FONTANA, CA (February 25, 2008) – Heavy rains and cold temperatures plagued the California Race weekend. Mother Nature threw Edwards and the No. 60 Scotts Team the first curve by raining out qualifying for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races, so the fields for both races were determined by owner points. This locked the Scotts Ford Fusion into the 3rd starting position. Saturday it would rain for a while and then quit for a while, just long enough to get everyone’s hopes up and then it would start raining again. It stopped for a while and NASCAR had the drivers attend pre-race activities, but then started pouring down again and never stopped enough to start the race. The Stater Bros. 300 was initially postponed until Sunday and was rescheduled to start one hour following the conclusion of the Cup race.
Mother Nature didn’t let up much on Sunday. The Cup race started late and was stopped short of the halfway point when the skies opened up again. The heavy rainfall postponed the completion of the Sprint Cup race. This set up a doubleheader for the Cup and Nationwide races for Monday. The Cup race was scheduled for 10 AM and the Nationwide race was set to begin one hour following the completion of the Cup race. This time both races were able to start and finish. Edwards captured his first Sprint Cup win of the season, a huge win, by passing both Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson for the checkers.
Edwards completed his victory celebration and NASCAR media obligations after the Cup race leaving him only 17 minutes to change into his Scotts fire suit, quickly eat and hydrate, and literally run to his Scotts Ford for the National Anthem at the start of the Staters Bros. 300.
Edwards took the green flag from the second row and drove around in the top-six during the first 14 laps. He radioed in that his car was a little tight in the center but not bad, and it had a good balance. By lap 20 his car had gotten a little tighter. The first caution came out on lap 23, when the No. 9 hit the wall, so Edwards brought his Ford Fusion in to the attention of his crew for four tires, fuel, and a left side air adjustment. The race went green again on lap 25 and Edwards was shown in 7th.
The Scotts Ford was in the top-five on lap 31 and had moved into 4th on lap 49 when the second caution flag waved. He pitted again for four tires and fuel. No adjustments were made because the car was good. The third caution came out almost immediately again and Edwards stayed out. He had broken into the top-five again on lap 59.
Edwards was in the 3rd position when the fourth caution came out. He radioed in that his car was “good on the short runs, but it loses on the long runs.” It was good enough for some three-wide racing with the 17 and 33 cars around lap 71. Edwards stayed in the top-five until lap 97 when he had to green flag pit. He said the car was really good in turns 3 and 4, but was just a little tight everywhere else. When the field had cycled through he was in the 18th position.
The fifth caution came out on lap 106 and this time Edwards pitted for fuel only. Good pit strategy got him back into the top-five on lap 110 when green flag racing resumed. He moved into 4th on lap 124. Edwards battled with the No. 33 for 4th, but got passed on lap 133, placing him in the 5th position where he took the checkers at the end of the race.
“Wow, what a good day,” commented Edwards. “I got to race a lot. Our Scotts Fusion was pretty good here. It was a good points day for us. Congratulations to Tony Stewart and those guys; they had everybody covered today. Thanks to the fans for sticking around. This was a fun way to spend a Monday. Our car was pretty good. I wouldn’t change anything on the balance. PK and the guys did a good job, we just didn’t have the perfect package to be extremely fast and we were just lacking a tiny bit.”
“The Scotts Ford Fusion had a good run at Fontana. We started in the top-five and finished in the top-five. I’m looking forward to taking that same setup, with that rough-bumpy track that we had at Fontana, to Las Vegas. We’d like to continue with our run of top-fives to set us up with a good strong start of the season and a good finish for the year,” commented Pierre Kuettel.
Next week Edwards travels to Las Vegas. He moved up seven spots to 3rd in the Nationwide Series points standings. The two drivers ahead in the points are Stewart and Harvick, and neither of them is scheduled to run the entire series. The No. 60 team will be back representing Scotts in Atlanta.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.