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Spotter's Stand: Carl Edwards Finds Old Form in Chicago

Jul 13, 2010 – 12:06 PM
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Geoffrey Miller

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A second-place run for a Roush-Fenway team didn't used to be notable, but after the struggles the Ford team has seen in the past few seasons, it now is.

Carl Edwards earned his best finish of 2010 at Chicagoland Speedway -- his best since another runner-up at Pocono Raceway in June of 2009 -- and talked afterward about how enjoyable racing at the front was.

"It felt good to be able to focus on little things like my line, how I was driving the car, pushing the pedals, rather than how I was going to stay on the lead lap," Edwards said. "That's nice."

It was the second straight top 10 for Edwards, but just his second top five of the year. By comparison, Edwards' 2008 campaign as Jimmie Johnson's toughest championship nemesis, saw the No. 99 run in the top five 18 times.

Needless to say, 2009 and the first half of 2010 has been a struggle for Edwards, though he felt Saturday night that his RFR team was making progress in the right direction.

"We're definitely on the event horizon," said Edwards, a former substitute teacher. "We haven't quite crossed over. I know we can run that well. We've done it. We did it tonight. We just have to figure out how to do that every week."

Such is the case with his RFR teammates, notably Matt Kenseth, who seemed incredibly downtrodden when he met with the media on Friday before qualifying. Kenseth finished 13th at Chicagoland and another Edwards teammate Greg Biffle lost an engine.

"Hopefully we can keep that to a minimum," Edwards said of Biffle's failure. "Right now, we can't afford it."

QUOTABLE: Kyle Busch, when asked about whether he was excited for a trip to the ESPYs award show Wednesday night.

"No," Busch said. "Just hopefully win the award."

Busch is up for the Best Driver category.

WHO'S HOT: David Reutimann, Saturday night's winner, has reeled off 11 straight lead lap finishes since recording his third DNF in the season's first eight races at Texas. He's now 104 points from 12th in 15th-place in the point standings.

WHO'S NOT: Juan Pablo Montoya, despite his run-in with Mark Martin, is having quite the opposite season of a year ago. Montoya sits 21st in the point standings, 244 points out of the Chase. He desperately needs to find the Indianapolis magic from a year ago next week.
Filed under: Sports