NASCAR & Auto Racing

Chase tensions already high, Edwards believes

LOUDON, N.H. – Carl Edwards became the first driver in this year’s Chase for the Nextel Cup to run into difficulty, crashing his primary car in practice Friday before recovering to qualify 12th for for Sunday’s Sylvania 300.

Edwards said he had been locking up the brakes in his No. 99 Ford as he went into Turn 3.

“We were extremely fast and that was actually going to be my last lap,” Edward said.

“I just drove into three and stepped on the brakes and wheel-hopped the rears. Once they start hopping, I tried and tried and tried to get them to quit and just slid all the way up and hit the wall – just hard enough to tear it up.”

Edwards is now worried that a forecast for rain beginning Friday night and lingering into today might limit or wash out practice in his backup car. “That would be the only thing that would really hurt us for tomorrow,” he said.

Edwards said he thinks Chase tensions are already tight.

“I venture to say I won’t be the last person this weekend to wheel-hop and have trouble,” he said. “I was just the first one.

"It’s too bad, but tensions are high in the garage. This isn’t the best thing for us, but I guarantee we’ll have better backup cars ready. We’ll be more prepared because this is definitely an eye-opener.

“Everybody is going to be good here. It’s going to be a tough race. This is just a race that, if you look at the statistics, all of the guys who are in the Chase run well here. It’s just going to be a race you have to run well, go out of here and move on.”