CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st)
"That's a big deal. We've had a lot of support from Subway. It's been a lot of fun representing them and to be on the pole is huge. This new qualifying format is a little stressful. I had to watch Kyle go, and I know how fast he was, and then Kurt was screaming fast yesterday, so he had me stressed out a little bit. It's fortunate we were able to sit on the pole. I love this race track. I know all the drivers love this racetrack. It's really fun to drive on and starting up front is, hopefully, gonna make the race a lot simpler."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE BENEFIT OF HAVING THE FIRST PIT SELECTION? "Track position is huge here, especially on the short run. I think we'll have that first pit stall. I'm assuming that's what Bob will pick and that really helped us a lot in the fall to have a good pit stall because I would lose a couple spots, and Kurt and I actually raced a ton, and he would take off and leave us, but we had the advantage of the pit stall and sometimes we'd come back out front and he'd pass me again. But having that pit stall means a lot and it will hopefully help us throughout the whole race."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE AFTER THE LAST COUPLE? "You always have something to prove here every week. It doesn't really matter what you did before, it only matters what you're able to do now. I think having those ups-and-downs that I've had as a driver and we've had as a team have helped me to kind of stay a little more even keel about our results. The difference between those previous down years and this year is I feel like the reason we ran well at the end of last season, it's not like we have one trick - it's not like we have one axle housing or the engine, we all of a sudden found a bunch of horsepower. We have a number of things, I think, that are gonna make our team stronger. It's like Kurt said, we're faster because we have done a lot of hard work and the guys have worked smarter, so I'm more confident this year, but I understand it's not gonna get any easier. We just have to keep working."
THIS TRACK IS SUPPOSEDLY WORN OUT, BUT IT STILL MUST HAVE SOMETHING LEFT IN IT. "Yeah, this track is great. I talked to Sperber earlier and I think the question I asked him it seems a lot of people have asked was, 'Why would you even mess with this?' And he said that the last thing he wants to do is mess with this race track, but he has to. He said they put patches on this week, patches on patches, and it's literally coming apart. What it's got in it is a lot of character and it's a lot of fun and a lot of history, so it's sad to see it change and see the surface replaced, but it is what it is. What they say they're gonna do down here in the dogleg sounds pretty interesting. I think it could be a pretty wild event in the fall."
-source: ford racing