Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Edwards glad to get out of Daytona

If Mr. Magoo — or Lindsay Lohan — had slammed into him at Daytona during February, Carl Edwards likely would not have been surprised one little bit.

It was that kind of month for the Roush Fenway Racing driver, who was wrecked every which way at Daytona International Speedway.

Edwards was involved in five crashes in his No. 99 Ford Fusion during Speedweeks, including one in Sunday's Daytona 500 when Trevor Bayne ran into him on Lap 138 and pretty much ended Cousin Carl's afternoon at the beach.

Edwards finished 33rd, and that sort of summed Daytona up for him. He had accidents in practice, in the Sprint Unlimited and Bud Duel races, and in the 500 to top it off, and none was his fault.

That's a lot of damage and frustration.

"This has not been fun," Edwards said after the 500.

Now Edwards is at Phoenix International Raceway, where he won in 2010, for today's Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500.

Edwards did not win a race last season. He missed the Chase for the Championship, ending the year 15th in points.

Since 2009, Edwards, who won nine times for owner Jack Roush in 2008, has tallied three Cup victories.

Edwards is rock solid at Roush. He signed a multiyear contract extension with the team at the start of 2012 and is widely regarded as one of the best and hardest drivers in NASCAR.

But he has not won a Cup race since March 6, 2011, at Las Vegas. His trademark celebratory back flip could be rusty.

In his weekly team press release, Edwards, who kept a sense of humor at Daytona regardless of his problems on the track, joked about this weekend.

"I haven't wrecked a car for a couple of days, so I hope our luck has changed," said Edwards, who has started 17 times at Phoenix, with one win, six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s.

"Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks, and I had my first pavement race there in 2001. Phoenix has always been a great track for us."

Daytona safety: NASCAR will look at the placement of gates at its tracks after a Nationwide series car crashed through the fence at Daytona and injured more than two dozen fans.

The fans were injured during the 12-car crash Feb. 23 when pieces of rookie Kyle Larson's car ripped through the fence, including a section where a gate connects the grandstand and the track.

"We know the gate was locked, but does that provide as much stability as the rest of the fencing that we believed it did? We've now got to look at that impact," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations, said Saturday.

Two fans remained hospitalized, O'Donnell said.

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