Kansas City, Kan. (April 22, 2012) – Carl Edwards has always said winning a Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway would be like winning the Daytona 500 for him. Growing up and still residing in nearby Columbia, Mo., Edwards considers Kansas his home track. He gave it everything he had in Sunday’s 267-lap race, but had to settle for a top-10 finish instead of the win.
Edwards started 21st after going out late in the qualifying order Saturday when the track was much hotter than when qualifying began. He was up to 12th after the first caution of the race on lap 53 despite a few handling issues with the Aflac Ford.
By the halfway point he was still in 12th place and the car was tight in the cold, windy conditions. A caution on lap 188 brought Edwards to pit road while the first eight cars stayed out. He restarted 16th on lap 193 and had some ground to make up in the closing laps.
He was 15th with 50 laps to go as the field cycled through the final round of green-flag pit stops. After the last pit stop the car seemed to pick up speed and Edwards gained valuable track position. He took over 11th place with 24 laps to go and finally broke into the top 10 with 10 laps remaining. Never one to give up he gained one more spot before the race ended to finish the race in ninth place. Edwards also gained a bonus point for leading a lap during a green-flag pit cycle earlier in the race, his first lap led of the 2012 season.
Denny Hamlin won the race followed by Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Edwards and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10.
“That was a good effort,” Edwards said. “It wasn’t a great result, but a really good effort. I had a lot of fun racing Kyle at the end. I acted like we were racing for the win and I think he was doing the same thing, so at least we got to have a little fun. That was a good time. If that’s the worst Roush Fenway Ford, then we’re going to be okay. I want to win here more than anything, but we get to come back in the fall and we’ll do it. Right now I’d take second, that would be great but we’ll keep digging. I cannot thank everyone enough for the support out there. It’s been unbelievable. It’s so neat for me to come here. It’s humbling and I can’t wait to come back.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team moved up two positions to ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 61 points behind the leader, Greg Biffle. The next race will be Saturday, April 28 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will begin at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on FOX.