Concord, N.C. (May 19, 2013) – 2011 Sprint All-Star champion Carl Edwards sat on the pole for tonight’s All-Star Race, but after a pit strategy didn’t fall in the team’s favor, the No. 99 Fastenal Ford settled for a tenth-place finish at the checkered flag.
“Yeah, it was going well and then we stayed out and obviously we should have pitted,” said Edwards. “Clint did the same thing. I think we gambled on the air being a little more important than it was.”
In this year’s All-Star race, the 90 lap event was divided into four segments of 20 and a remaining 10 lap segment, requiring at least one pit stop prior to the last 10 laps and a mandatory four-tire change under caution before the final laps began.
Edwards, who started from the front line after snagging the pole in yesterday’s qualifying round, remained a front runner, finishing fourth in the first round, third in the next two and fourth again for the fourth 20-lap segment. NASCAR rules reset the lineup before the final 10 laps based on each driver’s average finishes from the previous segments, sending the No. 99 Fastenal Ford to sixth place at lap 80.
At the restart, Edwards was shuffled back but fortunately was able to regain a few positions, sliding him into the top-10 for the final lap and topping off his eighth top-10 finish of the 2013 season.
“We thought we could hold them off and it just wasn’t meant to be,” Edwards continued. “We learned a big lesson, though, so we can apply that to the 600. If we would have come in, we would have wondered what it was like if we had stayed out, so you learn lessons. That’s how it goes.”
Edwards will bring a special No. 99 Fastenal Ford paint scheme to the track for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 26th at 7 p.m. on FOX.