Archive for September, 2011
» posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 1:15 am by Scott White
There was 26 weeks to prepare for those 10 important events on the year. Carl Edwards and his crew have prepared for it, they’ve done their homework and it showed last weekend at Richmond when he had one of the fastest cars on the track and came within a fender length of getting under Harvick for the victory.
Question Bob Osborne’s decision last week, but remember this is a team sport and the driver agreed to do what the crew chief wanted to do on the track. There has been a lot of fans wanting to think that they know what to do in a crew chief’s decision making, however, there isn’t many fans that could make the decisions that these guys do. I’ve been reading harsh remarks that the entire 99 team needed to be fired, and the 60 crew moved up. That came from a 16-year old who thinks he knows everything about this sport and doesn’t. This team did something smart. Call it holding back, call it sandbagging, or whatever you want to, but this is the same tactics that the 48 team has used in the past.
Don’t show your your cards until you’re fully ready.
Edwards hasn’t been mentioned much as a favorite to knock the 48 off the thrown but if you think that it is bad, you have another thing coming. One advantage is, the media is not smothering the team with questions about what they are doing to beat JJ and the 48, they are covering the 18, the 2, the 24, and the 29 with those questions right now because of the slump that Edwards and his team went on during the Summer months. Edwards had mystery problems, one at Pocono with a valve problem, and then at Michigan with a rare spark plug firing issue. However, those last two races before the Chase showed that Edwards and his team are ready to contend for the title.
One thing he does not want: To be the favorite to win it all.
Carl Edwards said that last November after he won back to back events at Phoenix and Homestead and the media started to tag him as the favorite to dethrown Johnson. Edwards made it clear, he did not want that title of being favorite for the crown. The major question is, did the 99 team back off to take their names off the list of favorites and put more focus on their competition? The favorite to win it has a lot of media pressure and fan pressure to back up, and as I said earlier, if you remove your name as one of the title contenders by the media, there is less likely of a chance to have that pressure from both sides.
There is that old myth that you have to win races to win the title, however, its a myth. Consistency is the goal and if Carl can garner the consistency that he performed earlier this season, he will be one of the major contenders to win it all this season. In the first 15 races of the season, Carl Edwards put down 11 top-ten finishes, and of those finishes eight of them were top-five efforts. That is what will win a championship if the 99 goes back to doing that.
Now it is that time. This weekend will be the first time that the Chase has started out other than a race track not in the North East. Edwards has been known to produce victories on intermediate tracks, even though, Chicago is not one of them; he has scored two second place finishes at the track. It’s time to let it all hang out, and go for the wins, and get to the top spot once again, just as he was earlier this season.
» posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 12:54 pm by Scott White
Carl Edwards came into the final race before the Chase already locked into the Chase for the Championship. He was looking to score his second win of the 2011 season and go into the Chase for the Championship with momentum on his side.
He started the race off in eighth place, but the race was slowed by five caution flags in the first 60 laps of the event. Edwards then began to move forward as the race finally set in for a green flag run. By lap 92, Edwards was in second place in the No. 99 Cheez-It Ford began to come in. Edwards reported to his crew chief Bob Osborne that the car was a bit free throughout the night, but the crew made adjustments on almost every stop to keep up with the race track. Edwards took the lead from Kevin Harvick on lap 202, and led the next 113 circuits around the d-shaped short track. However, on lap 302, crew chief Bob Osborne made the mistake of the night keeping Edwards out on the track, as most of the others came down pit road . The race resumed on lap 314, and Edwards was shuffled back to third place. He would have to wait until lap 385 for a caution flag to come out and come in for four tires and fuel, and Edwards left in third place.
He quickly moved around Jeff Gordon for second but never could get close enough to Harvick, as he finished 0.139 seconds behind the 29 car.
“Once I get over the frustration of not wining this thing I am going to be really excited about how fast our team is. We really turned things around tonight. That is the best we have run on a short track in years. That was a tough race not to win. I felt like we had the car beat and if we would have had another lap or two we would have been all over Harvick there. It was a fun race. I had a good time and I am ready to go get this Chase on.”
» posted on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 at 12:54 am by Scott White
UPS announced on Friday that it could be cutting its full-season sponsorship on the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion and rumors formed that they would be moving to a 4-8 race sponsorship on Carl Edwards No. 99 Ford. UPS has been a sponsor for David Ragan’s No. 6 car since 2009, and earlier this season there was talks of UPS leaving Roush Fenway Racing all together and moving to Clint Bowyer’s No. 33 car in 2012. UPS wants a driver that promotes their name, plain and simple, to the point, and Ragan has not been able to do it. There was talk earlier this season that UPS was happy with Ragan, however, now it appears they want the bigger name piloting cars sponsored by their company.
Comparing Carl Edwards and David Ragan is like comparing apples to oranges, there is a huge difference between the two. Edwards has had a successful career and has been a prime advertiser for many huge name companies in the sport. Just this past Wednesday, Fastenal announced that they would be moving up to the primary role for 17 races, however, that still leaves 19 races left to fill the blank for. Now those that want to get disgusted with my opinion on this I recommend you stop right here and exit the article.
When you are a major Fortune 500 company (Ranked 48th) like UPS is, you want the rock star style driver who is going to get your companies name out in the open. While UPS is a well recognized delivery company, they still want someone that can get their car up front every weekend. Ask yourself this question – If you were UPS, would you want the guy that has a career average finish of 13.4 or the guy that has an average finish of 21.1?
Carl Edwards has the personality and the talent to please a huge company like UPS. He is a household name himself, and his name is very marketable just by itself, but throw a sponsor in there and he is a huge money maker. Who can do it any better than the Missouri native? No other driver will go into the booth after being crashed out of an event, no one else takes the sun glasses off of his head in respect to the media and gives that perfect interview and mentions every sponsor, even when its a mid-pack finish. People question why companies were wanting on Edwards’ car and not the 6 and 16 cars this season in Nationwide? He is a proven winner, he can market his sponsors products, and he does it well.
Just remember finishing up front does matter. It pleases a sponsor and it gets their company ad team when that car is shown leading a race, and in the last three seasons the UPS car has not been seen that often running front, with the exception of restrictor plate events and its one win at Daytona in July. Marketing matters folks, and you have to run up front and get the logos shown to market and Carl can do it for UPS.
» posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 1:00 pm by Scott White
This morning Fastenal announced that it would be moving from the Nationwide Series with Carl Edwards to the Sprint Cup Series for 17 races in 2012. Fastenal has been a sponsor for Edwards since 2010, and been a sponsor in NASCAR since their first stint in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. There is no word on who will fill in the blank of the remaining 19 races on the schedule, as Aflac appears to be lowering its deal down
“I’ve appreciated the long relationship that I’ve had with Fastenal,” Edwards said “I’m proud that they believe so strongly in our team and program that they are making the commitment to sponsor us in the Sprint Cup Series.
“My partnership with Fastenal started in 1999 at my local dirt track. I would have never imagined that we would be going to the 2012 Daytona 500 together.”
Edwards will begin piloting the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion at the 2012 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in February. There has been no word what races they will be the sponsor in for Edwards next season, and what the value of the sponsorship is.