Hampton, Ga. (September 2, 2012) – Carl Edwards came to Atlanta Motor Speedway hoping to get his fourth win at the 1.5-mile oval, and his first of the 2012 season. After running in the top 10 much of the race Edwards was up to sixth place on lap 248. Only a few laps later Edwards reported that he was losing power he brought out the caution on lap 266 as he began to drop oil on the track.
Edwards started 12th and fell back a bit early in the race as the Subway Ford was too tight. After the first two pit stops the car improved and he was up to 13th by lap 100. Crew chief Chad Norris told Edwards his lap times were the fastest of the race.
By the halfway point the Subway Ford was loose in and off the corners and a bit tight in the center. Edwards was up to sixth on lap 200 and remained there until his last restart on lap 248. Shortly after the restart Edwards told the team he thought something was wrong with the engine. Norris told him to keep racing until he knew for sure.
Edwards fell back to 12th and by lap 265 he began to put oil down on the track which brought out a caution. He brought the car to pit road and the crew quickly determined the problem was terminal. The Subway crew pushed the car to the garage to end the night prematurely. Edwards was scored in 36th place.
Denny Hamlin won the race followed by Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin rounded out the top 10.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Edwards said. “That’s so fitting for how our year has been going. The Subway Ford was running pretty well. I was having a lot of fun. We were tuning it in and it was getting better and better as the night went on. The pit crew was almost flawless tonight. They did a really good job, but I heard the engine making a little bit of noise about 30-40 laps ago and was kind of in denial. I thought, ‘No, it’s okay. It’s alright,’ and then finally it looks like a piston broke or something like that. I don’t know what to say. Somebody is trying to teach me something here. I hope we get all of this out of our system soon because it sure is fun to go win these races and be in the hunt. This is not fun.
“We’ll go to Richmond and go win that race and somehow maybe a miracle will happen. We’ll make the Chase and go win this championship. That’s our mission.”
Edwards and the No. 99 fell to 14th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 49 points behind 10th place. The next and final race before the Chase begins will be Saturday night, September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will begin at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC.