Driving his third race in as many days was not a problem for Columbia native Carl Edwards on Friday.
Edwards, 23, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It was his second series win and fifth straight top-five finish.
Edwards took the lead on lap 84 and held off points leader Travis Kvapil’s late charge to win.
Edwards ran the last 140 laps on one tank of gas and had to drive conservatively so he would not run out of fuel.
With the win, Edwards remains at the front of the rookie of the year standings with 1,872 points. He is 10th in the overall standings.
“I just gave it everything I could,” Edwards said. “We were fortunate that Terry Cook had to go toward the back of the pack early. He was really dominant at the beginning. Once we got in front, the truck really did great; it was so hard to pass that if we hadn’t gotten out front early, it would have been really tough to win that race.”
Edwards is in his first year with the Roush Racing team. He signed with it in February after driving seven NCTS races for MB Motorsports in 2002.
He is 36 credits short of an interdisciplinary studies degree at Missouri but dropped his Winter 2003 classes to focus on the racing season.
The win concluded a busy and successful week for Edwards. He drove a late-model dirt car Wednesday in Ken Schrader’s M&M’s Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., and drove a USAC Silver Crown car for Mike Randall in the J.D. Byrider 100 on Thursday at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Wednesday was the only nonsuccessful race in Edwards’ week.
He crashed Al Kreke’s dirt track car in an accident brake problems caused.
Edwards bounced back and finished third Thursday, his best finish in the USAC series.
Edwards said he thought driving in the USAC race, which was at the same racetrack as the Power Stroke 200, was the key to his victory because he learned a lot about the track and had a head start on the other drivers.
Edwards’ Roush Racing teammate Jon Wood finished fifth Friday. It is the fourth time they both placed in the top five.
Edwards said he thinks his Roush team has become more comfortable.
“We’re getting more confident and getting things in order,” Edwards said. “It’s really coming together. We feel like we can win at any of these places, and that’s what it takes — going in with the right attitude and not making the mistakes we made earlier in the year.”