Carl Edwards headed to Pocono for the 19th time in his Sprint Cup Series career looking to capture his third win at the Tricky Triangle. Starting from the 10th-spot, the Roush Fenway Racing driver fell victim to an ill-timed debris caution on lap 59 during green flag stops which set the No.99 Kellogg’s Ford Fusion back to 15th. Crew chief Jimmy Fennig set into play a fuel strategy for the remainder of the day which would have put Edwards in contention for a solid finish. Unfortunately, the car of Kasey Kahne blew up in front of him, leaving a trail of oil which Edwards could not avoid, sending him into the wall, and ending the day in the 41st-position.
“I saw Kasey hit the wall really hard,” said Edwards. I think it was Kasey in the No. 5 car I tried to avoid it but there was oil all over the track and I plowed into the back of him. Everyone did a good job of missing me but man Kasey hit hard. I hope he is alright. We will go get some Cheez-Its now and go watch the end of the race I guess.”
Edwards began the Pocono 400 with a car that was tight everywhere but became more manageable as the day progressed. During the second round of green flag pit stops, a caution was called while Edwards was running in second. The Columbia, Missouri native had yet to stop, and had to pit under yellow, dropping him back to 15th.
The turn of events may have played to the advantage of the No.99 team. During the following yellow on lap 72, Fennig opted to stay out and save gas, developing a strategy that would allow Edwards to make it to the checkered with one less stop than much of the field.
Edwards pitted for the last time under caution on lap 130 and restarted in 26th hoping that this would put him in contention at the end, as many of the other cars on the track still needed to stop one more time. With about 17 laps remaining the No.5 car blew up in Edwards’ path sending him to the garage with a 41st-place finish.
Edwards will return to the track at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 15th sitting seventh in points. Coverage of the Quicken Loans 400 begins at 1 pm ET on TNT.