LOUDON, N.H. (June 29, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Dish Network team began their weekend in Boston at a Red Sox game. When they got to New Hampshire they quickly got back to work on the car for the upcoming race. Edwards qualified in the 17th spot following a rain interruption on Friday afternoon. The No. 99 team spent time working on the setup of the car during the practice sessions on Saturday before the Nationwide Series race.
When the green flag dropped to begin the race, Edwards was lined up in the 17th position. By the end of the third lap he had dropped back to 20th and by lap 7 he was in 26th. He managed to maintain between 24th and 25th until he was able to bring his car to the attention of his pit crew for some necessary changes. Green flag pit stops began on lap 67, and Edwards pitted for four tires, fuel, a pound out of the right front and a half pound out of the left rear in a pit stop that lasted only 13.1 seconds. When the field had cycled through, he landed in the 24th position.
Edwards had moved up into the 22nd position by lap 86. The first caution of the race flew because the No. 40 car spun and hit the wall. Edwards pitted on lap 87 for four tires, fuel, and a round of bite out in a quick pit stop of 13.6 seconds. He was scored in the 26th position when green flag racing resumed on lap 91. Edwards drove around in between 28th and 21st until lap 139 when the second caution of the race was called for debris on the track. He pitted on lap 139 from the 21st position for air pressure adjustments in a stop that only took 13.8 seconds and had gained him three positions on the track when racing resumed on lap 143.
By lap 151, Edwards had again dropped back to the 21st position. He stayed out during the third caution when the No. 78 spun on lap 152. When green flag racing resumed, Edwards had moved up to the 20th position and stayed there until lap 203.
The fourth caution flag flew on lap 204 and Edwards pitted for four tires, fuel and an air adjustment. The crew blistered off a 13.3 second stop, but maintained the 20th position when racing resumed on lap 210.
On lap 215 Edwards took advantage of the spin by the No. 8 car and moved into the 16th position. Two laps later the No. 8 was spun out and hit the wall bringing out the fifth caution. When green flag racing resumed on lap 222 Edwards was scored in the 14th spot where he would remain until lap 271.
Caution came out for the sixth time on lap 271 when the No. 88 was hit by the No. 26 who was then hit by the No. 6. All of this happened right in front of Edwards’ No. 99. This moved him up into the 11th position when he pitted for a wedge and air adjustment. Rain was in the area, but the No. 99 team took the gamble hoping for a full 301 laps. When green flag racing resumed on lap 274 Edwards was scored in the 18th position because several cars had opted to stay out.
Lap 279 saw the seventh caution flag for some contact between several cars in two separate incidents. Before the green flag could fly to resume the race, raindrops began to fall. The field was brought down to pit road for a red flag delay due to rain. In only a matter of minutes NASCAR ruled the race was finished and Kurt Busch was declared the winner. Edwards was scored in 17th when the race was over.
“I just don’t know why our car was so far off,” stated Edwards. “The Dish team was great in the pits, but we could never make it to the front. We stayed between 20th and 25th and that’s about all we had. We gambled at the end of the race, but it didn’t pay off for us. We started 17th and ended 17th. It’s not the end of the world and we head to Daytona under the lights.”
Edwards travels back to Daytona International Speedway next weekend in the AFLAC Ford Fusion. Edwards and the No. 99 team maintained the fourth position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 237 points behind leader Kyle Busch. The Sprint Cup Series races next on Saturday night, July 5th in Daytona.
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.