Early Trouble Plagues Edwards at Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 29, 2012) – Carl Edwards had hoped to end the race at Indy by kissing the yard of bricks at the famed 2.5-mile oval, but it was not meant to be this time. Edwards was running fourth early in the race when he told the crew something was wrong under the hood. He lost four laps fixing the issue, but was able to finish the race in 29th place.
Edwards and new crew chief Chad Norris qualified second for the 160-lap race. The entire Fastenal team had high expectations and Edwards ran well early in the race. He was in fourth place after 10 laps, but shortly after that he told the team that something was amiss under the hood. The team hoped to wait for a caution to have more time to diagnose the problem, but they could not wait for that.
Edwards brought the Fastenal Ford to pit road on lap 14 and the crew checked under the hood and tried a few simple fixes. In the process he fell back to 41st and went two laps down. That did not seem to help so when the first caution of the race came on lap 42 he returned to the pits for more extensive options to try to fix it. The crew changed several things and Edwards told them the car was back to 100 percent. Unfortunately he was in 35th and four laps down.
He spent the rest of the race trying to pick up any positions he could. The car was running fast lap times, but there was no way to make up the four laps. Edwards finished the race four laps down in 29th place.
Jimmie Johnson won the race followed Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart rounded out the top 10.
“We changed the ECU along with the spark plugs and the engine started running better,” Edwards said. “The biggest thing is what we were talking about after the race which is our strategy now. I don’t think we are point racing anymore. I think we are officially racing only for wins. We were going over what happened while it was fresh in our mind to determine the best strategy. We had one thing, we had a very fast race car. Greg (Biffle) finished third with his car and I felt like ours was as good as his 3M Fusion. Right now we are going to talk to the guys. Chad and I want to make sure they know that we do not quit. We keep going. We don’t give up. We put our best effort out there and if it is meant to be, it will be.”
Edwards and the No. 99 team are now 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 61 points behind 10th place. The next race will be Sunday, August 5 at Pocono Raceway. The race will begin at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.