Joe Gibbs Racing driver was 11th in opening session Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live FONTANA, Calif. -- Carl Edwards will go to a backup car for Friday afternoon's Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Auto Club Speedway ahead of Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Edwards' No. 19 Toyota hit the wall exiting Turn 4 with about five minutes remaining in the practice session as he was making a mock qualifying run. He had recorded the 11th fastest practice speed despite running only nine laps. "We went from a 12-inch to a 6-inch sub pretty quick," Edwards said after the practice accident. "I tried to save it -- I got a little bit loose off -- and I tried to save it and that was a mistake. I had a ton of throttle and the lap was going really well coming off Turn 4. It got a little bit loose and I was like, 'Man, I'm not going to hit the fence,' and I thought, 'I should lock it down.' Right there I was thinking 'Lock it down,' and I thought, 'Nah, I'll save it,' and that was not the right decision. "Anyway, the guys -- I don't know if we can use this engine and keep our qualifying spot or what. The guys have a lot of work in front of them. I hate to do that. I think we were having a pretty good lap there." The team was able to put the primary motor into the backup car. Edwards won here in 2008 and has 14 top-10 finishes in 17 starts. He comes into the Fontana race 21st in the 2015 driver standings and finished the practice 11th on the leaderboard. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers posted top-five speeds Vote: Who will win at Martinsville? " Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Practice results After qualifying 15th on Friday, Denny Hamlin powered his No. 11 Toyota to the top of the leaderboard during Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup practice for Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway . The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted a speed of 97.113 mph and has won four times at the paperclip oval, ranking third among active drivers in NASCAR's premier series. Just behind Hamlin was Jimmie Johnson , who wheeled his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 96.988 mph around the short track after overcoming an electrical issue midway through practice. Rounding out the top five were Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne , followed by Joe Gibbs Racing 's Carl Edwards . Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano didn't show quite as much speed in today's practice session, ranking 15th on the leaderboard. Since qualifying 17th yesterday, reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick seemed to have found his groove around the short track today, posting the 10th-fastest speed in the field. A little further back was Chase Elliott , who is making his Sprint Cup debut with Hendrick Motorsports in Sunday's STP 500 . The 19-year-old rookie posted the 20th-fastest speed. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track at 1 p.m. ET (FS1) for the final practice at Martinsville Speedway . MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Drivers' cars come together late in Las Vegas race Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full Kobalt 400 results LAS VEGAS -- Carl Edwards apologized publicly and then again in a more intimate setting to Kasey Kahne , but the Hendrick Motorsports driver was still smarting after a shot into the wall ruined both his fast car and his good day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Kahne's No. 5 Chevrolet was a constant force in the top five Sunday in the Kobalt 400 , and that's where it was on Lap 195 attempting to make a pass on the outside when Edwards drove him into the wall. As Kahne bounced off the barrier, he maintained his line, caught back up to Edwards and sent the No. 19 spinning -- and eventually into the garage -- with a subtle, meticulous shot. "It's completely my fault," Edwards said from inside his car, in the garage, while his crew repaired damage. "Kasey did a good job. I just got sucked up into him there. That's definitely my fault and I feel bad for Kasey." Edwards followed those remarks with a post-race discussion on pit road, strolling over to the No. 5 car as Kahne and crew chief Keith Rodden debriefed. The conversation was short and direct, with Edwards again apologizing to a curt Kahne, who was fast all weekend but settled for 17th on Sunday. " Carl just came down and apologized," Kahne said after Edwards went on his way. "He said he hadn't done that before to anyone. We basically needed just about a full car length more there in order to make it, and he just never lifted and put us right into the wall. It ruined his day as well." Edwards was all too aware of the implications to his own car -- and finish -- as well. That much was clear when his No. 19 Toyota Camry, which had run in the top 10 all day prior to the wreck, was scored 42nd when the checkered flag dropped. "It's not just frustrating -- it's pretty stupid," Edwards said. "I just should have been a little calmer, but it's kind of fun racing up front like that and it got me going. … I was being too aggressive on that restart. I started to slide up and I should have backed out of it way earlier." For Kahne, it was a missed opportunity. His cars have been swift in all three races this year, but his third-place starting spot Sunday gave him the ability to chase leaders Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson all day prior to the damage. "We had a second-place car the first 30 laps of a run and a winning car the last 15-20 laps of a run," Kahne said. "The way it went down, I feel like we would have been able to race (winner Kevin) Harvick. He was unreal throughout the entire race, but I think our car was unreal, too." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Edwards : 'Whatever we can do to get wins early ... that's what we want to do' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live LAS VEGAS -- Some of the shine is gone, but Carl Edwards ' surroundings still have that new-team smell. It's been two races in the No. 19 Toyota for the former Roush Fenway Racing lifer, whose career was uprooted heading into 2015 in the form of a new team, a new manufacturer, a new crew chief and new teammates. Two races in with plenty more still to come -- and plenty more still to learn. "For me personally, having spent so much time at Roush Fenway Racing , it is a little bit overwhelming to come to a new place and to meet everyone and to see everything," Edwards said Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . " … I thought it would be harder to find my place really, but it's been simple. There's a lot of information sharing between the drivers and for me that's good. It's exciting." In part because of his newfound ability to analyze data from his JGR teammates, Edwards notched a 12th-place finish last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway after poring over how Denny Hamlin circled the 1.54-mile oval. It followed a 23rd-place effort at Daytona, so Edwards still seeks his first top-10 of the season. Starting -- qualifying, more specifically -- hasn't been a problem, though. Edwards has started in the top six for both events, a testament to the cars produced by Darian Grubb -- that new crew chief -- and the rest of his No. 19 team. Producing fast cars has actually been the easiest part of the transition for both driver and crew chief, who are learning the nuances of new language and how the other communicates. "We're learning a lot," Edwards said. "Each race is a learning experience. I've been very fortunate every time I've got a new crew chief in the past it seems like we've done really well together soon. I know Jimmy Fennig and I, we won really quickly (second race). That's really the key. You've got to do well right off the bat and that's Darian and I's goal is just to go out here and get a win here to start and then it takes all the pressure off." The win is so important, Edwards said, that he's willing to take a massive gamble in order to get it. And what better place to roll the dice than in Las Vegas? "Absolutely," Edwards said. " If we can win anytime -- at the point at which we feel like we're locked in to the Chase, it definitely allows you to take gambles. It's more fun to race that way, too. Darian and I talked about it early, before the year even started, whatever we can do to get wins early so that we can go out there and be aggressive, that's what we want to do." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne make contact sending Edwards spinning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Four-race partnership begins this week in Las Vegas Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing have added Comcast to their sponsorship lineup for the 2015 season. Comcast will serve as the primary sponsor for four races on the No. 19 Toyota Camry. The partnership begins this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt 400 (March 8, 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) with Comcast Business as the primary paint scheme for Edwards . This marks the first major sponsorship deal i n NASCAR for the company's business services unit that provides data, Internet, TV and other communication services to businesses of all sizes. Comcast Business will also adorn the No. 19 Toyota at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 (April 19, 1 p.m. ET, FOX). XFINITY, Comcast's residential brand for Internet, TV and other bundled communication, will have the primary paint scheme for Edwards in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 27, 2 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) and the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Nov. 1, 1:15 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). XFINITY also serves as the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "We're excited about this partnership with Comcast as they continue to grow in the sport, and I've had a great time so far working with them in preparation for Las Vegas," Edwards said in a release. "I'm excited to continue to build the relationship with them this year and hopefully we can put them into Victory Lane." In addition to Comcast, ARRIS and Stanley serve as primary sponsors this season on the No. 19 Toyota. Through two races in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Edwards is 14th in the point standings. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Is veteran next driver to change teams, thrive? RELATED: 2015 Charlotte Media Tour schedule, live video CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- By the time late January rolls around, most people have long since abandoned their New Year's resolutions, an apathetic tone clear as they think to themselves, "I guess there's always next year." Carl Edwards is not like most people. In addition to a new sense of rejuvenation so apparent it was practically dripping from the sleeves of his crisp, navy blue suit, the freshly minted driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is taking the popular New Year's resolution phrase "New Year, New You" to a new level, tossing new team, new teammates, new manufacturer and new crew chief into the mix -- and he couldn't be more thrilled. RELATED: Monday's best quotes from the Charlotte Media Tour "This year's a little bit different," Edwards said Monday during the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR Media Tour presented by Technocom. "It reminds me of my first year full time in the Cup Series. I feel like I've really got to prove myself. I feel a little anxious; a little nervous about it. It's nice. I haven't had that feeling for a long time and it's a motivator. I'm as focused as I've ever been and I'm excited as I've ever been. This is a neat opportunity for me. "I'm just excited to get to learn from these guys and get to race under the JGR banner for Toyota. We had a great test at Charlotte and I'm really ready to go. I've been wearing my driver's suit a lot." RELATED: Brian France gives State of the Sport address The veteran sounds like a kid itching for the first day of school, right down to wearing his new clothes before he even has to. Edwards has every right to be excited for the 2015 season. After spending his entire premier series career with Roush Fenway Racing , his racing tenure seemed to hit a high mark in 2011 when he finished runner-up to Tony Stewart , stalling somewhat in the years since. The 35-year-old was ready for a change of scenery, but needed some assurance that making such a landmark move would be the right choice. Seeing the success of the sport's newest champion, Kevin Harvick , switch organizations to helm a newly formed team and create a four-car organization -- sound familiar? -- certainly didn't hurt. "To make this decision, it's obviously the toughest decision I've had to make in my life, period," Edwards said. "But I looked around and all these guys were making changes and doing very well. … Kevin and Ryan (Newman) this year basically switched teams and (finished) one-two. … Even if you take Tony Stewart 's change, when he left Joe Gibbs Racing , I thought that was crazy. That didn't even seem like it made any sense, but it spurred great performance. Joey Logano , he made a change; huge performance. At the same time, (former Roush teammate and current JGR teammate) Matt Kenseth came over and filled Joey's seat and his performance went through the roof. "I didn't understand that until we first made the announcement. I got that feeling … of 'Man, I've got to go prove myself.' That little bit of insecurity that every driver walks around with for a long time. I hadn't had that feeling for a while and I'm curious to see if that's it. But either way I hope I can do the same thing that those guys have done and have a great year." With Harvick being the ultimate example of what a change of scenery can do, Edwards perhaps will identify a little closer with Kenseth's situation of two seasons ago. After Kenseth made the jump to from Roush to JGR following the 2012 season, the he came out and won a career-high seven races in 2013 to lead the series and finish runner-up to Jimmie Johnson . That said, Kenseth doesn't know if the transition will come as easily to Edwards . "It's probably a little bit different of a situation because it's starting a whole new team for Carl , but he's a guy who's been in one place for a while and is making a jump," Kenseth said. "That's never easy to do, to leave some place where you're comfortable and you understand how it works and you've won some races. I know what it feels like." Even if the No. 19 team stumbles out of the gate, it's something for which Edwards is prepared. He also feels that the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format plays to the benefit of newly formed teams, much like his own. With a ban on private testing and limited seat time thus far (just a short tire test at Charlotte in December), Edwards is almost expecting to have some bugs to work out in the early going. "It was possible that we were going to go to Daytona and not have any practice in the car. That was a little scary," he said. "But if you look at the Chase format, it allows for some growing pains. You can go 20 races and then hit your stride and still be a championship team. We feel like with this new format, there's not a lot of pressure to start. We can go out and find our way. "I believe the Chase format favors guys that have made changes. If you look across the board, people are probably more likely to make driver and crew chief changes, team changes really all that stuff with this format because really you can go 15 races or 20 races and figure things out and still be in the Chase and win the championship. That 4 team (of Harvick) proved it last year. Brand new team. They worked out all the bugs all year and they went and (won the championship)." So, given that Edwards appears to be in the prime of his career, with a crew chief in Darian Grubb that he touts as a "genius" and the stars aligning the way they did for Kenseth two years ago and Harvick last season, does this mean that Edwards will finally break through for his first title? Is he the driver to beat? "I hope so," he said. "If I take a look as objectively as I can, Darian Grubb is an amazing crew chief. He's just amazing. … I feel like I have experience and I've learned a lot and I feel like I'm in the best form I've ever been as a driver. "We should have opportunities to go and perform at a high level. I'm excited to be a part of a four-car team that is this stout. These guys are amazing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards talk about the track bar control switch, which is intended to give drivers more control of the performance of their car during the race.
Carl Edwards talks about his new team with Joe Gibbs Racing and their 2015 season.
Driver set to begin new chapter of career at Joe Gibbs Racing RELATED: Complete schedule for driver previews Team: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota Rank in final 2014 standings: 9th Wins: 2 ( Bristol Motor Speedway in March, Sonoma Raceway ) Year in photos: Recap Edwards's 2014 highlights MORE: Edwards discusses new team, Daytona with 120Sports.com Strides: Edwards placed his name among the first drivers to clinch a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, winning the fourth race of the season on a rainy day -- and night -- at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. It marked his first victory in the Tennessee track's springtime race and his first on the .533-mile oval since 2008. But Edwards also filled a void on his Sprint Cup resume at Sonoma Raceway in June with his first road course win in NASCAR's premier series. The triumph came even as rumors began to circulate about his impending departure from Roush Fenway Racing , speculation that was confirmed just a month later. Even with lame-duck status at the Jack Roush-owned team, Edwards pressed on, making it to the Eliminator 8 round of the Chase before watching the team's championship hopes expire at Phoenix International Raceway in the final cut before the season finale. "The highlights of the season were definitely Bristol and Sonoma -- Sonoma, in particular," Edwards said. "It was a great win, was really proud of it, and then our performance in the Chase, I thought we did a great job there." Setbacks: Despite of the pair of wins and the solid run into the new-look Chase's latter stages, Edwards' No. 99 suffered from a lack of oomph at tracks that used to be the team's sweet spot. The team endured erratic performances at intermediate-sized tracks, and the best Edwards and Co. could muster at Michigan International Speedway -- formerly a stronghold for car owner Jack Roush -- was an uncharacteristic pair of 23rd-place efforts. Though Edwards was able to survive two eliminations by avoiding major mistakes in the postseason, he registered just one top-five finish in the Chase -- a fifth-place in the Contender Round opener at Kansas Speedway . "The last few weeks were really tough, to be honest with you," Edwards said. "They're tough for a couple of reasons, but competitively we didn't have the speed that we needed and so for us to just keep digging down and making something out of those races, that was an amazing performance. My pit crew was basically flawless, (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig made perfect calls, I felt like I did a really good job, and at the end we just weren't fast enough. We weren't fast enough at Phoenix and that's the way it goes." Quoteworthy: "I'm very excited about what's coming, but I'm very proud of what we've done. In some ways, I feel like I'm stepping off of a ledge and I don't know what's down there. We haven't done anything yet in 2015. I know we have a lot of expectations and a lot of hopes, and now we've just got to do it." What's next: The biggest bombshell in the "silly season" of driver shifts came in August with Edwards' introduction as a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver for the 2015 season, changing gears after a 12-year association with Roush and Ford. When asked whether Gibbs' expansion with a start-from-scratch fourth team might dilute his performance, Edwards was quick to point out that the start-up nature of Stewart-Haas Racing 's No. 4 team didn't seem to hamper Kevin Harvick 's march to his first Sprint Cup championship. Edwards learned in December that he'll work with veteran crew chief Darian Grubb next year as part of a sweeping overhaul of JGR's competition personnel. He'll also have new teammates in Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth , the latter of which was a former stablemate of his with Roush Fenway. Shortly after NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Edwards took the opportunity to participate in a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an effort to become more familiar with his new team and manufacturer in light of NASCAR's ban on testing in 2015. Though he's short on experience with the Gibbs operation, Edwards said the alignment of new factors in the offseason has him setting lofty aspirations -- a Sprint Cup championship or else. "There is no other goal," Edwards said. "I know that personally, I've never been a better driver, I feel like the people I have around me couldn't be better, and I feel like we should go win the championship. That's our goal. That's what we plan on doing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule