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Nationwide: Edwards back with a win

Carl Edwards decided to sit out Nationwide Series races in 2012, but made an exception for Watkins Glen - and ended up beating the two Penske cars to victory lane on his return.
After losing out on the 2011 Sprint Cup championship by the narrowest of margins to Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards decided to cut out the distractions and focus on his 2012 Cup season. One of the 'distractions' was his long-time commitment to the Nationwide Series, and Watkins Glen was the first time that he'd returned to the series since the end of last season.

As it turned out, the return to Nationwide actually proved a most welcome distraction from what had been a frustrating, winless time in Sprint Cup this year. One race, one visit to victory lane is just what the doctor ordered: "This is huge for us, it�s nice to be in victory lane," he said after claiming the win.

Edwards had started on the front row of the Zippo 200 at the 7-turn, 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International road course in New York state alongside polesitter Sam Hornish Jr., but the early danger came from Hornish's Penske team mate Brad Keselowski starting in fourth place alongside Paul Menard on the second row.

Keselowski was able to use an early restart opportunity on lap 10 to get second place off Edwards, and then two laps later was able to hurdle the curbing and trust that Hornish wouldn't do anything to knock them both out of the race, allowing him to take the lead on lap 12.

The restart had been for a caution triggered by a cut tyre sent Alex Popov into the guardrail, the yellows being needed for the ensuing debris. But there had been an even earlier incident on the very first corner of the first lap, which while it didn't bring out a caution did end up putting Danica Patrick out of the race, a 43rd place the worst result of her NASCAR career to date.

It actually wasn't her fault, and was purely a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time: Ryan Truex had lost control of the #20 on the downhill run into the turn 1 right hander, and spun onto the grass. Unable to stop, he slid down the slope until the car ran back onto the track at the exit of turn 1: Patrick just happened to be the car coming round the bend when Truex materialised, and she had no where to go but right into him.

"I drove in the corner and got wheel-hopped and spun out back in front of everybody," explained Truex. "It was either wheel-hop and hope I didn�t run into my teammate in front of me and take out the field, or turn in the grass and spin out and not hit anybody, and I chose the grass. I had no control after that."

At first, Patrick's team hoped that the damage was merely cosmetic - merely a crumpled engine cover obscuring Danica's vision. The mechanics beat that back into place and secured it with tape before sending it back out again, but the amount of water running out was all too evident and indicated the radiator was shot. Patrick brought the #7 back into the garage to see if there was anything that could be done, but the damage did indeed prove terminal.

"One thing leads to the next in these situations," said Patrick after calling it an early day. "When they got the radiator changed - and they did it really quickly - I went to fire it, and there was water coming out of the tail pipe. It wouldn't turn over."



Related Pictures

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Alex Kennedy`s #87 car skids to a stop after a heavy crash during the NASCAR Nationwide Series` Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson, Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards` #60 Ford takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series` Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham, Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field after a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Keelan, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Splash-FVP/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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