Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse continued their recent NASCAR Nationwide supremacy and Roush-Fenway Racing sustained its own Ford ascendancy at Michigan International Speedway on Friday in the 20th annual Alliance Truck Parts 250.
Edwards passed Stenhouse with eight laps remaining and went on to his fourth Nationwide victory this season in the last 10 races. Stenhouse finished second as the pair registered their second one-two finish over the last three races.
For Jack Roush it was the 21st overall triumph at MIS, including 11 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and five each in the Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Roush and his drivers consider MIS their home track with Roush’s offices located in nearby Livonia, Mich.
With his second-place finish Stenhouse took the Nationwide points lead by two over Elliott Sadler, who posted an eighth-place finish.
Edwards and Stenhouse battled throughout the highly competitive race along with third-place finisher Kyle Busch and Paul Menard, who finished fourth. Edwards led for a total of 57 laps of the 125-lap race while Stenhouse led for 35 laps.
As the race wound down Stenhouse passed Edwards for the lead with 21 laps remaining, but 13 laps later Edwards regained the lead and maintained his advantage to win by a comfortable 1.669 seconds.
“Ricky drove his heart out. That guy is unbelievable,’’ said Edwards, who, after doing his traditional triumphant back flip from his race car, ran up into the stands with the checkered flag, handing out high fives and handshakes to just about everyone within reach. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to get him and then his car got tightened up.
“He was doing such a great job. Man, he is an unreal driver. His car was not balanced as well as mine was but he was able to make it go so fast. He’s someone I’m a little nervous about for the future.”
Stenhouse said he was more interested in a victory than taking the points lead.
”Our Mustang was really fast for about 15 laps and then we got really tight,” he added. “On that last restart (with 25 laps remaining) I just tried to get as far out there as we could and I didn’t quite get far enough out. Carl caught us. I gave it everything I had, we just got too tight.”
Said Busch, “We’re behind a little bit in everything, but a third-place run like that – the two top dogs, they were gone. The Roush Fords were just too fast.”