TALLADEGA, AL (April 27, 2008) – Talladega Superspeedway is famous for high speeds, close competition and the “Big One”. The NASCAR Nationwide Series made it’s only appearance of the 2008 season at the 2.66-mile Alabama track this weekend. Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Save-a-Lot Team had a very fast car and went from 11th to break into the top-10 by the first lap.
The first of eight caution flags flew on lap 11 when the No. 40 car hit the wall and then was broadsided by the No. 91. Edwards pitted for four tires, fuel and a round out of the left rear in a 14.63 second pit stop. When the green flag waved again on lap 15, Edwards was shown in the 13th spot. He radioed in to his crew that the car was good.
Only three laps later the second caution came out for a blown tire on the No. 29 car that caused it to hit the wall. Edwards stayed out and when green flag racing resumed on lap 24 he had moved up into 9th. He had moved all the way up to 2nd and was drafting with the No. 20 on lap 27. Edwards stayed in the top-10 for the next 13 laps. He got shuffled back into 11th on lap 41.
The third caution flag came out on lap 43 when the No. 24 car went spinning around and Edwards had already moved back up into 10th. Edwards came in to pit for four tires, fuel and some tape off the grill. When the green flag waved on lap 46 he had dropped back to 11th because of different pit strategies.
The No. 6 car spun off of turn two to bring out the fourth caution flag on lap 63. The No. 60 crew pitted for right side tires only and Edwards gained four spots in the pits. When racing resumed on lap 66 he was scored in 5th.
Then the “Big One” that this track is so infamous for happened on lap 70 and collected sixteen cars including Edwards. Upon impact the No. 60 car was immediately airborne and the entire front left quarter was destroyed. Unfortunately, Edwards’ car was so badly damaged that his racing for the day was ended. The race was red-flagged while the safety crews removed the wrecked piles of sheet metal that were once race cars. The No. 60 Save-a-Lot Ford Fusion was among them. When the race was over he was in 31st place.
“I don’t even know what color the car was that I hit. I just want to make sure I don’t make some sort of stupid statement before I see the replay, but in my mind, unless it shows otherwise, it just looks like somebody, I think it was the 61 of Kevin Lepage, I think he just pulled up right in front of the field. I don’t know. It’s too bad. The Save-a-Lot guys are all here and last time we had a great car and we wrecked in Vegas. Yes, so I’m driving along minding my own business and “Good afternoon!” I don’t know. I’m just glad I didn’t get hurt. I’m glad I didn’t get a piece of rollbar stuck through my floorboard,” stated Edwards. “I’m great. I’m just really frustrated. This whole restrictor plate deal is a great spectacle. It’s great for the fans, but stuff like that could kill somebody. That’s just the bottom line. I’m fine. I’m real fortunate all the safety stuff they do. That was wild. Just driving along and that car was right there in front of me. I did not expect him to pull up. I don’t know what the miscommunication was. But, that’s real bad for Save-a-Lot. We’ve had two great cars with them and wrecked both of them. It’s just too bad. That was a very interesting wreck.”
“The Save-a-Lot Ford Fusion ran really strong today,” commented Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel. “We had a good qualifying effort. Carl was really using his head. We were just out there biding our time. Had that caution come a little bit early, so we just topped off and we were ready to go. All we needed to do was stop one more time and get a few seconds of fuel and I think we were set up to win this deal. It’s really unfortunate. The guys worked really hard on this car. We came back from Daytona with it and they really polished it. Everybody did a fantastic job. So I really hate it for all the guys at Save-a-Lot. Twice now we’ve been running up front and twice now we haven’t really gotten a good finish for them. We’ll keep working on it.”
Next week Edwards travels to Richmond, VA. He has posted two top-5’s there out of six starts, including a win in 2005. Edwards maintained second in the overall Nationwide Championship points standings, trailing by 27 points behind the leader Clint Bowyer. The No. 60 team will be back representing Save-a-Lot in Richmond.
Save-A-Lot is the nation's leading extreme value, edited assortment grocery chain, operating more than 1,150 value-oriented stores in all types of neighborhoods — urban, rural and suburban — and delivers terrific savings, up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores.
The Save-A-Lot store network spans from Maine to California, serving more than 4 million shoppers each week. Customers enjoy savings on exclusive Save-A-Lot brands and national brands, plus USDA-inspected beef, pork and poultry, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and non-food items. Save-A-Lot also offers a selection of baked goods, dairy, frozen food items and general merchandise Save-A-Lot is a wholly owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU INC., a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel. For more information visit www.save-a-lot.com.
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.