"I hate to admit it, but I missed a downshift in turn 6," said Edwards of the opening he'd given to Keselowski. "All day, that was where he was beating me, so I went in there extra hard, and I missed my downshift and he got next to me."
"Obviously he missed the last left hander," agreed Keselowski. "He struggled to get into that corner. I was really strong through there and pulled up to his outside door. I went into 11 and Carl was outside and he got loose, came up the track and hit me. That kind of took away all my momentum. I didnï¿½t have a chance at it from there."
After that contact, Keselowski was left with no room to work with on the final run into turn 1, and was left with no choice but to concede the position to Edwards after all. The 2007 Nationwide Series champion (back when it was called the Busch Series) was back on control and not inclined to make the same mistake twice. He held the lead through to the chequered flag, performed his trademark backflip, and headed for celebrations in victory lane.
"I canï¿½t say thank you enough to the fans that come out and support this sport," said Edwards. "Whether we won or lost I was having a lot of fun out there. Brad was driving the wheels off of his car.
"I had fun racing with him, racing with Kyle," he added. "I got into Logano there in turn seven one time being real aggressive and I feel bad we spun him out, but I had a really fun time and I canï¿½t wait to race tomorrow," pledging to learn from his penultimate lap mistake and not repeat that error in the Sprint Cup outing: "I wonï¿½t miss any shifts; I almost had a heart attack there!"
Behind Edwards and Keseelowski, Sam Hornish Jr. clinched third place and was the top-placed driver of those eligible for Nationwide Series points.
"It was a difficult restart there," Hornish said of the final two laps. "I felt like Carl slowed down the restart quite a bit. I was about ready to go, started to go and then had to get back out of the gas. It was one of those things where I had to make sure that I had the bottom line and try to play it as smart as I could.
"Racing there with Brad and Carl and Kyle feels good when we can take our PPG Dodge and be that competitive," he added. "Iï¿½m really thankful for what the guys at the Penske shop do to these cars. The engine shop today gave me a great car. I made a mistake on a shift and didnï¿½t know if the engine was going to make it all day long."
Hornish moves up a position to third in the Nationwide standings behind Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Sadler had soldiered on through the race to a 12th place finish, while Stenhouse completed the 82 laps in fourth place just behind Hornish.
"That was fun," said Stenhouse. "What we wanted to do is finish ahead of those guys. We did what we wanted to do and thatï¿½s come out of here, really we were trying to come out with minimal points lost, but we ended up gaining a few I think and getting a top five on a road course. Thatï¿½s huge!"