WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Carl Edwards made the most of his one-day Wisconsin getaway, winning Saturday’s NorthernTool.com 250 at the Milwaukee Mile after taking a brief break from his Sprint Cup duties in California.
It’s a repeat victory at Milwaukee and the first Nationwide Series win of this season for Edwards, who took the lead from fellow Cup commuter Kyle Busch with 44 laps left and wasn’t significantly challenged the rest of the way.
Busch finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski.
“We just didn’t keep up with the track, I guess,” Busch said. “Carl beat us out there fair and square.”
Rookie Erik Darnell, a part-time Nationwide driver who qualified on the pole earlier Saturday, was running second in the race’s late stages but slipped to fourth at the finish.
Edwards and Busch flew more than 2,000 miles from California earlier in the day, missing qualifying for Saturday’s race — meaning they would have to start at the back of the pack after replacement drivers qualified their cars — but arriving in time to take the green flag.
Both drivers quickly made up ground once the green flag dropped, climbing into the top 20 only 18 laps into the race and into the top 10 by lap 55.
Busch then took the lead on lap 123, coming off pit road first after a round of pit stops under caution. But Edwards began to gain ground on Busch during a subsequent long green-flag run, and drama developed as a piece of metal began dragging and sparking near Busch’s right-rear wheel.
Busch’s crew turned in another fast stop under caution on lap 194, getting him off pit road ahead of Edwards, Keselowski and Steve Wallace. But Busch couldn’t shake loose of Edwards after the restart, and Edwards took the lead with 44 laps to go — just as Brad Coleman, who spent much of the first half of the race running in the top five, crashed.
Darnell then took second place from Busch with 30 laps to go. Busch retook second place in the closing laps but was too late to challenge Edwards for the win.
• CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS — At West Allis, Wis., Ron Hornaday Jr. celebrated his 51st birthday with a dominating win in the Copart 200.
It was the 41st career truck series victory and second win of the season for Hornaday — and his second career victory in a truck race at Milwaukee, where he also won in 1997.
Dennis Setzer finished second, followed by Brian Scott.
Hornaday led comfortably for most of the race before a late caution flag bunched up the field for a restart with eight laps to go. But Hornaday squirted away from Setzer when the green flag dropped, and he wasn’t challenged for the lead the rest of the way.
• INDY RACING — At Newton, Iowa, Helio Castroneves was awarded the pole for today’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 after qualifying was canceled because water had seeped into the track.
The race instead will be stacked based on entrant points. Castroneves’ Team Penske teammate, Ryan Briscoe, also will start on the front line.
Target Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will run from the second row, followed by Danica Patrick.
• FORMULA ONE — At Silverstone, England, Sebastian Vettel captured the pole for today’s British Grand Prix, and series points leader Jenson Button will start from a season-worst sixth.
In his revamped Red Bull car, Vettel set the fastest lap time in qualifying for the third time this year, finishing in 1 minute, 19.509 seconds to edge Button’s Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello by 0.347 seconds. Button was almost 0.8 seconds behind Vettel.