Edwards and Team Look for Second-Half Surge
CONCORD, NC -- The No. 99 Fastenal team of Carl Edwards has not had the season it hoped for in the first 17 races of the Sprint Cup schedule. This weekend's race in Daytona kicks off the second half of the season and a chance for the team to win a few races and be in Chase contention by the cut-off in September.
After 17 events, Edwards sits 11th in the point standings. He has two top-five and eight top-10 finishes, along with one pole earned at the Daytona 500. Only 34 points out of 10th place, crew chief Bob Osborne is optimistic for the next nine races leading up to the 2012 Chase.
"It is tough times right now," Osborne said. "We're definitely on the bottom end of an upswing. We're just going to stick to what we know. We had a lot of success last year and we think we have a good set of notes to go off of from that. We're just going to stick to our guns here and push through with what we, and our teammates, have experience with which is the same thing they are extremely successful with so far this year, so there is no reason why it won't be for us. We've made some mistakes this season and we've got to cut those out completely, and we've got to capitalize on the situations that are put in front of us.
"We want to win as many as we can, that's for sure, but we can't give it away either. We are going to go race as hard as we can race every weekend and we're going to make the best decisions we can make to get us to victory lane if the opportunity is there, and get the most points at the end of the race. We're not going to go crazy here, it's either going to work our way or it's not. We're going to do the very best we can every weekend and we expect that to be good enough."
Heading into Daytona for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400, Osborne and the team feel confident for the race. Although Edwards has not won at Daytona in Sprint Cup, he has four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 15 starts. Edwards will be racing the No. 99 Subway Ford this weekend.
"We're taking a different car to Daytona this weekend since the car we raced in the 500 got destroyed at Talladega in the spring," Osborne said. "We're taking our Shootout car which was actually very good so we'll run it as the primary this weekend.
"These races are nerve-wracking whether it's the 500 at the beginning of the year, or Talladega at the end of the year. It's because you feel like you have some control at the downforce-type tracks, but at these superspeedways it feels like it's in everybody else's hands and you are just sitting back and watching."