Carl Edwards was as surprised by Bob Osborne’s request to be pulled off the No. 99 team as everyone else, but he won’t be surprised if he comes back.
Osborne shocked everyone at Roush Fenway Racing two weeks ago when he said he had a health issue that needed attention, Edwards said. The timing couldn’t have been worse, especially with Edwards being outside the top 10 in points.
Many viewed the switch to Chad Norris as a way to shake up the team. Edwards, however, was adamant that wasn’t the case.
“It is a pretty interesting set of circumstances and pretty wild how it all came together but I think we are doing the right thing for Bob which is most important and then also for our team,” Edwards said. “I can’t overstate enough that Bob is a very, very dedicated guy to our sport and he is going through something right now that would be tough for anyone and for him to have done what he has done at this level and to have kept it quiet, he is just a tough, tough man.”
Osborne is still at Roush Fenway Racing, but he no longer travels. Once he’s ready to return, Edwards said it’s possible he could come back to the No. 99 Ford.
“What we are trying to do right now is make the team better and fix any issues we might have which we don’t even know exactly what the issues are,” Edwards said. “If we don’t do any better here and Bob is up to it, we will probably put Bob right back in as soon as he is able. If this goes well and Bob is doing well in his new role and that is the best thing for him and Chad is doing great then we will move forward with that.”
DRIVERS BEWARE: One of the biggest concerns for this Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 is the wildlife around the Pocono Raceway.
The race track is on top of a mountain. It’s very common to see deer and bears around – and on – the track.
“We have seen deer all over the place up there. I have seen them at the track,” Greg Biffle said. “We had to wait once because they were trying to shoo one off into the woods there because he was near turn one. It is fun to joke about but it would be pretty serious if one got out on the race track. We definitely need to watch out for that.”
Neil Bonnett once struck a deer at full speed between the first and second turns. On another occasion, NASCAR threw a caution for a deer on the track, and flagman Harold Kinder put his hands beside his head and extended his fingers to look like antlers to warn drivers.
Speedway officials have added new fencing around the track to help keep the wildlife off the racetrack.