Carl Edwards on Daytona drought: ‘We’re going to try to get a trophy’

Carl Edwards has racked up 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at 14 different tracks in his career.

But he’s never won at Daytona International Speedway.

The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota hopes to change that this Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

"We are coming off of a great race at Sonoma and headed to Daytona in the Subway Toyota Camry for an opportunity to go to Victory Lane," Edwards said. "I don’t have a Cup win there so it would be nice to get one of those.  We’ve been really close.  We have a great superspeedway program."

Edwards has indeed come close to winning this July Daytona race previously.

But not lately. Last year he wrecked out of the event just after halfway and finished 41st in the 43-car field. The year before that, he completed just 66 of 112 laps in a rain-shortened race and finished 37th. And the year before that, he struggled to a 39th-place finish.

In the six starts prior to those three, however, Edwards finished sixth or better five times – with a track career-best second in 2008 when Kyle Busch won.

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Edwards and his crew chief, Dave Rogers, said they enjoy racing at Daytona around the July 4 holiday. Subway, the team’s primary sponsor, has teamed up with the USO for this weekend and Edwards added that he’s looking forward to spending some time with the troops.

"This weekend we celebrate America’s independence.  It’s always a fun weekend for the fans," Edwards said. "We’ve got Subway on board.  They’ve been an amazing partner and done a ton for the USO."

Rogers added:  "There’s always an indescribable allure to racing at Daytona whether it’s in February or July.  The (season-opening) Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of our sport, but the 4th of July (weekend) race is also of great significance.  We have the opportunity to celebrate our country’s independence by doing what we love to do — racing automobiles at a fantastic sporting facility."

Edwards comes into this weekend off an impressive fourth-place run on the road course at Sonoma Raceway, where Tony Stewart scored a dramatic win.

"It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time," Edwards said. "Congrats to Tony. I know he drove his heart out there. It’s pretty neat to see him get to Victory Lane. We just had some fun … It was a good time."

Now Edwards just hopes to keep the good times rolling.

"On Saturday we’re going to try to get a trophy," he said.

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