DAYTONA, FL. (July 4, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 Save-A-Lot team started Independence Day at Daytona International Speedway with a bang by forging forward from 9th to 4th on the second lap. They raced in the top-10 the whole night until the very last lap. Edwards disputed the final call by NASCAR after the last caution that placed the points leader Clint Bowyer in front of him. The call was later reversed by NASCAR after they reviewed the video tape, but it was too late for Edwards who was recorded as finishing 11th place under a green-white-checkered finish.
Edwards radioed crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on lap 12 that the car felt tight. On lap 14 the first caution flag flew and Edwards pitted for fuel, four tires and a slight air adjustment. The team completed a 14.7 second stop and got Edwards back out in the 6th position. Edwards had entered the pits in 2nd, but several teams took only two tires instead of four. Green flag racing resumed on lap 17.
Edwards moved up to take the lead from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on lap 22 and maintained it until lap 31 when the second caution flag flew for oil on the track. Edwards pitted for fuel, four tires and another air adjustment during a 15.45 second stop. He entered the pits in 1st but left in 3rd because the No. 88 and No. 99 only took two tires.
Over the next 40 laps Edwards ran in the top-5 until he green flag pitted on lap 78 for fuel, four tires and left side air adjustments. The Save-A-Lot crew blistered off the best stop of the night with a 13.9 second stop, catapulting Edwards into the lead for the second time on lap 81 after the 43-car field had cycled through.
Over the next couple laps Edwards shuffled from 4th back to 1st, but was in 4th when the last caution came out when Edwards’ Roush Fenway teammate wrecked on lap 98. This wreck caused a dispute with NASCAR on where Edwards would restart when the race went green. Edwards called over the radio and advised Blickensderfer that Bowyer had never been in front of him, but NASCAR was telling him to start behind the No. 2 car. Blickensderfer questioned the officials, but they advised Edwards to line up behind Bowyer.
This set up a green-white-checkered finish and Edwards starting from the 6th position. When the race went green, Edwards went to block the No. 1 car. They made contact which caused him to shuffle back to the 11th position on the very last lap and that’s where he finished the 100 lap race on the superspeedway.
“I was real upset,” stated Edwards. “When Colin Braun wrecked on the back straightaway, I was 100 feet in front of Clint Bowyer and then on the restart, because I drove through the grass, I didn’t go through their timing loop there, so they scored me behind Clint, which was very frustrating. I felt like we had a chance to win. And then on the restart, it just didn’t work out for us. Very, very frustrating. Congrats to Denny and those guys, they did a great job, and I hope the fans enjoyed the race tonight. It was a lot of fun out there on the race track and my Save-A-Lot team did a great job and were awesome in the pits.”
After the race NASCAR advised the No. 60 team they made the wrong decision by placing Edwards behind Bowyer on the final restart. The race was already final, so nothing could be changed.
Edwards and the No. 60 team maintained 3rd in the overall Nationwide Series points standing after a very promising night. He is currently 218 points behind the points leader Clint Bowyer.
Next week Edwards travels close to home to Chicagoland Speedway for another Friday night race under the lights. Edwards and the No. 60 team will be back in the World Financial colors next week.
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. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645.