Atlanta: Carl Edward preview

Carl Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "One of the biggest challenges at Atlanta is the track surface itself. It wears out tires so that always makes it tough when pitting to decide on two, or four tires. Throughout a run you have...

Carl Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"One of the biggest challenges at Atlanta is the track surface itself. It wears out tires so that always makes it tough when pitting to decide on two, or four tires. Throughout a run you have to drive the track differently so that makes it a little more driver intensive because the track is so abrasive. At the beginning of a run you drive it a little different than the end of a run so that's probably the biggest challenge of that place. Tire wear is always a factor. I thought that the tire we ran in the fall seemed a little better; I can't remember exactly what they changed. I didn't really have a problem with the tires in the spring. The car didn't handle really well, but everyone had the same tires and I thought it was still a pretty good race. We had a mechanical failure leading it and I was having a blast racing with those guys up front. I think that track, just the way it is, if you have a tire that's difficult to drive it really shows up there and that's why so much is said about it. It magnifies any trouble because the track is so fast and banked so high.

"Regardless of the challenges at Atlanta, for some reason we've had a lot of success there. I don't know why exactly. I just really like the race track. It drives like a half-mile dirt track. The way you drive around it feels a lot like the tracks I grew up racing on, even though it's completely different it still gives me that same sense of the momentum so I really like that. Between the surface, tires and car moving around, you have to really drive the car and I enjoy that. That's probably why I run well there. All those things plus I love going there; it's a fun place to race.

"And it doesn't hurt that I got my first Cup win there. The moment they threw the checkered flag and I realized I had just won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race it sort of changed my whole outlook on my career. I couldn't believe that it happened. It was just a really, really satisfying moment. It really felt good. Hopefully we'll be able to get another win there on Sunday. Aflac's headquarters are not too far from the track and it would be huge to win with the new Aflac paint scheme and all the people there from Aflac. It's a really good feeling to know that you are winning right there in your partner's backyard."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I'm really looking forward to returning to Atlanta. We ran very strong in the spring and won the fall race of last year. Atlanta is a great track for Carl. It really suits his driving style and I hope to have the continued success there. We are taking a brand new car this weekend - RK-565 was used as a back up car last season, but we never raced it. We feel like it's a really good car and hope to unload fast.

"Last weekend we struggled some in Vegas. We had a good car, but mistakes on pit road kept setting us back. Then, just when had overcome all the miscues and looked to be on our way to a solid finish, our engine broke. We've gone back to the shop and worked through all the kinks with our RPM and tire issues, so I'm not expecting to have that problem this weekend. This weekend we are going to Atlanta to pick up the win for Aflac."

FAST FACTS

* Carl Edwards will make his 10th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend in the Kobalt Tools 500 driving the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion.

* FOR THE RECORD...In his previous Cup starts at the 1.5-mile track, Edwards has three wins, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has led a total of 271 laps at AMS and completed 97.8% of all laps attempted there.

* REWIND 2008... Carl Edwards picked up his third career win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in October 2008. The win marked the seventh time that season that Edwards pulled the No. 99 into victory lane. Edwards' win at Atlanta came on the heels of his victory at Memphis in the NASCAR Nationwide Series the day before, making it the first time that the Columbia, Mo., native has swept a weekend when the races were held at different facilities.

* The No. 99 Aflac team will be unloading chassis No. RK-565 in Atlanta this weekend. This Ford Fusion served as a backup car for several races in 2008, but has never seen racing action.

* Edwards is currently ninth in Sprint Cup point standings after two races. He is 82 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Carl Edwards