Carl Edwards, like has been the case all season, wasn't a threat for the lead at any point during the Lifelock.com 400 -- though he did lead a lap at one point as green-flag stops cycled through -- but he consistently stayed in the top 10 for the majority of the race. Then suddenly, Edwards was in second place after the final round of pit stops.
And that wasn't a fluke. Edwards kept third-place Jeff Gordon at bay and was running quicker laps than eventual winner David Reutimann down the stretch. Whether or not he would have caught Reutimann if the race were a few laps longer is up for debate, but Saturday night may have been a sign of some much needed speed for Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing.
“We are definitely on the horizon," Edwards said. "We haven’t quite gone over, but I know we can run that well because we have done it and we did it tonight. We just have to figure out how to do it every week. I hope this is something we can go back on Monday and talk about why our car was so much different this week than it has been. We have some tracks like this coming up the rest of the season that will be really important tracks, so I hope we can apply this to those races.”
The second-place finish moved Edwards up to 10th in the points standings, and most importantly, 79 points ahead of 13th. Much of that credit, Edwards said, goes to the help that he and his team got from Kasey Kahne and his crew chief Kenny Francis. (Like Jenna Fryer suggested in her Four Wide column Friday.)
“Well, Kasey is a hell of a guy," Edwards said. "He is a very good race car driver, and Kenny Francis is very good at what he does. That team has been helping us, and this week they helped us quite a bit and it paid off. Right up until the driver intros I was talking to Kasey about his car. He is a very even-keeled guy that has given me a lot of help. The parts and the help from Kenny Francis are probably what made the difference for us tonight.”
Who'd have thought that Roush Fenway would be leaning on Richard Petty Motorsports at this point of the season? But if that's what they have to do to turn things around, so be it.