Carl Edwards Wins Dover 200

DOVER, Del. ? Carl Edwards led 122 laps and pulled away from fellow Nextel Cup driver Denny Hamlin during a rash of late-race cautions to win Saturday?s Dover 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover International Speedway.

It was the third victory of the year for Edwards, the series points leader.

Hamlin, Scott Wimmer, Casey Mears and Matt Kenseth completed the top five in a race that was slowed by two red flags and 11 cautions for a total of 47 laps. Six of those cautions came during the final 40 laps.

Edwards was leading when the day?s sixth yellow flag flew for debris on Lap 161. But when Kenseth and rookie Marcos Ambrose chose not to pit, Edwards found himself restarting the race on Lap 165 in fifth place.

?There were times in the race (the car) was just so good,? Edwards said. ?I thought, ?Man, all we can do is screw this up.? And then we had that final pit stop, and I thought, ?There, we did. We screwed it up.?

?Just a small slip up, that?s how competitive the Busch Series is. Just a small slip, and we got back there (in traffic). Then I got real worried.?

After three more cautions, Edwards caught Kenseth and then found himself in a three-wide battle as Hamlin made his bid for the lead. Once around Kenseth, Edward’s Roush Fenway Ford was clearly the fastest on the one-mile concrete track.

?Matt Kenseth did an unbelievable job in that car with no (fresh) tires,? Edwards said. ?When my spotter said ?three wide,? I thought, ?This might not turn out all right.? But to win at Dover is a driver?s dream.

?Denny is real good on the restarts, and I was having trouble with mine. He could have really worked me over there. It was just a fun race.?

It was Edwards’ 12th career victory in 85 starts in the Busch Series and his first win at Dover.

Hamlin, who started on the pole and led twice for 50 laps, said his Chevrolet was ?really a second-place car to Carl after about Lap 50.

?They didn?t have anything at the (nearby) Air Force base that could run with him today,? Hamlin said. ?We gave ourselves a shot there at the end, going three wide, but I just didn?t have the bite I needed. … They really just outclassed us today.?

Of the three-wide move, Hamlin said he ?needed the space (Jeff Burton) was occupying to make my move. I got in the loose stuff, too high, and that was my one opportunity.?

Edwards leads the point standings by 472 points over Kevin Harvick.

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