me the most about Ryan was he asked all the right questions, from day one. You know, the thing with Ryan was it wasn’t about, we’ve still never spoke about a dollar in the contract. I mean, from day one, the questions that he had for me were all about how are we going to win races, how are we going to win championships, how are we going to get the right people in place to do the right jobs.”
Crossville raceway is closed this week due to the races at Bristol, but they will return next week on Friday August 29, with the final race of the season. The Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series will start their Labor day weekend with a $3,000 Super Late Model race along with Crossville’s weekly racing series.
I-40 Dragway will have their regular weekly programs Friday and Saturday this week, with their 6th Bounty Series racing Next Saturday August 30.