CHARLOTTE RECORD: Three top-nine finishes in the last four races to bring his top-10 total to 10 in 17 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards said, "Charlotte has been hot or cold for us. We hope to build on our top-five at Kansas. We need great runs to stay in the hunt for the championship. Charlotte is fast and will require great strategy. Jimmy (Fennig, his crew chief) and my crew have been amazing, so I'll lean on them. We are hoping this will be one of our hot weeks at Charlotte."
LOOKING BACK: Edwards finished fifth at Kansas. "I don't know if we actually deserved to finish that well as much as I wanted to finish better than that," said Edwards. "We struggled. Holy moly that track is tough. The restarts were insane. Look up insane and that is the definition right there. Kyle (Busch) and I ended up wrecking, but I kept it going straight. The tire worked great in the test when it was about 25 degrees warmer but the conditions changed (for the race) and we went into an unknown area and didn't know the tire would act that way. It was treacherous, I mean, death-defying every time you went into the corner on a run."
ETC.: With Talladega still looming as the wild-card race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, Edwards believes he can still be a factor in the race for the 2013 title. "We gained ground at Kansas and if we do it again at Charlotte, we are still in the hunt," said Edwards. "We all know that a lot of things can change in six weeks, especially with Talladega still ahead of us. So we are not about to give up."
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, 73 points out of first place. Lost five spots last week.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: Finished sixth in the May race to boost his top-10 total to nine in 25 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman said, "I hope we can build off where we were in the Coca-Cola 600. We had a good car, and were in position at the end. I've been in position several times in the Coke 600 and actually I think about five years ago led everything - led coming to the white (flag) and then crashed in turn one. I've been close (to winning) at Charlotte. Looking forward to just a good rebound weekend from what we had in Kansas. That would be good for not just me but for everybody (on the team)."
LOOKING BACK: Newman's championship hopes were all but wiped out at Kansas as he got caught up in a wreck just past the halfway point of the 267-lap event. "There's not much to say other than we were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in an accident not of our making," said Newman, who ended the day in 35th place. "It's definitely a disappointing day for all of us on the Code 3 Associates team."
ETC.: Newman admits "it's been an up-and-down year on several fronts, career-wise, race-wise, Chase-wise, all those things. But I have an extreme passion for the outdoors. Literally an hour ago I was sitting on my tractor planting alfalfa on my farm. I enjoy those things that are a release for me. In the end, there's a balance there. Whether it's feeding deer or taking care of my kids or fishing or whatever, I just enjoy those things that are entirely different from what we do in any given weekend."
KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 83 points out of first place.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: Will be shooting for his fifth straight top-eight finish. Has four wins and 11 top-10 finishes including eight top-five's in 19 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kahne said, "Looking at the remaining races on the schedule this season, there are a couple tracks that we've been able to run up front at every time we go there. Charlotte is one of them so I'm looking forward to this weekend. I think it's a track we can definitely run well at."
LOOKING BACK: After running in the top 10 for much of the race, Kahne encountered handling problems during the final 35 laps and ended the day in 15th place. "During the middle of the race, we were pretty good," said Kahne. "But all those cautions at the end didn't really allow us much chance to get back up to where we had been running. The car just wasn't as good at the end as we needed it to be."
ETC.: Kahne knows his chances of winning the 2013 championship are "history. So I'm focused on trying to get back on track and finishing up the season strong. We'll do what we can to finish off our year on a high note, and hopefully we can get a win or two at some of my best race tracks." Kahne has two wins to his credit this season.