No sophomore slump for Edwards

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards

LOUDON, N.H. –Early in his debut season with Joe Gibbs Racing last year, Carl Edwards had a rough time.

But that was before he learned to go with the flow – or the “wave,” as he called it.

Edwards won his first race with JGR in the 12th event of 2015, the Coca-Cola 600, and didn’t visit Victory Lane again until Labor Day weekend at Darlington.

Within the first 18 races of 2015, Edwards won back-to-back at Bristol and Richmond and has posted 12 top 10s, including a second-place finish last week at Kentucky Speedway. Collectively, JGR drivers have won seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this year, with affiliated Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. adding another.

“The beginning of last year, I didn’t expect the changeover to JGR… it was a bigger deal than I expected,” Edwards said on Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I tried a little too hard to begin with and made some moves and mistakes that I hadn’t made in a long time. I settled in and feel like I’m doing a better job now.

“I’m riding the wave that is JGR. These guys, they’ve been working a long time to get to this point, and I’m the lucky recipient of that hard work. Right now you can just look at the scoreboard every week, or the speed charts – our Toyotas are really fast. I can’t point to one thing. I think overall it’s TRD (Toyota Racing Development), JGR – all the folks that do this and us teammates working together that gives us those results.”

SHORT STROKES

Martin Truex Jr. was fastest in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, turning a lap at 133.562 mph. Fellow Toyota drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch were second and third, respectively…

Bobby Santos won Friday afternoon’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at NHMS, beating Eric Goodale to the finish line by .127 seconds. Veteran Ron Silk was third, .698 seconds back. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman held his own against the modified stars, finishing 10th.

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