Long Pond, P.A. (June 10, 2013) – Carl Edwards started the No. 99 Cheez-It Ford from the front row in second-place, but after a pit stop strategy fell short, was left with an 18th-place finish at Pocono Raceway’s “tricky triangle”.
Edwards and his team qualified second for the Party in the Poconos 400, after rain conditions cancelled Friday’s qualifying round and left the lineup to owners’ points. The team had high expectations for the day after Edwards proved strong right out of the gate, leading the first nine laps over fellow NASCAR series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Edwards brought the No. 99 Cheez-It Ford to pit road on laps 25 and 54 for fresh tires, fuel and wedge adjustments that aimed to alleviate the loose handling issues into turns one and three. The team’s luck took a turn when under caution, the team decided not to take two tires and was edged out on the restart by those teams who had.
Edwards spent the next 30 laps bringing the No. 99 Ford back up to eighth place when the second yellow went out at lap 125. The team came in for the routine tire, fuel and wedge adjustments, but Edwards was forced to bring the car back onto pit road to check the left-rear lug nuts. Although there were no errors to report, Edwards lost valuable track position during the stop and was set in 24th for the restart.
Although the team suffered a setback during the last caution, Edwards still managed to bring the No. 99 Ford back into the pack, working his way from 24th to 18th when the 400-mile race was done.
Edwards and the No. 99 team returns to the track next weekend for the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Raceway on Sunday, June 16th at 12 p.m. EST on TNT.