Concord, N.C. (October 13, 2012) – Carl Edwards had a strong car Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway but needed just a bit more fuel to contend for the win. Edwards was as fast as the winner in the closing laps, but the extra stop for fuel put him a lap down. Despite that he still finished the race in seventh place.
Edwards started the 500-mile event in 19th place but drove into the top 10 by lap 120. The Frosted Flakes Ford was pretty good all night with just a few adjustments needed throughout the race to keep up with the changing track conditions.
By halfway Edwards was still 10th, but when a caution came on lap 224, shortly after he had already pitted, he was able to move up to fifth place. During that run he was as high as second before the field cycled through green-flag pit stops. Edwards pitted on lap 272 and crew chief Chad Norris told him that he would have to stop one more time for fuel.
Edwards came to pit road for right-side tires and a splash of fuel on lap 311. There were a few cars that could make it to the end without stopping which put him a lap down, but still in the top 10 since a majority of the field had to pit for fuel. In the closing laps Edwards was running side-by-side with race leader Clint Bowyer, but being a lap down he could not contend for the win. The race ended with Edwards in seventh place.
Bowyer won the race followed by Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch. Mark Martin, Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr., rounded out the top 10.
“We get good fuel mileage, but that wasn’t our focus tonight,” Edwards said. “Our focus was going as fast as we could and I think we showed a little more promise tonight than we have in a long time. It’s neat to see Greg (Biffle) leading that many laps. We got up there. We drove our way all the way to second on one run. It’s been a long time since we’ve been this competitive on a mile-and-a-half so I’m very happy with it. Hopefully, we can build on this. Now we go to Kansas, which is another track a lot like this and we’ll build on this and hopefully get that first win of the season. That would be huge. I don’t know what I’d do if we won at Kansas. I don’t party much, but it would be a heck of a party. We’d have some fun.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team remain 15th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. The next race will be Sunday, October 21 at Kansas Speedway. The race will begin at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.