This weekend at Martinsville Speedway marks an historic milestone for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. When the green flag drops on Sunday RFR will make its 3,000th start in NASCAR’s premier series. Of the current 2,999 starts Carl Edwards has accounted for 297 of them, along with 19 wins from those starts.
Edwards made his first Cup start for RFR on August 22, 2004 at Michigan International Speedway sporting the “Green Lantern” on the hood of his No. 99 Ford. It was a day Edwards still remembers fondly.
“My first Sprint Cup start was at Michigan in August 2004,” Edwards said. “I couldn’t believe this opportunity came up. It was my birthday and I was at home when I got the call I could move up to the Cup level. That opportunity was everything I had worked for the last 10 years of my life.
“I was overwhelmed with the idea that I was going to be on the track with guys like Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. I still remember the start of the race, standing on pit road for the National Anthem. I think half of the state of Missouri was there with me and it was the most amazing moment.
“Greg Biffle won the race and all five of Jack Roush’s Fords finished in the top 10. I finished 10th and it was a great day. I can’t tell you how neat that was. That race was 400 miles long and it could have been 4,000 miles long and I wouldn’t have cared. I was so pumped to be driving one of Jack’s Cup cars.”
This weekend Edwards will make his 298th Cup start driving the No. 99 Geek Squad/West Coast Customs Ford at Martinsville. He will be looking for his first win at the half-mile track and his 20th career Cup win.