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Winning sportsmanship award distracted Carl Edwards from NASCAR’s championship weekend

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Carl Edwards was grateful to have a distraction over the weekend.

As NASCAR held its championship races, the former driver was in St. Louis on Saturday as one of the recipients of the Musial Awards from Maryville University. The award is named after the  Hall of Fame left fielder who played for the St. Louis Cardinals for 22 seasons.

Musial was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

The award ceremony, honoring “the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and the biggest names in sports for their class and character,” came a year after Edwards’ last start in a Cup car.

Edwards unexpectedly announced in January he would be stepping away from NASCAR.

Even though he was occasionally seen at the track early this year as a mentor to Daniel Suarez and for sponsor obligations, the 38-year-old said in an interview with STL Motorsport Magazine he hadn’t heard the siren call of auto racing until last week.

“Monday or Tuesday I woke up and thought, ‘Man, I’d like to be going to Homestead to battle for another championship,'” Edwards said. “This is the first time I’ve really thought it would be fun to be at the race track.”

What happened in his last race led to Edwards being recognized with the Musial Award.

On a restart with 10 laps to go, Edwards attempted to block Joey Logano, but wound up causing a wreck that included himself and eight other drivers and ended Edwards’ championship bid.

After exiting his car, Edwards walked from Turn 1 to Logano’s stall on pit road, where he shook the hand of Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, and apologized.

STL Motorsport Magazine asked Edwards what his personal definition of sportsmanship was. Edwards used a story involving Jimmie Johnson from 2005 to explain his view.

“My definition of sportsmanship is someone who truly loves the game, truly loves the race. Win, lose or draw, that’s the result. But the actual event it what it’s about.

“Jimmie Johnson’s a perfect example. My first win … at Atlanta, I beat him by three feet for something, won the race. He was the first guy in Victory Lane high-fiving, dumping Gatorade on my head. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s probably why Jimmie Johnson has seven championships. He just loves the sport. He just loves to race. That’s sportsmanship to me.”

The Columbia, Missouri, native was asked if he would ever return to his roots in dirt racing.

Edwards said he has a “feeling” he’ll be back in a dirt car, while adding he may give Global Rally Cross a try.

“I love dirt racing,” Edwards said. “I miss it. Basically for me, I was riding my bicycle the other day and I was thinking. ‘I just about got this door closed in my mind. It’s shut.’ I’m just getting to where I can get up in the morning and not think about racing and kind of move on. But there will be a time where it’ll be real hard not to go up to Moberly (Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri) or come over here to Pevely (Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri) or something and race a little bit. When that time comes it’ll be a lot of fun.

“I talk to Steve Arpin on and off about the Global Rally Cross cars. We’ve talked about doing a test with that.”

Results, Xfinity point standings after Iowa

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Justin Allgaier had a career day, leading 182 laps and sweeping all three stages in his win at Iowa Speedway.

The JR Motorsports driver claimed his seventh career Xfinity win.

Allgaier was followed by Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Click here for results.

Points

After his second straight finish of 28th or worse, Elliott Sadler‘s point lead after 14 races is down to a four-point advantage over Custer.

The top five is completed by Hemric (-7 points), Tyler Reddick (-31) and Bell (-3).

After his win Sunday, Allgaier is sixth in the standings, 51 points back from his JR Motorsports teammate.

Click here for the full standings.

Justin Allgaier dominates in Xfinity win at Iowa Speedway

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Justin Allgaier fended off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell to win Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Allgaier held Bell and the rest of the field at bay in a 12-lap shootout to capture his second win of the year.

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Allgaier led a career-high 182 laps and swept every stage.

“We had a great car today, these guys did a fantastic job,” Allgaier told Fox Sports 1.

The JR Motorsports driver took the lead for the first time with two laps to go in Stage 1 when he passed pole-sitter Austin Cindric.

The win qualifies Allgaier for the playoffs. His first win at Dover was disqualified toward playoff contention after his car failed post-race inspection.

Bell placed second after starting from the rear. His car failed to get through qualifying inspection, resulting in him not making a qualifying attempt.

“Man, I just needed to be in front of (Allgaier)” Bell told FS1. “It was really good on the bottom in both corners. I just didn’t have enough to clear him.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell earned his fourth top-two finish of the season … Daniel Hemric claimed his fourth top-three finish in the last five races … Riley Herbst placed sixth in his series debut … Justin Haley placed 12th in his debut … Kaz Grala placed 10th for his second top 10 in four starts for Fury Race Cars … Ty Majeski finished seventh, giving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 team its first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Elliott Sadler cut a tire and got into the wall late in Stage 1. He finished 28th for his second straight finish outside the top 25. He had finished in the top 10 in the first 12 races … Brandon Hightower wrecked with 17 laps to go to set up the final restart. He finished 30th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Overton’s 300 at Chicagoland Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on June 30 on NBCSN

Austin Cindric wins pole for Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway

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Austin Cindric won the pole for tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway, claiming his first career pole.

The Team Penske driver earned the pole with a top speed of 131.409 mph.

The rookie is followed by Daniel Hemric (130.988 mph), Brandon Jones (130.836), Elliott Sadler (130.532) and Cole Custer (130.435).

“It’s huge for me, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders as well …Being so close to so many poles these last few races with these Penske guys,” Cindric told Fox Sports 2.

Kaz Grala will make his best-career start in eighth. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst will start ninth in his series debut.

Seven of the starting top 10 have never won a series race.

Justin Haley will start 13th. He will be followed by Shane Lee, John Hunter Nemechek, Ross Chastain, and Ty Majeski.

Christopher Bell and Ryan Reed will start from the rear after they failed to get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.

The race is scheduled to start at 5:14 p.m. ET.

Click here for qualifying results.

Today’s Xfinity race at Iowa: Start time, lineup and more

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series enjoys the spotlight with the Cup Series off and no Cup drivers competing in today’s race at Iowa Speedway.

There’s a good chance of seeing a new winner for this season. Only three drivers who have won this year (Tyler Reddick at Daytona, Christopher Bell at Richmond and Justin Allgaier at Dover) are entered in today’s race.

Here are the details for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Craig Abel will give the command to start engines at 5:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:14 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (218.75 miles) around the 0.875-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 11 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2 p.m. Qualifying is at 2:35 p.m. Driver introductions are at 4:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Specialist Michelle Monroe from the Iowa National Guard 34th Army will perform the anthem at 5:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 5 p.m. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 4:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 90 degrees and zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: William Byron won this race last June. Ryan Sieg was second. Tyler Reddick placed third. Ryan Preece won the July race. Kyle Benjamin was second. Brian Scott placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.