The Federated Auto Parts 400 covers a distance of 300 miles in 400 laps and first took place in 1958 as the Richmond 200. Last year’s winner was Carl Edwards driving for Roush Fenway Racing. Be sure to catch the action on September 6 to see who takes the checkered flag this year.
Date: 6 September 2014
Venue: Richmond International Raceway
County: Henrico County
Driving the #99 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway racing, Carl Edwards clocked up his second victory of the season by winning Sunday’s Toyota-SaveMart 350. This was also his first win at Sonoma Raceway, a 2.52-mile road course featuring 12 turns and up to 160 feet of elevation change. With 509 points, and two wins, Edwards is a serious contender for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. The current top ten in the Sprint Cup standings are Jeff Gordon (580 points), Jimmie Johnson (560 points), Dale Earnhardt Jr (555 points), Matt Kenseth (515 points), Brad Keselowski (512 points), Carl Edwards (509 points), Joey Logano (483 points), Ryan Newman (473 points), Kevin Harvick (472 points) and Kyle Larson (470 points).
Born in Columbia, Missouri on August 15, 1979, Carl Edwards was brought to the attention of Jack Roush when he was driving for MB Motorsports in the 2002 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He also drove for Bost Motorsport in a Busch Series race that year. In 2003, Edwards started driving the Superchips-sponsored #99 Ford F-150 in the Truck Series for Roush. He won Rookie-of-the-Year in 2003, won three races, and finished 8th in the points standing. In 2004 he won three more races, including the season-opener – Florida Dodge Dealers 250 – and in August that year made his NEXTEL Cup Series debut in the Roush Racing #99 Ford Taurus.
On the weekend of March 19/20, 2005, Edwards won both the Busch series Aaron’s 312 and NEXTEL Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, becoming the first driver to win both Busch and NEXTEL events on the same weekend at this particular venue. In June 2005, Edwards won the NEXTEL Pocono 500 and had intended to compete at the Busch Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway, but due to weather-related rescheduling was unable to do so which lost him valuable points in the standings. Nevertheless, he finished the season third in points.
Edwards failed to win any races in 2006, but he claimed his first NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 2007, and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 2009 was not a good year for Edwards in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, but he finished the NASCAR Nationwide Series in second place, having scored five wins. After a slow start to 2010, Edwards broke the track record at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12 for the fastest qualifying lap, and went on to win the Kobalt Tools 500 two days later. Edwards won eight races that season, the most in his career at that point. In 2012 Edwards stopped competing in the Nationwide Series in order to concentrate on the Sprint Cup, but failed to qualify for the Chase. In the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup, Edwards finished in 13th place.
2014 has been an exciting season for Edwards. He won the 2014 Food City 500, leading for the last 78 laps of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. Starting on the pole for the All-Star Race, Edwards came in second to Jamie McMurray who passed him to hold the lead for the final eight laps of the race. In addition to being his second win of the 2014 season and his first road win, Edwards’ victory at the 2014 Toyota Save-Mart 350 was his 23rd NASCAR Sprint Cup career win.
Roush Racing became Roush Fenway Racing in February 2007, when the Fenway Sports Group obtained a 50% partnership in the team.
One of the NASCAR’s most successful racing teams is undoubtedly Roush Racing. Starting as a small branch of an already successful automotive engineering and road-racing equipment business, it was founded by owner Jack Roush in 1988. His operation is in Livonia, in Michigan, but the cornerstone of Roush Racing is located in Concord, situated in North Carolina, and home to their NASCAR operations.
Since the start of Roush Racing they have only competed in cars that carry the Ford badge. In the Nextel Cup, Roush competes with the Ford Fusion, and the Ford Fusion can also be seen in the Busch Series. For the Craftsman Truck Series, Roush competes with a Ford F-150. Roush Racing is also the proud winner of the Nextel Cup Championship consecutively for two years. Matt Kenseth brought the win home in 2003 and Kurt Busch was responsible for the win in 2004.
It is not surprising that Roush has the biggest Nextel Cup Series operation that includes a part time team and five teams that are full time. When Roush Racing was founded, they had established the company around the ownership of five cars. This does not only benefit the Roush Racing team, but assists other teams with the sharing of information and of resources, including the improvements that are made to performance. A partnership between Robert Yates Racing and Roush Racing led to the 2004 season car being provided with Roush-Yates Engines. This team effort is now known to produce some of the most impressive engines that NASCAR has seen.
Roush Racing’s very first car that raced in NASCAR was their No.6 Stroh’s Light Ford. The year was 1988 and the race was the Daytona 500. After suffering engine failure after 19 laps, driver Mark Martin found himself finishing in 41st place. This unfortunate event did not discourage Martin in any way, and later in the season he had won a pole position and found himself achieving ten finishes in the top 10. In 1989, with one year of experience, Martin and Roush showed the NASCAR world exactly what they were up against by taking six pole positions, increasing their top 10 position finishes to 18 and securing a win at the North Carolina Speedway. In addition to these successes, the championship points put them in third place.
And as the old saying goes: ‘The rest is history’. Roush Fenway Racing is a name that is known worldwide and has grown into one of the biggest success stories of all time. It is a name that has delivered only the best, and has left its mark on NASCAR for years to come.