PHOENIX RECORD: Won the spring race after leading 122 laps. It was his second win at the one-mile track.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards said the team is heading to Phoenix "expecting to win this race and we know we can do it. We have good notes to go off of and a good place to start. I don't know if it is purely momentum but a good run like that (the first race at Phoenix) makes it easier to know what you have to do to have a good car and if we can just go out there and repeat all of that stuff, then we will be alright."
LOOKING BACK: After winning the pole and leading on six different occasions for 38 laps, Edwards felt Sunday was going to be a very good day. But he suffered engine failure on lap 187 of the 334-lap event to end the day in 37th place. "We don't usually have a lot of engine trouble," said Edwards. "We had such a great weekend going. The car, during the middle part of the race we were struggling but we were starting to get it worked out. It's just a disappointing way to end what had been a really good weekend."
ETC.: Edwards wants to end the season on a high note by winning the last two races of the season. "There is nothing we are not bringing to the race track equipment wise, effort wise and we are coming to win," said Edwards. "For us it is really about gearing up for next season. I never believed in momentum but you guys (the media) have proved me wrong. I guess what I am saying is we would really like to, no matter what the points situation, to finish the season strong because I feel it will help us get started next season."
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 118 points out of first place.
PHOENIX RECORD: Five top-five finishes in the last seven races including a win.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman said he "likes Phoenix. I like the race track, it's challenging. It's a place I've raced for the last 17 years. I've got quite a lot of experience at Phoenix. I've raced a lot of laps there. It's a challenging race track, and for that reason, it's a lot of fun. It's unique and totally different on both ends of the race track, so it's almost like two race tracks in one. It's definitely a driver's race track. The driver really has to drive and hustle the car a little bit and still be smooth. It's those aspects that make the track a lot of fun to me."
LOOKING BACK: Newman rallied in the final 100 laps to finish ninth at Texas. "It was a long day," said Newman. "It certainly didn't come easy. There wasn't much that we didn't try to change. We fought with the handling of our Outback Steakhouse Chevy all day, but Matt (Borland, crew chief) and the team worked on it every stop and it got better. We just couldn't get it to where I needed it to be. But in spite of how much we struggled today, to finish ninth was good. We'll certainly take that after the day we had."
ETC.: Newman's first race with Borland as his crew chief came at Phoenix in November 2000. "We qualified 10th and we ended up having a windshield tear-off cover up the grill and melt the engine down," said Newman. "Then we found out after the race that my brake pedal wasn't returning all the way, so it was cooking my brakes. We had a whole bunch of car problems but it was a good experience. To qualify tenth in my first Cup start was awesome. Then I backed it up the next time (at Phoenix) by winning the pole in my third Cup race, so we proved we were no fluke."
5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 133 points out of first place.
PHOENIX RECORD: One win and six top-10 finishes in 18 starts. In the last two November races, has finished fourth and first.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kahne said he is "hoping to carry the momentum (from Texas) to Phoenix this weekend and end our season on a strong note. We've been real good the last two fall races at Phoenix so we are hoping to continue that trend this weekend. We want to finish the year strong."
LOOKING BACK: Kahne was all smiles after finishing fifth at Texas, only his second top-10 finish in the Chase for the Championship. "We had a pretty good Time Warner Cable Chevy," said Kahne. "We were seventh to 10th most of the race, and worked our way to fifth there at the end. We kept working on it. It's been awhile since we've run up front so it feels pretty good. I'm glad we were able to have a flawless race, race all day and make a little ground at the end."
ETC.: Kahne admits "we definitely have had a tough Chase. I felt like at Martinsville we had a great car, and at some of the other ones too. Just have not been able to put it all together. Whether it was luck, or mistakes or whatever it's been. We still have a really solid team and great cars each week. If we could win at Phoenix or Homestead, it would make the winter a little bit easier. We tested at Homestead and had a great test so we feel good about there too."