Electrical Problem Spoils Carl Edwards Day at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI - Michigan International Speedway has historically been a great track for Carl Edwards and the entire Roush Fenway Racing team. Unfortunately Edwards never got the chance to see what his No. 99 Aflac Ford was capable of as an electrical issue sent him to the garage after only 30 laps of racing on Sunday.
Edwards started 22nd and reported the car was tight in the center and loose off in the early laps. He pitted for wedge and air pressure adjustments during the first caution on lap 30, but after he left the pits he told the team he thought the car was down a cylinder. Crew chief Bob Osborne told him to bring the car to pit road immediately to see if perhaps a spark plug wire was loose.
Edwards came to the pits as the race resumed and when the team found nothing obvious wrong they were forced to take it to the garage for further diagnostics. The Aflac crew spent the next 28 laps changing the ignition boxes, spark plugs and plug wires. After that the car fired up and Edwards returned to the track. The crew was not sure which part was the issue until they can inspect all the replaced parts when they return to the shop on Monday.
Now 28 laps down, Edwards returned to the race in 36th place. With few cautions and little attrition he was not able to gain any positions, although he finished the entire race and even ran some of the fastest laps after he got back on track.
Kyle Busch won the race followed by Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10.
"It was a very tough race," Edwards said. "I thought we would have a Ford in victory lane. I thought one way or another we would win this thing. I don't know what was wrong with it. It felt like it was running on seven cylinders. We changed a bunch of stuff and then it was fixed. It wasn't something mechanical, it was probably something with some electrical connection, or a coil or something. My Aflac guys did a good job. We were prepared for this race to go bad. We were going all out to win this thing and we were prepared for something but we weren't expecting that. We weren't expecting a failure like that."
Edwards and the No. 99 team are tied for third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with Kevin Harvick, 39 points behind leader Kyle Busch. The next race will be Saturday, August 27 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN.