MONTREAL, Que. (August 2, 2008) – Carl Edwards and the No. 60 CitiFinancial team flew across our northern border into Canada to run their second road course race of the season in Montreal on the historic 2.7-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course. The track is nestled in the heart of the province of French Quebec on a man-made island. Edwards and the 43-car field made history by running the first Nationwide points race on rain tires. Edwards started out the race from the 18th position and had an excellent points day finishing 6th with his 12th top-10 of the season. Edwards captured the second spot in the overall points and moved within 168 points of the series leader Clint Bowyer.
Edwards and the No. 60 CitiFinancial team had very high expectations going into Montreal. This was his fourth non-companion race of the 2008 season. These always set the stage for some unique challenges. Edwards’ Sprint Cup race is in Pocono and his Nationwide Series race was in Montreal. There were a lot of logistics involved with both venues, including flying Jack Roush’s jet back and forth across borders, taking helicopters from airports to tracks, golf cart rides, and going through customs on both trips. The No. 60 team called on the experience of driver Erik Darnell to practice the car and help with the setup.
On lap 3 it started raining lightly on the track in turn two and then the rain quickly spread to other parts of the track. By lap 8 it was raining on the entire track and NASCAR waved the first caution flag to bring the 43-car field in to the pits to make history by making the teams put their rain tires on. During this pit stop the red flag came out for 8 minutes. The race went green on lap 13 with the cars on rain tires in a slight drizzle. Before long the drizzle turned into steady rain accompanied by lightning and thunder.
On lap 15 Edwards had moved into the top-10 for the first time and maintained a top-10 run for the remainder of the race. They stayed on rain tires and it rained steadily for the majority of the rest of the race.
During the last of four cautions on lap 47 the cars were directed to pit road because the track had become undriveable with standing water in several areas. On lap 48 NASCAR radioed across to the teams that the race was called for rain and Edwards finished in the 6th position. This was a great points day for Edwards.
“Racing in the rain was a lot of fun,” stated Edwards. “I’m glad we didn’t wreck. I’m proud of my CitiFinancial guys. They did a good job having the car ready for the rain. I want to say thanks to all of the CitiFinancial people who came out to support us today. I just wish it wouldn’t have started raining so hard and we could have raced a little longer. I think we maybe would have been a tick better, but that was good.”
Next week Edwards and the No. 60 team travel to their third Nationwide Series road course race of the season in Watkins Glen, NY. Edwards had a great points day in the overall Nationwide Series, taking over the second spot and gaining 20 big points on first, putting him 168 points behind the series leader Clint Bowyer. Edwards and the No. 60 team will be running the Save-A-Lot colors next weekend.
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.