Edwards Falls Short on Fuel on the Final Lap at Phoenix
AVONDALE, AZ -- Carl Edwards always enjoys racing at Phoenix International Raceway ever since he made his first pavement start there in 2001. The No. 99 team brought a new Subway Ford Fusion to compete in the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Edwards and the crew did not have the easiest weekend after qualifying 24th, but it looked as though a top-10 finish was in sight until the final lap when Edwards ran out of fuel falling back to 17th.
Edwards fought a tight car much of the race and the crew made adjustments on every stop to help the handling. By halfway he had worked his way up to 12th and said the Ford was still a bit tight in the center. By lap 200 the car had become quite a bit tighter and Edwards was in danger of going a lap down. As luck would have it a caution for debris on lap 229 was just what the team needed.
After a four-tire stop Edwards restarted in 11th on lap 234. The Subway Ford was nearly damaged on lap 257 when he got loose near Ryan Newman, who spun and hit the wall. Without significant damage Edwards was able to stay out and move up to seventh.
With 10 laps to go Edwards was in eighth place. He was ninth with three to go and it looked as though he would get his second top-10 finish of the season. Unfortunately before he could take the checkered flag he radioed to crew chief Bob Osborne that he was out of fuel. As he coasted to the finish line Edwards slipped back to 17th place to finish the race.
Denny Hamlin won the race, followed by Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.
"We made our way up there and did a good job with strategy, we just didn't know that we were going to run out of fuel there," Edwards said. "I think we thought we had a little more fuel in it than we did, but that is the way it goes. It took us a long time to get up towards the front but I felt like once we did we had a pretty good race car. It is a big race for us with Subway and everybody and we would have loved to get a victory for them but we just ran out of fuel at the end. I couldn't believe it. I thought we were about a lap short but we ended up being a few laps short."
Edwards and the No. 99 team are currently 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 26 points behind the leader. The next race will be Sunday, March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race will begin at 2 p.m. (CT) on FOX.