Atlanta: Carl Edwards preview

Edwards And The Scotts Team Ready To Spring Into Atlanta Concord, NC (March 16, 2005) -- Just seven short races ago, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team traveled to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Edwards first Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval. To date,...

Edwards And The Scotts Team Ready To Spring Into Atlanta

Concord, NC (March 16, 2005) -- Just seven short races ago, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team traveled to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Edwards first Cup start at the 1.54-mile oval. To date, that outing stands out as Edwards's best overall effort in the NEXTEL Cup Series. Edwards qualified the No. 99 World Financial Group Ford fourth while finishing a Cup career high third in addition to leading his first laps as a NEXTEL Cup driver. Not too shabby for his 10th career start in NASCAR's leading series.

"It was a big confidence builder to realize about halfway through that race that the worst we were gonna finish was sixth or seventh," said Edwards as he recalled last year's Atlanta race. "That whole day that was about the worst I expected to finish. That's pretty neat. It's always hard to come into a new series, or at least it has been for me, and get that feeling of, 'Man, I belong here. I can race with these guys and I deserve to lead these races.' I don't feel like I'm quite to that point yet, but every time I have a good run I feel a little bit better, so those are definitely confidence builders."

Crew chief Bob Osborne recalls the race as being a comfortable one that he enjoyed tremendously, even through a scoring glitch.

"It was, 'wow we could do it'." Osborne continued, "You can have the greatest crew chief in the world but if you don't have the driver and crew to go along with it you are going no where and vice a versa. It was nice and comfortable for me to have a good qualifying car and have a car that stayed in the top-five for the entire race. There wasn't a worry that whole race for me that we were going to fall out of the top five, even when the scoring glitch happened and we went four laps down I wasn't worried. It's a different feeling when you qualify well and your communication with the driver is going in the direction that you know you are not going to have to worry."

Between the Cup and Truck series Edwards has two top 10 finishes in just two starts at Atlanta. The team tested at Atlanta in preparation for the upcoming race and looks to be a contender heading into the weekend. Sitting fifth in the overall NEXTEL Cup point standings Edwards is hoping to improve on last year's finish at the speedway while moving up in points this weekend in the No. 99 Scotts Ford.

"Our test at Atlanta went really well," Edwards stated. "We're gonna have the Scotts car there in celebration of the first day of spring on Monday and I really like Atlanta. It's a fun race track that is fast and slippery. It changes throughout the day so it's a fun race track. I feel like we've got a really good chance of doing well there. I know it's hard. We finished third and everybody is like, 'Man, it's gonna be hard to improve on this,' but I think we're gonna be better than that."

Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates ten motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ricky Craven , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin