Carl Edwards was pretty bummed out after the first Eliminator Round race at Martinsville.
The No. 99 Ford driver finished 20th, falling 15 points behind the cutoff in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. He now finds himself needing to win one of the next two races to qualify for the four-driver Championship race at Homestead.
“It’s not what we wanted,” Edwards said post-race. “We’ll go to Texas and go for the win. We’ll go to Phoenix and go for the win there and that’s all we can do.”
No stranger to winning at Texas, Edwards ranks tied with Jimmie Johnson on its all-time victories list with three.
His problem? He hasn’t won at the Fort Worth track in 11 races.
Edwards will attempt to rediscover his winning ways at Texas Motor Speedway in Sunday’s AAA 500 (3 p.m. ET on ESPN). Despite his victory drought, he claims three top-three finishes in his last eight starts at the 1.5-mile track. Edwards has also sported a fast car there. He has started in the top 10 in seven of his last eight Texas races, including from the pole in last year’s fall event.
Needing a win as bad as Edwards is Kevin Harvick.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver finished 33rd at Martinsville after he wrecked and was forced to the garage for a period of time. Harvick now finds himself 28 points behind the cutoff in the Chase standings.
His outlook for the next two races includes good and bad news.
The bad news: In 23 starts, Harvick has never won at Texas.
The good news: Harvick’s final opportunity to win to advance is at Phoenix – a track where he boasts a career-high five victories and has taken the checkered flag in three of the last four races.
Harvick’s start this weekend will be the 500th of his career. He will be the 36th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to reach the milestone.