Talladega: Carl Edwards preview

"Edwards jumps six spots in the points; biggest gain in recent weeks" CONCORD, N.C. (April 27, 2006) - So what difference does a week make? In terms of the Office Depot team, they moved up six places in the Nextel Cup point standings and...

"Edwards jumps six spots in the points; biggest gain in recent weeks"

CONCORD, N.C. (April 27, 2006) - So what difference does a week make? In terms of the Office Depot team, they moved up six places in the Nextel Cup point standings and currently find themselves only 126 points out of 10th place. Edwards made the biggest gain in points over the Phoenix weekend and hopes to continue his climb into the "Chase for the Nextel Cup." At this time last year, Carl Edwards was in eighth position in the Nextel Cup point standings; this year he's 16th. The team's performance has actually improved from last year, but the results have not followed. Indeed, the Office Depot team has faced its share of bad luck this year.

At the season-opening race in Daytona, Edwards found himself caught in a wreck he could not avoid. In Atlanta, a missed call leaving the pit box resulted in a 40th place finish. And just two weeks ago, the Office Depot team found themselves again bearing the bad luck with a wreck in Texas.

Edwards is able to maintain the team's positive perspective: "Our team, we've had a lot of bad results, but, man, we've had awesome performances. We almost won the qualifier at Daytona. We ran the best we've run at a restrictor-plate race track. We were faster than we've ever been at Atlanta. Texas was awesome and so was Bristol. Martinsville was better than I've ever had. It's frustrating because we're running so well."

Entering Phoenix last weekend, Edwards was in the 22nd position in the point standings; certainly not where he or his team expected to be at this point. But a member of the Edward's Fan Club gave him a horseshoe in Phoenix. Was it a stroke of good luck? Well, that depends on who you ask. Edwards stated, "I think that really helped a lot. My fans have stood behind me and this Office Depot team the entire year."

The good luck charm must have worked last weekend in Phoenix, as Edwards qualified fifth and finished the race in fourth. Not to mention, a minor pit road accident forced him back to the 38th position on lap 56. But Edwards powered back through the field, making it up to the second position at one point.

Look for the Office Depot team this weekend as Edwards will be making his fourth Nextel Cup start at the Talladega Superspeedway in the Aaron's 499. Last fall, Edwards capped off his career-best finish at any restrictor-plate track when he finished fifth in the UAW-Ford 500.

-rr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards