DOVER, Del. — Carl Edwards’ hard push to the finish line was slowed only by the caution flag.
Edwards had the car to beat under green, even if it was only a few laps at a time, and that was enough to win the wreck-filled Busch Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.
“You can’t lose a race with a car that good,” Edwards said. “It worked out. It was great.”
Edwards, who passed Matt Kenseth with 13 laps left in the Dover 200, extended his overall points lead and won for the third time this season. He popped his head out of the window, pumped his fist to the crowd and nailed his trademark backflip, making a clean landing on the concrete.
If only the rest of the race was as smooth.
Almost from the start, the race was a mess, with no more than a handful of laps ever being completed before the caution came out after another accident. The spinning, smoking and sliding kept happening until the end, with the 10th caution flag waving with eight laps to go.
The 11th and final caution came on the final lap.
It seemed all the accidents would help Kenseth after he stayed on the track late and opted not to change his tires when all the front-runners pitted.
Even with all those flags slowing the action, Kenseth couldn’t keep up with Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Scott Wimmer, who all had fresh tires.
Hamlin, the pole-sitter, finished second. Wimmer was third.
“We knew we were running for second after about lap 100,” Hamlin said.
Edwards has a knack for winning Busch races on concrete, with victories this year at Bristol and Nashville and now Dover.
Call him the Concrete Conqueror.
“They just outclassed us today,” Hamlin said.
If Edwards was back in his hometown of Columbia, Mo., he might have celebrated with a slice from Shakespeare’s Pizza. Taking home that “Monster” trophy was good enough on this night.
“I had a pretty good feeling,” Edwards said. “I thought if we got this thing right it was going to be a rocket ship.”
The race was red-flagged twice, which froze the action on the track, and at times it seemed as if there were more cars in the garage than out on the lead lap.
Edwards, who started eighth, kept attacking Kenseth and finally zipped by him in the waning laps. Much as he was doing earlier in the race when he was out in front as part of his race-high 122 laps led, Edwards was cruising and simply pulled away.
“He’s unbelievable to hold on 40 laps with older tires,” Edwards said. “He’s that good.”
Edwards has 12 career Busch wins and it was his 11th top 10 this season. He’s 472 points ahead of Kevin Harvick.
Harvick caused one of the cautions late when he got into the back of Greg Biffle’s car and spun the No. 16 Ford sideways.
Casey Mears and Kenseth rounded out the top five.
“All I know is that all my tires’ rubber is out there,” Kenseth said.
Travis Kvapil was a late substitute for Jon Wood in the No. 47 Ford after Wood complained of headaches in Friday’s practice. Mark Martin practiced the car, and Kvapil finished 31st.