Edwards Seeks Charlotte Sweep
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on May 28, 2011 | 2:08 P.M. EST
Edwards posted a 10 consecutive lap average of 181.973 mph in the final practice session. (Photo: Getty Images)
Carl Edwards will be looking to become the eighth driver to sweep the May NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Charlotte Motor Speedway if he can score the win in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.
Edwards will attempt the feat driving a brand new car after he damaged his winning Sprint All-Star Race Ford last Saturday night in his post-race celebration spin through the infield grass. So far the No. 99 team hasn't seemed to lose a beat with the move to chassis No. 765, as Edwards qualified third for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.
“We’re fast and that’s a car that we didn’t plan on bringing to this race," said Edwards, who posted a lap of 191.686 mph in qualifying. "That will be a great starting spot. We’ll get a great pit stall and it’s a great way to start off our 600 weekend.
"I think this car might be better actually. I didn’t know that the car I tore up had been torn up at Phoenix and it raced at Martinsville and got beat and banged up there. I didn’t feel so bad after that, but this one that we’ve got now is a brand new car and it’s neat."
After a day off on Friday, Edwards and the rest of Sunday's 43-car field ran two practice sessions today to dial-in their cars for 400-lap race. In the final practice session, Edwards was 13th overall and fourth fastest in best 10 consecutive lap average at 181.973 mph.
Three drivers have completed the sweep in the last decade with Kurt Busch being the most recent, winning both races in 2010.
The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the Sprint Cup Series season, one that fits Edwards' training regimen.
"This is the race that I train and work out for all year," Edwards said. "This race is made for me; it’s a long, grueling marathon of a race."
With this weekend's Memorial Day race paying tribute to the men and women who have served, are currently serving or have made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces, not only will Edwards be thinking of them, but also the people in his home state that were devastated by deadly tornadoes last Sunday.
“I’m really proud to be from Missouri, and I’m extra proud after what I’ve seen here the last week," Edwards said of the relief efforts in Joplin, Mo. “The whole state of Missouri and Oklahoma and Kansas for that matter, everyone has really joined up and volunteered. There are firemen and first responders and hospitals. A couple buddies of mine took their tractors down there to Joplin and they made a base at a church and they went out and helped people get trees off their houses and gather up their belongings. It’s a tragedy. We’re praying and thinking of them and as we learn more, we’ll know who we can help more.”
Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 will take the green flag at 6 p.m. (ET).