Lebanon, Tenn. (June 6, 2009) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Ortho team looked very strong going into the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday. Edwards flew to Nashville to compete in Saturday’s race after taking part in NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Edwards started the race in the sixth position and quickly mixed it up with the race leaders. Edwards was able to run in the top five all night and ultimately finish the race with a workman like third-place finish.
It was a warm day at Nashville Superspeedway. The temperature at the start of the race was 80 degrees. The No. 60 Ortho team was confident Edwards’s experience on the track and dominance over the years could make for a great run, and a possible breakthrough victory for the team.
Edwards got out to a fast start when the checkered fell despite two early cautions that slowed the action. Edwards was in the second position by lap 19 and the fastest car on the track by lap 20, despite minor handling problems. Edwards commented his Ford Fusion was tight in the center and free off. Edwards said the car was perfect in turns one and two, but struggled mightily in turns three and four. During a long green-flag run Edwards settled into a nice rhythm on the race track. Edwards lap times mirrored Kyle Busch and at times was faster in clean air. Edwards made his first pit stop under a green-flag on lap 68. Crew chief Dan Stillman called for four tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. Edwards exited the pit stall in 13.8 seconds. After cycling through green-flag pit stops, Edwards was scored in the third position.
Edwards stayed consistent throughout the race. At the halfway point Edwards was still scored in the third position, despite the race being slowed for multi-car wrecks on lap 113 and 124. The race was red-flagged on lap 127 and a 15 minute delay ensued. Edwards was happy with his Ford Fusion, but was very concerned that he might not get within striking distance of race leader Kyle Busch as the laps dwindled down.
The final 94 laps were run under a green-flag. Edwards was called to the pit stall for the final time on lap 190 for minor adjustments. Stillman ordered four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. After cycling through more green-flag stops, Edwards was scored in the third position. Edwards fought hard to run down race leader Kyle Busch the last 30 laps. The team needed a caution to get close, but it never came. The Ortho Ford Fusion was a rocket for most of the night and the team executed a near perfect game plan. It was a step in the right direction for a good team competing for a championship.
“It was definitely a great point’s day for us,” said Edwards. “I feel like this is a step in the right direction. Our Ortho Ford Fusion was fast all night and I knew if we got in the top two or three we were going to stay there. The No. 18 was great tonight and my hat goes off to that team. Our time is coming very soon.”
The third-place finish leaves Edwards second in the Nationwide Series point standings, 65 points behind Kyle Busch.
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 information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. For sponsorship inquiries please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.