Rough Speedweeks for Edwards

Carl  Edwards

Edwards' car was damaged in a lap 52 incident in the first Budweiser Duel. (Photo: Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Carl Edwards was hoping to shake the disappointment of last year’s winless season, but he hasn’t been able to so far during Budweiser Speedweeks in Daytona.

The Roush Fenway Racing driver has been involved in three different incidents since the first green flag waved at “The World Center of Racing” last weekend and will need another back-up car after Thursday’s Budweiser Duel accident.

Edwards and Denny Hamlin got together on lap 54 of Thursday’s first 150-mile qualifying race and triggered a four-car accident that also collected Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith.

“I was just driving along, minding my own business, and 'Bam!'  I got hit in the right-rear," Edwards said.  "It's like Jack (Roush) told me before the race, you know what the wrecks look like now so just stay away from them.  So we got a good look at all the wrecks.  It looked like it was a pretty decent race.  The cars ran really well.  It’s just unfortunate we got caught up in that.”

Dating back to a crash in testing last month at Daytona, today’s incident was the latest setback for Edwards who was also involved in practice crashes for both the Sprint Unlimited and Budweiser Duel.  Although he didn't go to back-up cars, it’s been a tough week on the Roush team, to say the least.

“I feel bad that we tore up another Ford,” Edwards said.  “My guys ... they're the best and they can put it back together.  We’ve got a back-up car and hopefully, we’ll be set for the race on Sunday.”

After a frustrating 2012 campaign that saw Edwards miss the post-season Chase, the No. 99 team was revamped in the off-season with veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig taking over.  Despite the rocky beginning to this season, Edwards remains confident he can salvage his week in Daytona and thinks there were some lessons learned that can pay dividends on Sunday.

“I learned some ways to patiently move to the front and I'm going to use that on Sunday,” Edwards said.  “Hopefully, the temperatures are up like they are today.  It looks like it might be cloudy, but the forecast keeps changing.  I think you saw today exactly what that race will look like.  There'll be groups of cars that separate themselves, some pit strategy, and some guys that slide around and can’t keep up.  I think it'll make it a really dynamic, fun race.”

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