Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion Racing Team
Daytona International Speedway/February 9, 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (Feb. 9, 2008) – Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion qualified for the 30th running of the Budweiser Shootout by winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway in November of 2007. After drawing 20th during Thursday evening’s Shootout Draw Party, Edwards’ place was set on the starting grid for the pre-season event. From the start of the 70-lap Shootout Edwards proved to be a contender, however late-race incidents involving fellow Ford Racing drivers diminished Edwards’ drafting help and he ultimately crossed the finish line in 12th place.
Prior to the green flag several cars dropped to the rear and on lap one Edwards was scored 11th. During the first 20-lap segment of the race, Edwards reported that his Office Depot Ford was just “a little free.” Therefore crew chief Bob Osborne directed the No. 99 crew to make track bar and wedge adjustments during the team’s first pit stop. The No. 99 also received four tires and fuel on the stop.
After a break at 20 laps, the field restarted on Lap 21 with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the lead and Edwards in third place. On Lap 24, however, Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Jamie McMurray brought out the second caution of the race when he moved up the track across the nose of Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota and turned into the wall at the exit of Turn 4. Prior to McMurray’s accident his drafting help pushed Edwards to the lead and the two were proving to be strong contenders. After losing drafting help, Edwards fell from fourth place on lap 24 to 17th on lap 36.
On lap 48, the Ford Fusion of David Gilliland blew a right front tire and triggered a wreck that also took out Edwards’ other teammate, Greg Biffle, as well as Martin Truex, Jr. After a restart on Lap 53, Edwards was the only Ford in the field and was scored in ninth position. Utilizing drafting help from Kurt Busch, it appeared that Edwards and the Office Depot team would be okay. However, Busch lost control of his racecar and spun out in front of Edwards and once again Edwards was without a drafting partner. Another accident involving Ryan Newman and J.J. Yeley, brought out the fourth caution and set up the three-lap dash to the finish.
Edwards was in ninth place when the final green flag waved, but without drafting help fell back to 12th place where he ultimately finished the race.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the Budweiser Shootout, his second victory in the pre-season event. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Reed Sorenson followed to complete the top five.
Next up for Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team is the Daytona 500. The Great American Race is slated for Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET. FOX television and MRN radio affiliates will carry the live broadcast.
Carl Edwards Budweiser Shootout Quote:
(Finished 12th) – “We were alright. We just don’t quite have the speed. When we had Jamie pushing, that helped a lot. I worked real well with Kurt and then he spun out, but I’d say at the end that Kurt was our hope, just to follow him up through there, but we just couldn’t go any faster. That was it. I learned a lot for next week. It’s gonna be an interesting race. Hopefully, it’s sunny. We’re not the fastest down the straightaway, but we’ve got a real good handling package. It handles real well, so I think it’s gonna be good. If it’s real slick, it’ll make a real good race for us.”
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 and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.