NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 9 Carl Edwards

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Carl Edwards

Season finish: 9th

2014 Season Stats: 2 Wins, 7 Top-5s, 14 Top-10, 0 Poles.

What went right: In a season that was largely down for Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards carried its standard in his final season with the team. This year’s Sprint Cup season opened with seven different winners in the first seven races, and Edwards contributed to that run with a win at Bristol. Later on in the summer, he captured his inaugural road course win in hilly Sonoma. When it came time for the Chase, not many expected Edwards to be a threat to make the Championship 4. But enough consistent results and no major disasters enabled him to advance all the way to the Eliminator Round before he was finally knocked out.

What went wrong: Edwards may have got in the Chase early, but he and RFR struggled mightily to find the overall speed necessary to fight the leaders from Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and Team Penske, which took over as Ford’s top team and relegated RFR to No. 2. A particularly grim moment came in June at Michigan International Speedway, where RFR has been a perennial power over the years. But instead of contending, Edwards and teammates Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slogged to mid-pack finishes (Biffle 20th, Edwards 23rd, Stenhouse 27th).

2015 Prospectus: After running full-time at RFR since 2005, Edwards is moving on to a fourth car for Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 19 Toyota Camry. Darian Grubb, who guided JGR’s Denny Hamlin into the Championship 4 in 2014, has moved over to the 19 pit box to be Edwards’ crew chief. With three solid teammates (Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch) and a group that’s the clear No. 1 at Toyota, Edwards stands to have a more competitive season ahead of him in 2015.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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