Sparta, KY (June 14, 2008) – Edwards and the No. 60 CitiFinancial team fought inclement weather Friday and NASCAR cancelled both practices. The schedule was revised to allow for one practice Saturday morning. Edwards would not make the practice, because he had two practices in Michigan for the Sprint Cup Series. Reserve driver Jason Hedlesky was called on to practice the No. 60 CitiFinancial Ford and help the crew with the setup. Edwards was able to leave Michigan and get to Kentucky in plenty of time to qualify and race on the 1.5-mile oval at Kentucky Speedway. He struggled the entire race with a very loose car and finished 2 laps down in 20th. This was Edwards’ first of three races this season in the CitiFinancial colors.
During qualifying, Edwards relayed to his crew chief Pierre Kuettel that some major adjustments needed to be made to the steering. Of course nothing could be adjusted before the race due to the impound regulations.
Edwards struggled right from the start with an extremely loose car. He radioed in to his crew that the “car was all over the place”. He had started from the 30th position and was able to get up to 22nd by lap 11 when the second caution flag flew. Edwards pitted for a major adjustment to change the bump steer which took two pit stops to accomplish. He went back out on the track between stops to make sure he didn’t go a lap down before the race went green on lap 17. He had dropped to 34th when racing resumed.
The race stayed green over the next 45 laps and the 43-car field began green flag pitting. Edwards pitted on lap 63 for fuel, four tires and a wedge adjustment. The crew completed a 14.8 second stop. When the field cycled through Edwards landed in the 22nd position and he was still reporting a very loose condition.
The third caution flag flew on lap 82 and Edwards pitted for a trackbar adjustment, fuel and four tires. The crew made an 18.29 second stop and got Edwards back out on lap 83 in the 21st position. Edwards fought an ill handling car throughout the rest of the race through two more cautions and two more pits stops to try to adjust the car, but it never came around. Eventually Edwards went two laps down, struggling between 25th and 20th the remainder of the night for a 20th place finish.
“That’s the worst we’ve ever run and it’s not because everybody’s not working hard,” commented Edwards. “My guys work hard. They work hard at the shop and at the engine shop. We just have to go back and figure out what we’re not doing. Maybe we can look at David Ragan’s notes. He ran well here. Congrats to Joey Logano.”
Next week Edwards travels to Milwaukee. It’s his third non-companion race of the season. Jason Hedlesky will be called upon by Roush Fenway Racing to assist Edwards with practice and qualifying, and in the event of inclement weather, possibly driving in the race. Edwards will be in Sonoma for the Sprint Cup race. The No. 60 team will be back in their Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion. Edwards struggled in Kentucky, but is totally focused on Milwaukee next week. Edwards is still in fourth and is 225 points behind points leader Clint Bowyer in the overall NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings.
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.