Fontana, Calif. (Mar. 26, 2013) – When the checkered flag waved in the Auto Club 400, Carl Edwards claimed an exciting fourth-place finish in the No. 99 Subway Ford; jumping four spots up to fourth-place in the points standings leading into Martinsville
“Yeah, we had to have tires,” Edwards said. “That was just an unbelievable race. It is so cool to come here to California and have a standard old school NASCAR race where tires make a difference. I knew the third place guy was going to win. I could just feel the tension up there between Joey and Denny. It was really a great show. I hope the fans enjoyed it. That is about as good as it gets. Congrats to Kyle (Busch), he hung on. Kyle and I had a heck of a battle for third and he got me and he won the race. He did a good job.”
After a tough few rounds of practice in Fontana, the Subway Ford rallied from the 24th – starting position, gaining 11 spots by the time the first caution waved on lap 29. Edwards brought his machine to pit-road for four tires, wedge and air pressure adjustments to assist with the loose condition, especially around turn two
On lap 136, Edwards expressed concern with debris on the grill of the Subway Ford. Soon after, RFR teammate Greg Biffle dropped the No. 16 3M Ford back so that Edwards was able to remove the debris from the grill and resume speed climbing his way towards 11th place.
As the race was nearing the last 30 laps, the Columbia, Missouri native brought his machine in for four fresh tires while much of the field only changed two. Differences in pit strategy dropped Edwards back to the 14th- position for the restart. Edwards quickly maneuvered his Subway Ford up to the sixth-position when the final yellow flag was displayed on lap 187.
The turning point for Edwards came in the final moments of the 200-lap race, when under a caution crew chief Jimmy Fennig insisted on four fresh Goodyear tires with only 14 laps remaining. The restart began with only 11 laps left when Edwards’ spotter warned him of “hungry” leaders and eluded to the last second crash that ensued during the dash to the checkered flag between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin.
Kyle Busch was declared the winner, with Earnhardt, Jr., Logano, Edwards and Biffle rounding out the top five finishes.
The No. 99 returns to the track in the Fastenal Ford on Sunday, April 7th for the STP Booster 500 in Martinsville, VA.