CONCORD, N.C. (November 18, 2008) – For Carl Edwards, 2008 will be a year to remember. Edwards was the runner-up in the championship battles in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. He recorded a series-leading nine wins in Sprint Cup competition, and backed that up with seven wins in the Nationwide Series. Edwards closed out a remarkable year by sweeping both races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We ran really well this season, well enough to win a championship had it not been for two races where we lost points in the Chase. Considering how well Jimmie (Johnson, 2008 champion) performed, I don’t think that's a small feat,” said Edwards of his Sprint Cup season. “We can go into the off-season knowing we won more races than anyone else in this series. I think that’s a big accomplishment, especially considering how well Jimmie and Kyle (Busch) both ran all season, so that feels good and knowing how well we ran. That gives me a lot of confidence for next season. Second in both series is not first, but it's definitely not something to be ashamed of. I’m proud of what we did this year.”
Edwards’ season began with a bang, as he picked up two wins in the first three races. Despite losing 100 points and crew chief Bob Osborne for six races as the result of a rule infraction, Edwards continued his dominance as he picked up the win at Texas Motor Speedway with interim crew chiefs Robbie Reiser and Chris Andrews.
“I feel like this team can do it, regardless of the odds,” Edwards continued. “It would’ve been real easy for all of the guys to get lax and not pay attention to all of the detail they do at the shop, for Bob not to take the gambles or spend the time that he spends on the race car. We overcame a lot this year. No matter what happened, these guys continued to work hard and keep their eyes on the goal. This team has a ‘never quit’ attitude, and it showed when we went from leading the points down to 17th after Atlanta early in the year. They never gave up. We worked our way back to second in points when it came time for the Chase to start.”
Edwards Chase began with three top-five finishes that allowed him to inherit the points lead. However, a wreck at Talladega and a mechanical issue at Charlotte resulted in finishes of 29th and 33rd, dropping him to fourth by the time the Chase hit the halfway mark at Martinsville. Once again, Edwards and the No. 99 team showed their resilience by picking up three wins in the final five races of the season. They cut 100 points off Jimmie Johnson’s lead, coming up just 69 points shy of winning the 2008 championship.
“I was very happy to see how well the No. 99 team came together this year,” said Osborne. “The last thing that seems to come together sometimes is the pit crew and the boys put their best effort forward and took it upon themselves to get good enough to be able to compete on pit road with the top-notch pit crews, and I believe they did that quite well the second half of the season and it showed in our results. A lot of that has to do with everyone getting to know each other and understanding everyone’s traits and things like that so you're comfortable around them at all times, not just in working situations, but that personal relationship matters a lot in our business because we spend so much time together.
“We’ve built a very strong team, and we are really looking forward to 2009 and getting things underway,” Osborne continued. “It’s often said that to win a championship, you must first lose one. If that’s the case, then this team is more than ready to have another shot at it in ’09. There’s going to be a lot of teams that are really going to be tough to beat next year. The 48, the 18, the 24, the 17, I think it’s going to be quite a challenge next year. But we’re up for it, and I believe that we’re going to be one of those teams to watch as well.”
Edwards closed out the 2008 season and his four-year successful relationship with primary sponsor Office Depot, having won the most races (9), recording the most top-five (19) and top-10 (27) finishes of any Sprint Cup Series driver. Edwards led 1,282 laps, third most of any driver.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.