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Edwards' (all-)star value rising

Times wires

CONCORD, N.C. - Carl Edwards' victory Saturday in the Sprint All-Star Race was a very, very expensive win.

Not for Edwards, who claimed the $1 million prize with his first win in NASCAR's annual non-points showcase. But his celebratory drive through the infield grass at Charlotte Motor Speedway tore up the front of his Ford, and rebuilding that car will be costly for Roush-Fenway Racing.

That's just a small part of it, though. Edwards is in a contract year, and he likely increased his worth yet again this year.

NASCAR contracts are sensitive and secret, and nobody knows exactly what anyone gets paid. But for sure, Edwards couldn't have picked a better year to be a free agent. He's the Sprint Cup leader and has three wins in the Nationwide series.

Team owner Jack Roush wants to keep Edwards. Saturday, Roush called his driver "a rock star" and lauded his entertaining celebratory backflips, and his penchant for going into the stands with the fans after wins.

"Some of the drivers wouldn't go up in the stands like that after a race, and for good reason. But Carl, he's well thought of and he's out there doing things that other people wish they thought of first," Roush said. "And he drives the hell out of our race cars."

Rarity: Nationwide won by Nationwide driver

NEWTON, Iowa - Ricky Stenhouse held off Sprint Cup drivers Edwards and Brad Keselowski to win Sunday's Nationwide race in Iowa, becoming the first series regular with a victory this season and first since March 2010.

Stenhouse took the lead from Edwards 233 laps into the John Deere 250 at Iowa Speedway and held off the only Cup regulars in the field for his first series win. Edwards finished second, followed by Keselowski.

Kenny Wallace, whose brother Rusty designed Iowa's 0.75-mile oval, joined Jason Keller as the only drivers to run 500 races in NASCAR's second-tier series. He finished a season-best sixth.

FORMULA ONE: Series leader Sebastian Vettel held off Lewis Hamilton to win the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, his fourth victory in five races. The Red Bull Racing driver took the lead for good after the second round of pit stops to beat Hamilton by 0.6 seconds and widen his lead in the standings to 41 points over his McLaren rival.

NHRA: Robert Hight gave John Force Racing its 200th victory, beating teammate Mike Neff in the Funny Car final at the Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel) and Shane Gray (Pro Stock) also won their classes.

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