FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2009) – Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion team didn’t have the weekend they had hoped for at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. After struggling to find speed during the weekend’s practice sessions and qualifying a disappointing 25th, the Aflac team faced an uphill battle heading into Sunday’s Auto Club 500. Throughout the 250-lap event, the team adjusted on the No. 99 to improve the ill-handling conditions that Edwards reported. By the time the checkers waved, Edwards had made his way up to seventh place for a solid finish.
Just five laps after the green flag waved signaling the start of the race, rain began to fall and the first of five cautions flags for rain was thrown. Edwards was scored in 17th place and though he reported that his Fusion was “a little tight”, crew chief Bob Osborne opted not to bring Edwards to pit road.
Green flag racing resumed on lap 22, only to be delayed once again for rain on lap 41. Still reporting that the No. 99 was “tight in the middle”, Edwards brought his Ford down pit road for servicing. Track bar and air pressure adjustments were made and Edwards was scored in 15th position when green flag racing resumed on lap 46.
Edwards would work his way into the top 10 by lap 80, but began to report that the handling of his Ford was now “too free”. Over a series of five scheduled pit stops Osborne and company tweaked the No. 99 with air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments in hopes of finding the perfect setup. Despite their efforts, Edwards’ No. 99 Ford never seemed to handle just right, and a seventh-place finish would be all he could pull off.
“Bob and the guys did a good job of making my Aflac Ford better from yesterday,” said Edwards. “My car was terrible, it was about 25th place car, so seventh place is a good finish for us. It’s not what we wanted but it’s okay and we’ll go get’em next week.”
Matt Kenseth backed up his victory in the season-opening Daytona 500 by holding off Jeff Gordon for his second win in as many weeks. Kyle Busch finished third and fell short in his bid to sweep all three races in NASCAR’s top series at the same track in the same weekend. Greg Biffle was fourth, followed by Kurt Busch. Denny Hamlin, Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers completed the top 10.
Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Team will race next at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sunday, March 1. FOX television and PRN radio affiliates will carry the live broadcast beginning at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
Edwards’ Fontana Results:
Fastest Laps: Six
Laps in top 15: 218
Points: 151 * 5
Edwards’ 2009 Cumulative Record:
Races: 2 of 36
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: One
Top 15s: One
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for seven consecutive years and in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for eleven consecutive years.
Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine's listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine's listing of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers. Aflac
Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.