DAYTONA, FL (February 14, 2009) – Carl Edwards and his new crew chief (Dan Stillman) had a very eventful debut for their first race together in the 2009 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Their Scotts Ford Fusion qualified 10th and at the start of the race Edwards struggled during the first half with a very tight race car. The Scotts crew was able to fix the condition and get his Ford dialed in to lead laps and put Edwards in a position to fight for the win on the last lap. He finished second for his best Daytona finish in the Nationwide Series.
Edwards started the Camping World 300 from the 10th starting position. He had moved up to 5th by the fourth lap, but his Ford Fusion tightened up and started falling back. He had fallen back to 15th on lap 27 when the first caution flag flew for debris. Stillman, Crew Chief of the No. 60 Scotts Ford Fusion called for major changes and the Scotts crew blistered off their first pit stop of the season in 15.4 seconds. They made major adjustments trying to tighten up the Ford by making front air pressure adjustments and going up three rounds on the track bar. They gained six positions putting Edwards in the 9th position when racing resumed on lap 31.
On lap 35 Edwards advised Stillman that the car was a little better, but still was very tight. Stillman advised they would make more changes on the next stop.
The No. 60 team pitted for their second stop under the second caution on lap 55 from the 15th position and changed four tires, added fuel, went down a round on the track bar and put a rubber in the right rear. The crew struggled with a 18.8 second pit stop and lost four spots when the race went green on lap 60.
On lap 89 Edwards started his charge to the front from the 26th position. He moved into the top-10 by lap 100 and never looked back. He was in the top-5 by lap 102 and took over the lead for the first time on lap 106 to gain his five bonus points. He led the next seven laps and stayed in the mix for the remainder of the 120 lap race.
The last couple laps were a free-for-all between Edwards, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer. They were all pushing each other, going back and forth until Edwards pushed Stewart across the start/finish line for a very hard fought second place finish.
"The 18 [Busch] pushed the 80 down the back straightaway," Edwards said. "They got in the corner. He pushed him all the way up. I thought, 'Man, this is it; we're going to have a run. Coming off [Turn] 4, I was a little too close. Clint was right on my bumper, pushed me right by Kyle. He gave me like the half-inch I needed there. Then we got all straightened out, coming to the line. Same deal. Clint was still pushing me. I had a little run on Tony. He came up. I thought, 'Man, we're going to -- this is going to be smoke and walls and all that.' But it ended up he gave me enough room, and I still ended up second."
Next week Edwards and the No. 60 Scotts team travel to California. The team has had a lot of success there with a win, a pole and six top-10’s.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.