LEBANON, Tenn. (March 22, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Miracle-Gro team went into Nashville as the series’ favorite. All four of their 2007 wins were on concrete tracks and they had won the last three consecutive races at Nashville Superspeedway on the 1.33-mile concrete oval. They had previously demolished their competition there, however, this time they fell short of the win. They did chalk up their sixth consecutive top-five finish on this track making it a perfect six for six. Edwards finished with a very solid third and moved up to second in the overall Nationwide Series points standings.
Edwards and the No. 60 Miracle-Gro crew had a fast Ford Fusion and spent both practices tweaking their setup on the 1.33-mile oval. They made a good qualifying effort of 4th which gave them a great starting position.
Edwards never fell out of the top-10 over the 225 laps and ran in the top-5 the majority of the 300 mile race. There were only three cautions for 20 laps. The first caution flag flew on lap 10 and Edwards stayed out. He advised that his car was good, but needed more grip. The second caution came out on lap 61 for debris. Edwards was in the 5th position and came in for air pressure and track bar adjustments. The racing resumed on lap 64 and Edwards had maintained the 5th position.
Edwards pitted under green on lap 126 for air pressure adjustments, four tires and fuel. The crew gave a great effort with a 14.3 second stop and by the time the 43 car field cycled through, Edwards found himself in the 6th position.
The final caution flag flew on lap 157 for debris and the No. 60 Miracle-Gro crew blistered off the fastest stop of the night with a 13.7 second stop and gained two positions moving them into 4th when the race resumed on lap 160. Edwards had enough fuel to finish the race and the No. 60 team gambled that the other leaders wouldn’t make it to the end. With 10 laps to go, David Reutimann had to pit for fuel and Edwards moved up into 3rd. Edwards’ laps were very fast at the end, but he couldn’t make up the five second difference over the last nine laps. Clint Bowyer and Scott Wimmer ended up making it on fuel with Wimmer winning the race, Bowyer finishing 2nd and Edwards finishing 3rd for his sixth consecutive top-5 in six starts.
"Our Miracle-Gro Ford Fusion had very good balance, but just needed more grip,” stated Edwards. “Our speed didn’t really kick in until the last 70 laps or so. I saw David Reutimann run out of gas and I was hoping Clint Bowyer and Scott Wimmer would, too. I knew they were all very close. My team was just awesome on pit road and we did really good coming out of here with a top-3 run. I really appreciate everyone coming out and I hope they have a great Easter weekend.”
“We had a long day here today at Nashville with the Scotts Miracle-Gro ‘It’s Gro Time’ Ford Fusion,” commented crew chief Pierre Kuettel. “We worked with our car all day. We were a little bit free and just worked on tightening it up. We just needed that last caution there, but we went green to the end. I thought for sure those cars in front of us were going to run out of gas, but they didn’t. It would have been great to have a caution there to put on four tires. I think we had finally gotten the car to the point where it was running fast laps. We just needed that one more caution to put it to them there at the end.”
Next week Edwards and the No. 60 team will have the weekend off. Edwards will be in Martinsville for the Sprint Cup Series race. Edwards moved up one position to 2nd and is 11 points behind Clint Bowyer in the overall Nationwide Series points standings. Edwards and the No. 60 team will be running the Scotts colors in Texas in two weeks.
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.