Ft. Worth, Texas (November 5, 2012) – Carl Edwards has three NASCAR Sprint Cup wins at Texas Motor Speedway but he was not able to add to that total today. Edwards started in the top 10 but the Aflac Ford did not handle well enough to stay up front. After fighting a loose condition the entire race and a tire rub in the final laps, he finished 16th.
Edwards started the 334-lap race in ninth place. There was not a caution in the first 100 laps, but he was able to maintain 12th by that point. The loose condition seemed to get worse as the race progressed despite the Aflac team making several adjustments on each pit stop.
By lap 150 Edwards was 15th and very loose off the corners. Throughout the race crew chief Chad Norris called for air pressure, wedge, track bar and spring rubber adjustments, but the car remained too loose. With 100 laps to go Edwards was 16th. A good stop on lap 276 moved him up to 13th for the restart on lap 281.
Another caution came on lap 312. What should have been a quick four-tire stop with no adjustments did not turn out the way the team anticipated. Edwards came to pit road and over-shot the pit stall. As he skidded to a halt he clipped front tire changer Mike Lingerfelt who rolled over the edge of the hood to the ground. Luckily he was not severely injured and was able to get up and finish the pit stop, although Edwards returned to the track in 23rd place.
Two more cautions slowed the final laps of the race, including the last one when Edwards made contact with Mark Martin, which caused Martin to spin through the grass. This caution set up a green-white-checker finish with Edwards in 15th place. Unbeknownst to the team the contact with Martin caused a tire rub on the Aflac Ford.
When the race resumed Edwards tried to gain a few spots in the final two laps, but the tire rub forced him to take it easy and not cause any more damage. He finished the race in 16th place.
Jimmie Johnson won the race followed by Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 10.
“That wasn’t very much fun,” Edwards said. “We struggled a lot. I screwed up on pit road and ran over Mike Lingerfelt and he jumped right back up and made a good stop. It was a very tough day. We struggled a lot with being loose off. I thought we would be better. Then we had a big tire rub at the end. That is what you get. I ran right into Mark (Martin) and didn’t give him enough room and tore up our car. It was a frustrating race.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team slipped one spot to 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with two races remaining. The next race will be Sunday, November 11 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.