Avondale, Ariz. (November 8, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 World Financial Group team returned to Phoenix International Raceway with one mission and that was to gain as many points on the Nationwide Series leader as possible. They not only won the race, but gained 35 points on Clint Bowyer and closed the gap to 56 points. Edwards and the No. 60 team ran a very strong race on the one-mile oval in the middle of the hot Arizona desert, led the most laps, and brought home their 6th Nationwide Series win and his 19th career win. They head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale next Saturday with their eyes directly focused on the 2008 championship.
Edwards started the Hefty Odor Block 200 from the second starting position. He advised his team that his car was very good, but it was a little free. Edwards dropped back to fourth on the second lap, but the car immediately started coming back and he was able to pass Kyle Busch on lap 14.
The first of 9 caution flags flew on lap 23 and Edwards pitted for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Edwards pitted in 3rd where he resumed racing when the green flag waved on lap 27.
Edwards survived three more cautions and pitted for the second time during the fifth caution on lap 53 when the No. 09 car wrecked in turn four. Edwards advised crew chief Drew Blickensderfer that the Ford was good, but a little free. Edwards pitted and the crew worked on tightening it up with air adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel. The crew struggled on the stop for a 16.3 second stop, but kept damage to a minimum only losing two spots. Edwards pitted in third and resumed racing in fifth on lap 70. Edwards jumped past the No. 9 and 32 cars on the very next lap and set his sights on the second spot.
Edward moved into second at the half way point on lap 100. He then captured the lead on lap 123 and never relinquished it by leading the last 78 laps.
After the 9th and final caution on lap 195 the race ended in overtime with a green-white-checkered finish. Edwards crossed the start/finish line first on lap 201 capturing his personal high 6th Nationwide Series win for 2008 and his 19th career win. He beat Denny Hamlin with a .096 second margin and then Edwards parked his Ford Fusion on the start/finish line. He emerged from his car and pumped his arms to an estimated crowd of 40,000 and performed his signature victory celebration - the back flip - causing the fans to roar.
“It was just a spectacular night,” stated Edwards. “If we run like we’ve been running and we perform as well as we have and Drew makes the decisions that he’s been making, we can close 56 points without Clint having trouble in Homestead. They just have to have a little bit of an off day. We needed this today. We needed to win this race. We needed to lead the most laps. I’m really proud of how my guys performed. They made up for any of the bad stops with that last one, so that was good. It was definitely a good day; a fun race. I like this race track a lot. Some of the best races that I’ve had have been here and I enjoy it.”
Next week the No. 60 Save-A-Lot team heads to Homestead for the 2008 season finale. Edwards is currently 56 points behind the series leader Clint Bowyer. Edwards has made massive strides in closing the gap and the No. 60 team is on a mission to capture the championship next week in Homestead.
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.