November 18, 2007 12:51 PM

Edwards and Office Depot Team Cap Off 2007 With Top-Five Finish

Edwards Finishes Ninth in ‘Chase’ Standings
Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion Racing Team
Homestead-Miami Speedway/November 18, 2007

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2007) – Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team rolled into Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend looking for redemption. After suffering through disappointing weekends at Texas and Phoenix, Edwards and crew were hoping to cap off the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season on a high note. In all three practice sessions Edwards was among the fastest on the race track and secured a 10th place starting position. So when the green flag waved signaling the start of the season finale Ford 400, Edwards and crew were optimistic about the possibilities.

Before an estimated crowd of 80,000, Jimmie Johnson led the 43-car field to the green flag and Edwards followed in 10th place. Though he reported that his Office Depot Ford was handling “tight in the center,” Edwards managed to gain two spots before his first green flag pit stop on lap 48. Four tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments were prescribed by crew chief Bob Osborne and the Office Depot crew quickly filled the order and Edwards returned to the track. But before all cars could cycle through the green flag pit stops a caution fell, putting Edwards and several other competitors a lap down.

On lap 57 when green flag racing commenced, Edwards was scored in 21st place. However, before a full lap was completed another caution fell and Edwards was once again on the lead lap.

Edwards entered pit road on lap 59, this time for four tires and fuel only. He rejoined the race on lap 63 in 24th position, as not all cars opted to pit. Over the next 13 laps Edwards gained eight spots on the track, despite reporting that his car was “handling too tight as the run progressed.”

Over the ensuing 72 laps Edwards would see pit road on three separate occasions. Each time the No. 99 crew would work to remedy the tight handling issues Edwards reported. Air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments were made on each stop. Finally around lap 149, Edwards, seemingly pleased with his Office Depot Ford, broke into the top 10.

Continuing to make gains on the track, Edwards would make his final green flag pit stop on lap 245. When most cars pitted for four tires and fuel, Osborne called for two tires and a splash of fuel. As the field cycled through Edwards was scored in fifth place on lap 250. With just 17 laps remaining in the race, Edwards was able to hold off Martin Truex, Jr. and take the checkers in fifth place, earning his 11th top five finish of 2007.

Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth won the Ford 400. Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Edwards completed the top five.

“It was a good effort by this Office Depot team. We had to finish well in order to stay in the top 10 in points with the way guys were running, so it was a good effort by my guys.  I’m proud of everybody and I’m excited about next year. We were trying just to keep the track position going, so on that last stop we took two tires and were able to get a top five.  If we wouldn’t have had the caution, we were hoping it would help us out.  Congratulations to Matt.  It’s cool that a Ford won.” 

 “That was fun.  I’m glad to see a Ford Fusion in Victory Lane.  That’s cool for Matt and those guys.  It’s a good way to start the winter with one of our cars winning.”

Edwards’ Ford 400 Results
Start: 10thFinish: Fifth Laps: 267/267Led: 0Status: RunningPoints: 155Earnings: $134,025

Edwards’ Stats
Start: 10thMid-race: 13th High: SecondLow: 33rd  Fastest Laps: TwoLaps in Top 15: 234/267Laps Led: 0
Finish: Fifth

Edwards’ 2007 Cumulative Record
Races: 36 of 36Points: 6222Rank: NinthWins: ThreePoles: OneTop 5s: 11Top 10s: 15Top 15s: 24Earnings: $4,611,967

About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 14 motorsports teams, five in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; five in the Busch Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Todd Kluever, Michel Jourdain Jr. and Danny O’Quinn Jr.; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Edwards, Peter Shepherd, Travis Kvapil, Erik Darnell and T.J. Bell; and one in the ARCA/REMAX Series with Colin Braun and Darnell.

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