MEXICO CITY, Mexico (April 20, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Scotts Water Smart team flew into Mexico City to compete on the first road course of the season, the 2.518-mile track at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
This was Edwards’ and the Nationwide Series’ fourth annual trip to one of the world’s highest cities at an altitude of 7,380 feet. The atmosphere was definitely one of international flavor and set the stage for one of the series most diverse groups of drivers. The track is tucked into the middle of a city with an estimated population of 25 million.
Edwards struggled during both practices, but was able to put down a great qualifying run. The No. 60 took the green flag from the 3rd starting position and Edwards was able to capture his 5th top-5 finish of the 2008 season bringing him to 9 points behind the Nationwide Series leader Clint Bowyer.
Edwards was able to keep his Scotts Ford Fusion in the top-10 for the majority of the race. Pit road strategy and patience became the key components for a great points day for the No. 60 team. The “Big Picture” was at the forefront of their strategy to have a good points day and to be in the hunt for the win.
Edwards started the race from the 3rd position. The race started out with a yellow and then a red flag on lap 5. Edwards was in the 5th position and advised his crew chief, Pierre Kuettel that his Fusion was very good, but a little loose. On lap 15 Edwards was the fastest car on the track and by lap 18 Edwards took over the lead position capturing five bonus points.
Edwards green flag pitted on lap 19 for four tires, fuel and a minor adjustment. By the time the 43-car field cycled through Edwards was back in the top-10 in the 6th position. Edwards fought through two more cautions and another red flag and on lap 47 captured the number one spot for the second time.
Kuettel’s strategy was to pit under green on lap 48, but the fourth caution flag waived and that strategy went out the window. Edwards dropped from 1st to 25th. This set up a very exciting charge to the front. In only ten laps Edwards took advantage of his new tires to pick off a dozen spots. On lap 60 he was already back in the top-10 being shown in 9th. Over the next eight laps he picked off five more spots and was up in 4th where he was the fastest car on the track. He was unable to get around the No. 40 car to challenge the leaders and ran out of time.
The Corona Mexico 200 ended in a flurry of cautions which made for a very exciting ending. The race ended on lap 80 with Edwards surviving the last three cautions as he was challenging Scott Pruitt for 3rd. Pruitt ended up being stronger and Edwards finished a very solid 4th for his fifth top-five of the 2008 season.
“That was fun,” stated Edwards. “We just lost track position. We had a car that could win the race. That’s good. It’s too weeks in a row that we’ve been good. I’m really proud of the Water Smart guys, Scotts, Vitamin Water and everybody. My crew did a great job and it’s just too bad we got caught up on that caution, but we got to fight back and my hats off to Kyle Busch and everybody on that 20 team. They did a great job. That’s three in a row for them. The good thing is that’s two weeks in a row that we’ve had a car that can win. That’s good.”
“Our Scotts Water Smart Ford Fusion team did a great job today,” stated crew chief Pierre Kuettel. “The guys did a good job and our driver was just awesome. We worked really hard in practice to get this thing turned around. Carl did a fantastic job and that’s what we needed. We had a great points day and a very solid top-five finish.”
Next week Edwards and the No. 60 team travel to their second Superspeedway at Talladega. The goal is to stay focused on gaining the points lead. Edwards has closed the gap in points to nine points behind the leader and he is currently in the second spot. Edwards and the No. 60 team will be running the Save-A-Lot colors for the second scheduled race this year with Roush Fenway Racing.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup 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; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.