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Edwards shows no fatigue in Busch win

By wire services
Published March 20, 2005


HAMPTON, Ga. - Carl Edwards is trying to speed up his learning curve by racing in two grueling series at the same time. So far, his busy schedule is working out just fine.

Edwards earned his first NASCAR Busch Series victory Saturday, holding off several Nextel Cup stars in the Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Afterward, he came to a stop in front of the main grandstand, climbed out of his Ford and did one of his patented backflips onto the asphalt, delighting the crowd.

"This is the biggest win of my career," Edwards said. "I was just happy to win. That's a good way to show it."

Edwards, who spent most of 2004 in the truck series, moved up to Roush Racing's Nextel Cup team late in the season.

Clearly, he's not bothered by the hectic pace of running a full schedule in both Busch and Nextel Cup. He is fifth in Nextel Cup points, and Saturday's victory pushed him to the Busch lead.

Tony Stewart was second and Jimmie Johnson third as Nextel Cup regulars - the "Buschwhackers" - claimed the top nine positions.

INDYCARS: Suddenly, Sam Hornish Jr. is back. After a frustrating first season with Team Penske, two-time Indy Racing League champion Hornish won the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway and took the series points lead through two races.

His only other win for Penske was in the 2004 opener at Homestead, where he was second this year.

With Hornish leading Dario Franchitti on a restart on Lap 199 of 200, the Scotsman moved outside and scraped the wall in Turn 2. Hornish beat teammate Helio Castroneves by 1.04 seconds. Defending series champ Tony Kanaan was third and Franchitti held on to fourth.

NASCAR TRUCKS: Ron Hornaday won the World Financial 200 late Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the series' third-closest finish. He edged Bobby Labonte by about a foot. On the final lap, Labonte made a run at Hornaday and the trucks made slight contact. Hornaday slid sideways, but regained control and won by eight-thousandths of a second.

FORMULA ONE: Renault's Fernando Alonso led qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the first of two runs, with teammate Giancarlo Fisichella third. Final qualifying was late Saturday and the race was early today.