Edwards Gearing Up for Pocono
POCONO - Carl Edwards will make his 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Pocono Raceway in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500. Edwards currently leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings by 11 points over Jimmie Johnson with one win, 10 top fives and 13 top 10s.In 13 starts at the 2.5-mile track, Edwards has two wins, five top-five and six top-10 finishes. He has an average start of 21.6 and an average finish of 14.3.
"I think Pocono has a bunch of challenges. Adding shifting to the mix is a whole other challenge. As a driver, you have to shift correctly. The guys who build the gear boxes and the engines have to realize that they're going to have a ton more wear and tear. I think Tony Stewart was a great example of a guy that was blistering fast and just ended up having trouble. He was shifting in all three corners from what I could see, so who knows? When you go there do you shift and go as fast as you can, or do you save your car for the end? There are some tough decisions to be made in the race car that could have huge outcomes on the season, so I think it's going to be an interesting race. It's a test of patience and endurance for the car and the driver," said Edwards.
The No. 99 team will be unloading the same Ford Fusion that Edwards won with at Vegas and finished second at Darlington. According to NASCAR's Loop Statistics compiled over the last 13 races at Pocono, Edwards has turned 155 of the track's fastest laps which is fifth highest and led a total of 210 laps (fourth highest). Edwards' driver rating (97.7) is sixth best among active drivers.
"Pocono is the most unique race track we go to on the circuit. It is a challenging race track, but I enjoy racing there," said Crew Chief Bob Osborne, "with three different corners and a very long straightaway, there is a fine line between being good and being good enough to win. It takes a series of compromises to the set-up to run fast there. We had a good car in June, but a broken valve early in the race took us out of contention."