Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Scott’s Ford Fusion team continued their streak of strong runs this season at Bristol Motor Speedway, scoring a runner-up finish Sunday and four post-race contingency awards in the Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City.
Crew Chief Bob Osborne, who helped Edwards steer back to the front by calling for strategic air pressure and chassis adjustments, captured his second straight DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race Award, given to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race effort based on finishing position during the weekend.
"I'm very proud of the effort everyone on the 99 team has put in, not just in Bristol, but this whole season,” Osborne said. “From the mechanics, to the pit crew, to the over-the-wall guys, everyone has given 110 percent. I'd like to thank DIRECTV for recognizing our achievements and hope to win many more of these awards as the season continues."
Edwards, who sat on the Coors Light Pole for Sunday’s event by turning an impressive sub-15 second qualifying lap, went on to score a second-place finish in the race and posted his sixth top-10 finish in 14 races at Bristol.
It was Edwards’ second pole of the year and his third top-10 finish in 2011.
“It’s no fun to run second, but when I look at the big picture, the fact that I’m sitting here one point out of the points lead, that’s a huge jump from a year ago,” said Edwards post-race.
“Our performance has been great [this season]. It’s just been amazing. It’s been a huge turnaround.”
Engine builders at Roush Yates Engines picked up their second MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award of 2011 based on points awarded for qualifying, laps led and finishing position.
Along with scoring the Coors Light Pole Award (128.014 mph., 14.989 secs.), Edwards also captured the Goodyear Gatorback Belts Fastest Lap of the Race Award, for turning the fastest lap of the race (120.830 mph, Lap 3) while leading the event.
All awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
With the runner-up finish in Bristol, Edwards gained a position in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings. He currently sits second in the standings with 149 points, just one point behind points leader Kurt Busch heading to Auto Club Speedway for the March 27th Auto Club 400 (3 p.m. EST, FOX).
Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
v AMERICAN ETHANOL GREEN FLAG RESTART: Martin Truex Jr.
v COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Carl Edwards (128.014 mph, 14.989 secs.)
v DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Bob Osborne (crew chief for Carl Edwards)
v GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Carl Edwards (120.830 mph, Lap 3)
v MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: No. 99, Roush Yates Engines
v MOBIL 1 OIL DRIVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Harvick
v MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Steve Addington (crew chief for Kurt Busch, .019 secs.)
v O’REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Tony Raines (13 places)
v SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Andy Lally