Every Point Counts, Edwards Looking to Rebound at Fontana
CONCORD, NC -- When Carl Edwards tied in points (losing the tiebreaker) for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship he and the No. 99 team were reminded how important every point is throughout the season. When Edwards' Cheez-It Ford was severely damaged in an accident on lap 24 during last Sunday's race at Bristol the team knew immediately they had to get the car back out on track to gain even a few additional points.
Although repairing a damaged race car looks like a chaotic event, it is actually a well-choreographed routine that each member of the team is prepared to handle.
"We figured out last year that every point counts so when we wrecked at Bristol last weekend we were determined to get back on the race track to gain as many points as possible and not get a DNF," said crew chief Bob Osborne.
"To be prepared for that we have mechanics assigned to certain parts of the cars so if it is damaged they know where to go, what to do and how to do it right away, and there is no question of what needs to be done," Osborne continued. "If it's damaged a particular mechanic is assigned to it to fix it and get it ready to go back on the race track.
"We pretty much rebuilt the race car in Bristol to get it back on the track. We put a new rear end in it, new truck arms and a new front suspension. We had to cut the clip and bend it back into position, and then weld it back together. It was quite an extensive repair and the guys did a great job."
Edwards returned to the race in 41st place, 251 laps down from the leader. By returning to the track and finishing the race he ended up 39th which gave the team two more points than if they would have loaded up the car and gone home. When the checkered flag flies at Homestead in November, those two points could be worth a championship.
Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway can be seen on SPEED at 6 P.M. (CT) on Friday night.