AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 11, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 World Financial Group team were very strong and had a very exciting race by running in the top-10 for the entire 200 laps under the lights at Phoenix International Raceway. Edwards’ Ford Fusion posted a good qualifying time which placed him in the 3rd starting position. Edwards raced Kyle Busch for the lead, trading positions and fighting to the very end. The win wasn’t decided until the very last lap. The flurry of cautions at the end stymied Edwards’ fight for the lead and he finally had to settle for 2nd place on the 1-mile oval for his fifth top-five of the 2008 season.
Edwards’ car was a little loose for the start of the race. He ran it that way until he pitted for adjustments during the first caution on lap 33 when the No. 37 car wrecked. They changed four tires, took a half round out of the left rear, and fueled it in 14.35 seconds. The race went green on lap 38 and Edwards’ was up to 4th. The second caution came out on lap 38 when teammate McMurray spun the No. 16 car and Edwards stayed out. Green flag racing resumed on lap 43 and he was up to 3rd. Edwards had the fastest car for a good portion of the race even though he was a little loose.
On lap 63 the third caution flag came out for debris on the track. Edwards pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment in a 14.16 second pit stop. He entered the pits in 4th and was still in 4th when the green flag waved on lap 67. Edwards took the lead on lap 74 to earn his five bonus points. The fourth caution flew on lap 77 and Edwards stayed out. Racing resumed on lap 82 and Edwards was challenged for the lead by the No. 20 car. He dropped back to 2nd on lap 84.
Edwards was able to regain the lead on lap 103. The fourth caution came out on lap 104 when the No. 66 car spun in turn 4. The No. 60 crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a wedge adjustment in 14.75 seconds. Edwards had maintained the lead when green flag racing resumed on lap 109. He radioed to his crew that his car was still a little free. The No. 18 car passed him on lap 112. He maintained 2nd until lap 159 when he was able to take the lead back.
The sixth caution flag came out on lap 178 and Edwards came in for tires and fuel in 15.22 seconds. He had dropped back to 2nd again on lap 183. Edwards stayed out on the track during the next two cautions when the No. 5 spun in turn 2 on lap 183 and the No. 38 wrecked on lap 190. Green flag racing resumed on lap 194 and the battle began again for the lead. Edwards fought hard for the lead and fought side by side with the No. 18 until the No. 29 car hit the wall on lap 197 setting the stage for a green-white-checkered finish.
The final laps were intense and the battle was exciting, but ultimately the No. 60 had to settle for 2nd place. Edwards was able to shave his points deficit to 24 points behind the series leader Clint Bowyer.
“If the fans didn’t like this one, I don’t know what they came for,” stated Edwards. “That was a pretty good race right there. I needed a couple more laps; I didn’t need that last caution. I had a good run on Kyle Busch and our World Financial Group Ford was great. I just hate to lose that thing. I’m glad we get a chance to race tomorrow because it’s going to be hard to sleep tonight. Running second is no fun. It was a good points night, but we don’t do this for points, man, we do this for wins. It was a good race. That’s fun to be able to race like that. It’s just too bad to finish second. I wish we had a couple more laps.”
“The World Financial Group Ford Fusion sure ran strong tonight,” commented Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel. “Carl did an outstanding job wheeling that thing. We just about had a perfect night. We just didn’t need that caution there at the end. The No. 29 car kind of hurt us there. We were just about ready to come around him and it came out. We struggled a little bit in the pits there in the end. All in all it was the caution that killed us. We’re going to take this momentum and move on. We cut our points deficit in half and we’re just going to keep trying to do that each week.”
Next week the No. 60 Team heads to its first international venue for 2008 and first road course of the year in Mexico City, Mexico. They will be sporting the Scotts Water Smart paint scheme. Edwards is focused on winning his first road course and international race. He is very focused on catching Clint Bowyer for the lead. Edwards is currently second in the overall NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings and just 24 points out of the lead.
About World Financial Group
World Financial Group is a financial services marketing organization whose affiliates offer life insurance and a broad array of financial products and services. Through its independent associates in the United States and Canada, World Financial Group strives to help individuals and families who are often overlooked by the financial services industry to plan for their financial futures and work toward their goals.
World Financial Group is a member of the AEGON Group, one of the world’s largest life insurance and pension companies and a strong provider of investment products.
World Financial Group’s Headquarters is located at 11315 Johns Creek Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097-1517; phone: 770-453-9300. For more information, visit our website wfg-online.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.