Avondale, Ariz. (Mar.2, 2014) – Carl Edwards headed into The Profit on CNBC 500 looking for a repeat of last years’ victory. The No. 99 team worked diligently throughout the day on a loose race car making the necessary adjustments to turn the Subway Ford Fusion into a contender for the lead. Throughout the 312 lap race, the Roush Fenway Racing driver was able to continuously gain speed and pass the competitors in front of him one by one and worked his way into the 8th spot before the checkered flag waved in the Valley of the Sun.
“We had a great race. We just needed to qualify better,” said Edwards at the end of the day. “We had a fast race car all day but it takes so long to pass people. I really love this place. The track is aging and getting better and it makes it fun. I had a good time, just wish we could have had a better finish. We did it to ourselves on Friday though. We put ourselves in that spot and it was really hard to get through the field.”
Edwards’ starting position was determined during the roll out of the new multi-segment qualifying procedure that placed the two-time NASCAR champion in 23rd to begin the race. This presented an early challenge to the team’s 20th appearance at Phoenix International Raceway who boasts an average starting position of 12.5 at this track. Edwards’ was not fazed and quickly moved up 5 spots in the first 25 laps.
The No.99 Ford Fusion was loose in and off throughout the day but became consistently better with each pit stop as the team worked to make the necessary wedge and tire adjustments. Edwards soon began running lap times quicker than the field in front of him and chopped away at the lead.
As the green flag waved for the final restart of the race, the Columbia, MO native was sitting in the 10th spot and he charged towards the front picking up two more positions in the final laps taking the checkered flag in the eighth-position.
Edwards’ next chance at securing his first win of the season will take place Sunday, March 9th in the Kobalt 400 which airs at 3 PM ET on FOX.