RICHMOND, VA. (May 2, 2008) – It was an exciting night under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 60 Save-A-lot team qualified second with a great run on the .75-mile oval. Edwards reported a little snug in the center condition throughout the majority of the race, but was able to keep his Save-a-Lot Ford Fusion in the top-ten the entire race. A late race gamble to not pit for tires with 21 laps remaining sent Edwards falling back in the field where he finally landed in the 7th position when the checkers waved.
On lap 18 Edwards passed the No. 9 and took the lead where he stayed for 130 laps. He gained five bonus points for leading and another five bonus points for leading the most laps of the race. The first caution flag flew on lap 66 and Edwards brought his Ford in for tires and fuel and minor air pressure adjustments. The pit crew got him back out in 14.53 seconds and he maintained the lead position.
The second caution flew on lap 78 for debris on the track and Edwards opted to stay out. On lap 100 he radioed into his crew that his car was just a little free around the center. On lap 141 the third caution came out and Edwards pitted for four tires and fuel. A dropped lug nut on the right rear cost him some valuable time and he was in 2nd when he left the pits. Edwards stayed in 2nd for the next 98 laps and stayed out on the track during the last five cautions.
Unfortunately, the late-race gamble to stay out on lap 227 during the sixth caution did not pay off. Edwards was driving around on old tires and struggling to maintain his position, let alone catch Harvick in the No. 33 for the lead.
The race ended in a green-white-checker and on lap 247 Edwards had dropped to 6th. He lost one more position and ended the race in the 7th spot. Denny Hamlin in the No. 20 had fresh tires and passed Edwards and then Harvick for the win.
Yeah, Harvick (Kevin) and I were up there leading and we just didn't pit and everybody else did,” stated Edwards. “That was it. But they had like 10 cars between us and the guy behind us, so they all got time to think about what they were gonna do. By watching the leaders stay out, it's an easy decision then. I should have pitted. It's just a mistake. Oh yeah, that's a terrible feeling, but the good thing is the car was fast enough to win.”
“Everybody worked really hard on the Save-a-Lot Ford Fusion tonight. It was fantastic. We had a great effort. We came here and tested and had a strong test for Richmond. We came back and had a strong racecar all night long. We had a little hiccup in the pits there that took us out of the lead a little bit. The cars were so close in competition tonight. We just needed that little bit more to keep that car out front. Caution came out. We ended up staying out instead of pitting. It cost us a few more positions than we’d like. We’ll keep digging. We’ll go back to Loudon with this car and put a big “W” in it,” commented crew chief Pierre Kuettel.
Next week Edwards travels to Darlington Raceway for his second consecutive night race. This will be his fourth start on the 1.366-mile track. Edwards closed within nine points of Clint Bowyer for the overall Nationwide Series points lead. The No. 60 team goes to Edwards’ favorite track at Darlington and will be representing Scotts Water Smart next weekend.
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.