Strategy pays off for Carl Edwards with Top-5

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A call to stay out on track during the final caution of today’s Kobalt 400 enabled Carl Edwards to leave Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a fifth-place result, his best of the young 2014 Sprint Cup season.

Edwards was 15th after a green-flag cycle of pit stops on Lap 214 of 267 but just eight laps later, the caution came out for debris.

Instead of pitting, he joined Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin as drivers that chose to gamble for track position.

When the green came back on Lap 226, Edwards was running second behind Earnhardt but while the Sprint Cup points leader quickly pulled away, Edwards was forced to battle Brad Keselowski for the runner-up spot.

With fuel still a concern on his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Edwards eventually gave up the spot to Keselowski, who would go on to win the race when Earnhardt ran out of fuel on the final lap. Edwards would ultimately fall two more spots in the last 15-20 laps or so to his final result.

“We probably didn’t deserve to finish fifth, so I’m pretty happy with that finish,” he said afterwards. “The guys did a great job with strategy.”

Edwards also paid his respects to William Clay Ford, the director emeritus of Ford Motor Company, who died earlier this morning of pneumonia at the age of 88.

“With the loss of Mr. Ford this weekend – if we couldn’t be in victory lane I’m really proud that a Ford was in victory lane both days,” he said. “Brad did a great job.”

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.