For Carl Edwards, Sunday brings the “most fun race of the season” for the Sprint Cup Series.
Edwards and 42 other drivers will compete in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, one of the series’ two road course races of the year.
“It’s pure driving,” Edwards said in a press release about racing on the 12-turn, 1.99-mile track. “Left, right, using all the gears, managing the tires, and pit strategy comes in to play. This is a tough race and it’s also one of the most physically demanding races.”
Edwards is allowed to be excited for the race. Before his gas mileage win in the Coca-Cola 600 in May, Sonoma was the site of his most recent Cup win in 2014. Edward led a race-high 26 laps on the way to his final victory as a member of Roush Fenway Racing.
“For all those reasons it was a blast to win there last year,” Edwards said. “Hopefully, we can come out there and defend our race win from last year which was really one of the coolest wins I have ever had.”
In 10 starts at Sonoma, Edwards has finished in the top five two other times, in 2011 (third) and 2013 (third). At Watkins Glen International, the second road course the Sprint Cup Series visits, Edwards has a five top-five finishes, but no wins in 10 starts.
Edwards is one of two current Joe Gibbs Racing drivers to have earned a win at Sonoma. Kyle Busch won there in 2008.
“It’s a fun race track and we’ve already got a win this season,” Edwards said. “Our mission is to go out there and just have a good time. Our guys have put a lot of work into our road course program, and I am excited to see what it’s like driving a Toyota out there.”
If Edwards were to win Sunday, he would be the first repeat driver on the road course since Jeff Gordon won two race in three years from 2004-2006.