Edwards holds off Hmiel for truck win


star staff


  BRISTOL--Carl Edwards, the newest driver for Roush Racing on the Nextel Cup Series, held off Shane Hmiel on a three-lap shootout to win the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 for NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday night.
  Edwards beat second place Hmiel to the line, after an accident between Mike Skinner and Dennis Setzer contending for third place on lap 197, put the race six laps past the scheduled length.
  "It's unbelievable to be standing in victory lane at Bristol," said Edwards, who also won the season-opener at Daytona. "Bristol is my favorite race track. Every single guy out there did a great job driving."
  It was a sixth career Craftsman Truck Series win for Edwards, driving the No. 99 Superchips Ford.
  "I'm having a blast," said Edwards. "I'm an average kid from Central Missouri who is getting to live out his dream."
  Despite the NASCAR mandated green, white, checkered finish allowing him a shot at the win, Hmiel says he's no fan of the rule.
  "I had a chance to win, but I would have had to wreck Carl," said Hmiel, driver of the No. 15 Chevrolet. "We got beat by a great driver and a great team. I like the rule for the fans, but as a driver I cringe every time I see it. I was glad we were able to keep a second place finish and not get wrecked."
  Third place went to Matt Crafton, who drives an entry for Nextel Cup racer Kevin Harvick. Harvick's Nextel Cup teammate at Richard Childress Racing
  Robby Gordon came in fourth, while Harvick himself rounded out the top five.
  After chasing him for most of the race's second half, Edwards passed Skinner on lap 180 to take the lead. Skinner, the series first champion, led a race high two times for 127 laps.
  Ken Schrader, who has 39 Nextel Cup Series starts at BMS, scored his first ever pole on the high banks and in the Craftsman Truck Series. Despite the start Schrader faded back in the field early, falling down to 23rd. He battled back to a tenth place finish.
  Johnson City driver Brad Teague exited the race early with suspension problems, credited with a 34th place finish.
  The action was slowed by a total of eight cautions for 50 laps, three cautions shy of the race record.
  Bobby Hamilton, Sr. retained a lead in the Truck Series point standings leading by 99 points over second place Dennis Setzer and 146 points over Edwards.