Carl Edwards scored his eighth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the 2011 season Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, after a near disaster early in the race and a lead defense in the waning stages.
Edwards hit the wall past 30 of 200 laps and was in the pits on lap 41 for heavy repairs, and would restart from 27th on lap 45. A methodical run back to the front took place the rest of the way.
After a late caution, Edwards withstood a charge from Kyle Busch over the last five laps for the victory.
"What got us the lead - Trevor (Bayne) pushed, and that meant a lot," said Edwards, who tied Kevin Harvick for third on the all-time series wins list. "He could have gone three-wide. Man, this is huge. I hit the wall really hard and messed the right side of the car up.
"I thought Brad (Keselowski) had it, and there at the end, I thought Kyle was going to get me. He has the ability to turn it on there at the end. But he raced me really clean, and I appreciate that."
The aforementioned Keselowski fell out of contention with a punctured tire and fell into a half spin entering the pits, but recovered to finish sixth.
Elliott Sadler closed to within Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the series points lead after a successful night that included a $100,000 bonus as part of the Nationwide Dash4Cash program. Sadler finished fourth, sandwiched in-between Trevor Bayne (third) and Brian Scott (fifth). Stenhouse finished ninth.