Midway though last season Bob Osborne stepped aside after serving as the crew chief of the No. 99 Ford since 2004. Even as Osborne no longer sits atop the pit-box of Edwards the driver still feels his influence on the race team.
“I am very, very grateful to Bob for everything that he’s done and everything that he still does for our team,” Edwards said in a teleconference call on Wednesday.
“I don’t feel like I lost Bob, I feel like I gained Jimmy Fennig and Bob still works on our team, so it’s a pretty cool situation for me.”
Edwards broke a 70-race win-less streak by finding victory lane at Phoenix in just his second start with crew chief Jimmy Fennig.
“I guess the biggest thing I appreciate about Bob is that when he wasn’t able to crew chief anymore, there was absolutely no ego involved. He stepped aside, Chad Norris came in, and then Bob moved to a different position in the company, and right now he still works — he works hand in hand with each crew chief, he’s developing things for the future of the team, and he maybe arguably has a bigger influence on our success than maybe he did even on the pit box some days.”
While Edwards is giving credit to Osborne he does recognize that the addition of Fennig and other forces are at play.
“I believe the ingredients that we have right now, the pit stops are fast, Jimmy Fennig’s experience, the cars, they seem to be running really well, the engines are fast, I think all those things are good for this season.”
Edwards has a lot to look forward to in 2013 including the upcoming race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I didn’t have — I know this is probably wrong to admit, but I didn’t really have Phoenix marked on the calendar as the one that we were going to go win the first race. I was looking at Vegas as the race that would be the really good one.”