Edwards Races to a Top-Five at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Carl Edwards came to Las Vegas looking to defend his race win from last season. Although he did not get the win, he was able to come back from a 21st-starting position to finish in the top five.
Edwards started the race 21st in his Aflac Fusion. He was up to 15th in less than 20 laps and a two-tire pit stop on lap 74 moved him up to 11th. The car was a bit loose, but the crew made slight changes throughout the day to improve the handling and make the car faster.
By lap 100 Edwards was in the top 10. He hung in the top 10 most of the second half of the race. A fuel-only pit stop on lap 230 put him in ninth place, and he moved up to eighth with 25 laps to go. Three cautions slowed the final 25 laps. He moved up to fifth during a restart on lap 251 which put all three Roush Fenway cars in the top five.
During the final restart with four laps to go Matt Kenseth was third, Greg Biffle was fourth and Edwards fifth. There was a bit of a scuffle on the restart as Edwards and Biffle moved around Kenseth who made contact with the outside wall. That also allowed Ryan Newman to sneak up into the top five. Edwards was able to hold his ground and finished the race in fifth place.
Tony Stewart won the race, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Edwards. Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, Trevor Bayne and Dale Earnhardt Jr., rounded out the top 10.
"Matt spun his tires just a little bit on the restart and I went down to the apron," Edwards said. "He gave me a ton of room and we just got all bunched up over there. Greg and I went around him and he ended up getting wrecked. I feel terrible.
"I've got to thank Aflac for being on board, Fastenal, Ford, Subway, Kellogg's, UPS, Best Buy. We were not that good at the beginning of the race. It was fun to battle all day, fun to race at this place. It's slick, it's fun and I'm glad we could at least see the winner up there. It was a good time The whole Roush Fenway team did a good job and at the end it was nice to have three cars up there with a shot at the win. So hopefully, we can go to Bristol and have a good run there next week."
Edwards and the No. 99 team are currently sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, 23 points behind the leader. The next race will be Sunday, March 18 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The race will begin at 1 p.m. (ET) on FOX.
Kobalt Tools 400 Results
Edwards' 2012 Cumulative Record
Races: 3 of 36
Behind Leader: -23
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 2