Another uphill battle for Edwards

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 07: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 07: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, Ariz.— Carl Edwards kept his championship hopes alive with a remarkable rally last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Two laps down in 30th place late in the AAA Texas 500, Edwards took advantage of a wave-around, a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car and a spate of cautions in the final 80 laps to post a ninth-place finish.

After a disappointing opening practice on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, site of the final race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Edwards faces another formidable challenge as his tries to advance to the title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Practice did not go well for us,” Edwards admitted. “It was not good, so we’ve got some work to do. We didn’t do any race trim, so there’s still hope for our race trim, but qualifying trim was not good.

“It’s just like last week, we’re not gonna quit.  We’re just gonna go give 100 percent and hopefully we can find something by this evening. (Crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) and the guys are working really hard on it.”

Edwards and Fennig have two practices on Saturday to work out their issues. Currently Edwards and former teammate Matt Kenseth are tied for fifth in the Chase standings, 13 points out of first place and one point behind Jeff Gordon in fourth.

“We can’t let (Friday) affect (Saturday), because we didn’t do any race trim practice,” Edwards said. “Tomorrow will be a different day. Qualifying is a different animal, and we’ll just go start with our race trim practice and work through our problems.”

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