Carl Edwards "Geeked Out" for Michigan from the Front Row
BROOKLYN, MI -- Columbia's Carl Edwards enters Michigan 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. This season Edwards has achieved two top-five, 10 top-10 finishes and one pole.
Edwards will start on the front row on Sunday in second position alongside pole winner and former teammate Mark Martin. In his previous 16 starts at MIS, Edwards has two wins, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. His average start is 22.2, his average finish is 8.4. He has completed 99 percent of the laps he has attempted at the two-mile track. Only four times in his previous 16 starts has Edwards finished outside the top 10.
"It was a good lap. I am surprised how fast Mark's (Martin) lap was. Ours was good so Mark really stepped it up," said Edwards. "All the folks from West Coast Customs are here and we wanted to get the pole for them really bad. Mark pulled one our there. He was excited when he came in. I got to talk to him and he was wound up. I think you guys will have fun when he gets in here. I believe a good starting spot is key here. I think that it will go long green flag runs and if the speeds are as high as they seem to be - at least for the first part of the race it could be pretty tough to pass, so this could be big for us."
According to NASCAR's loop statistics compiled over the last 16 races at MIS, Edwards has turned 178 of the track's fastest laps which is third highest, spent 2,391 laps (81.4%) in the top 15 (second most) and led a total of 274 laps (third highest). Edwards' driver rating (104.7) is the fourth best among active drivers.
Edwards made his Cup series debut at Michigan in August 2004. He started that race 23rd and finished 10th. Edwards also made his 100th Cup start at MIS in June of 2007. He went on to win that race.
Edwards said, "I remember we ended a long losing streak at Michigan in 2007. Any time you win at Michigan it's big and it's big especially for the guys who race for Jack. His business is based in Michigan. We really appreciate everything Ford has done for our sport, Jack and everyone at RFR, so it's a very special place to win. Victory lane takes a long time there because of all the photos. It's neat to have guys like Edsel (Ford) and all the folks that support us from a technical and financial standpoint so much that it's a special place to win. I think everyone in the garage feels that way."
The No. 99 team will be unloading chassis 739. Edwards last raced this car at Las Vegas where he finished fifth. Since then this car has been fitted with a new body. The Geek Squad paint scheme was designed by Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO & founder of West Coast Customs.
"I feel really good about the car we are taking to Michigan this weekend. It's not a new car, but it has a new body on it and it should be fast. The Roush Fenway cars have always been good at MIS so I'm expecting a strong race with Carl. We've got a really cool Geek Squad/West Coast Customs paint scheme that would look really nice in victory lane," said Crew Chief Chad Norris.
Coverage of the Pure Michigan 400 begins at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN.