Talladega, Ala. (May 5, 2013) – In today’s Aaron’s 499, drivers were challenged by not just superspeedway racing, but rainy weather and lots of waiting. After a prolonged rain delay and trying to maneuver around Talladega Superspeedway, Carl Edwards was able to take the No. 99 Fastenal Ford to an exciting third-place finish and remains second in the point’s standings.
“We were going to win the race if it rained, and then I thought we were still going to win this thing and it just wasn’t meant to be,” said Edwards. “But it’s the most fun I’ve had at Talladega.”
Saturday’s weather conditions had already rained out qualifying and the fastest practice speed sent the No. 99 Fastenal Ford to the pole position to begin the race. Weather concerns moved up today’s green flag by 13 minutes and the Aaron’s 499 began while competitors and fans closely watched as the weather moved in.
At the start of the race, Edwards was quickly shuffled to the back upon the green flag but was pushing his way back to the front as the halfway point hit in Talladega. On lap 122, the predicted weather finally hit and brought out the third caution of the day out, just as Edwards sat in a comfortable leader position. Should the weather have remained in the area long enough, Edwards would have been sent to his second victory lane of the season. Instead, a prolonged three hour and 45 minute wait ensued and the field finally returned to the grid for the remaining 63 laps.
Upon the restart, Edwards spent most of the next 30 laps running in the top 10. The Blue Team gave Edwards his last bit of fuel on the fifth and final pit stop while he sat in eighth place. Shortly thereafter, the final caution came out with just 15 laps remaining and Edwards had the checkered flag in his sight.
Edwards sat in fourth place at the final restart, hungry for his second win of the season and although he was leading on the white flag lap into turn two, he was unfortunately taken over by fellow Ford drivers David Ragan and David Gilliland in the remaining seconds of the race, landing the No. 99 team in a third-place finish.
“That was crazy,” Edwards continued. “I blocked everybody I could. I was doing everything I could. I blocked Matt and I thought, ‘Oh, we’ve got it.’ And then I saw Jimmie coming and I blocked him and I thought, ‘Who is that back there?’ It was this Ford freight train coming and I just couldn’t stay in front of them. David did everything but wreck me. He did everything right and I still thought he was going to wreck when he was looking in his mirror and he almost hit the apron and he wiggled coming to the line, so I thought we still might get this thing, but it’s awesome for David Ragan.”
Edwards returns to the track in Darlington, South Carolina for next weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at 6:45 p.m. on FOX.