Atlanta II: Edwards - Friday media visit

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is fifth in the point standings going into Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. He held his weekly Q&A session after Friday's practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway. MATT SAID TODAY...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is fifth in the point standings going into Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. He held his weekly Q&A session after Friday's practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

MATT SAID TODAY THAT YOU TWO STILL HAVEN'T TALKED AND HE DOESN'T SEE A REASON. YOUR RESPONSE? "I guess all I can say about it is I've said the way things went down, I wish they hadn't gone that way and I've apologized for it. My belief is that we should try to work it out. I called him. If he doesn't want to, that's his prerogative. He can do that."

HE ALSO SAID IT WASN'T TRUE YOU GUYS HADN'T TALKED IN SIX MONTHS. "I've said what I said about that and that's how I feel about it."

SO YOU DON'T FEEL THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF INTERACTION? "I've already talked about that. That's that."

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT HOW FANS WILL PERCEIVE YOU NOW THAN HOW THEY DID BEFORE? "Let me make it very clear on the perception thing. I am a competitor. I am a fierce competitor. That's why I'm here. As far as people's perception of me or how I am personally, I've read some stuff or heard and some people are deeply misunderstanding what's going on here. When I run well, I'm happy and I'm happy to be here. When things don't go my way or I feel like someone is trying to take something from me, I'm going to stand up for myself. That's just the way I was raised. That's the way I am. That's the way I've always been. That's that."

HE BACKED OFF ABOUT YOUR BEHAVIOR BEING ERRACTIC. IS THAT ONE QUOTE BEEN PART OF THE BIGGEST EXPLOSION OF THIS THING? "I think the whole deal is a little bit, I mean it's kind of been blown up a little bit more than what it is. It's two guys that were upset at each other and I believe I've been pretty consistent. I'm generally a very happy guy and when I've had trouble with someone or don't believe that someone has been treating me right, I've gone and told them so. That's pretty consistent."

ARE YOU SURPRISED YOUR OTHER TEAMMATES KIND OF PILED ON? "I learned a lot this week. People don't always understand what's going on and what's really happening, and I can say that I really learned how people felt about me which is nice because it definitely seems from what I've learned this week that a lot of people don't mind walking around feeling a certain way about you and they don't say how they feel until it's popular to say it."

MATT SAID HE WASN'T AWARE OF ANYTHING FESTERING OVER A PERIOD OF TIME? "The deal is Matt knows and I know what's gone on between us. It's really, I don't believe, something that should play out in the media. It's too bad it escalated into what happened there Sunday, but it's competition."

DO YOU THINK THERE'S RESENTMENT FROM THE TEAM BECAUSE OF ALL THE MAGAZINES AND OTHER THINGS YOU'VE DONE? "I'm not sure. You'd have to ask other people. I can tell you that I go out here and I do the very best I can. I've done that for a long time and that's all I can say. The first person who hasn't made a mistake or been angry and stood up for themselves, is welcome to come raise their hand and criticize me farther than I deserve, but that's the way it's gonna be, I guess."

HE ALSO SAID HE WAS GLAD HE DIDN'T GET HIS BUTT KICKED. HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO ACTUALLY PUNCHING HIM? "I was not going to punch Matt. I was just real angry at him at the time and I wanted to get rise out of him. I didn't punch him. That's the thing when you really look at it. That's how it went down."

YOU COULD CLINCH THE BUSCH TITLE THIS WEEKEND. WILL THIS TAKE AWAY FROM THAT? "The beginning of the week was pretty rough. Listen, I got on You Tube and I watched and I thought, 'Wow, that wasn't good,' just like everybody else. Really, by the middle of the week, I'd come to terms with what happened and I'm just excited to get on with racing this weekend, race at Memphis and hopefully clinch the Busch title. Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks. I'm glad to be here this weekend. No, the way this deal is and the way the media is, hopefully this will be old news here after a week or two."

HOW MUCH DID IT HELP TO HAVE MARK MARTIN ON THE TEAM TO BE THE LEADER. IT SEEMS LIKE SINCE HE HAS LEFT THAT NOBODY HAS STEPPED UP TO FILL THAT VOID? "I don't agree with that exactly. I can say though that Mark Martin is a heck of a guy. I really like Mark a lot. We actually talked this week and he helped me a lot to understand kind of what might be going on and how to help make it better."

KEVIN HARVICK SAID IN A TELECONFERENCE AND HE USED THE TERM ROID RAGE TO DESCRIBE YOUR BEHAVIOR. DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTION TO THAT AT ALL? "No, not really. I actually talked to Kevin yesterday and I think he knows that what he said was probably not the smartest thing to say."

IF YOU COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN, HOW WOULD YOU APPROACH IT? "If I had it to do over again, we'd just talk about it, we'd sit down. I'd ask Jack to make us all sit down and work this stuff out in definitely a more civil manner. My sponsors and my fans, I regret that I did that in the manner that I did."

ARE YOU SURPRISED JACK HASN'T MADE YOU SIT DOWN TOGETHER? "No, I'm not surprised. It's really between Matt and I. Everybody has had a disagreement with somebody. Everybody has done something they wish they hadn't done, and it takes a little bit of time to heal that kind of stuff."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE COT TEST HERE NEXT WEEK? "The car of tomorrow test, I'm really excited about it. It will be the first time we've really run these current cars at a mile-and-a-half track. I think it's gonna be good."

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE SPEED? "It'll be interesting to see how they work beside one another and see how the air changes how they handle. I think that it's gonna be a bigger deal than it is with the car of today."

HOW MUCH WILL WE BE ABLE TO TELL ABOUT THE CAR AND WILL IT BE INDICATIVE OF WHAT WE'LL SEE NEXT YEAR? "Oh yeah, this test is gonna say a lot about what's gonna happen next year. It's gonna show us a lot. I don't know if you can tell who is gonna be great because there's so much time between now and when we race it on a mile-and-a-half track, but it will tell us a lot."

ARE YOU INSULTED WHEN THE WORD STEROIDS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU? "No, I'm not insulted. That's really a non-issue. I work out really hard. I do everything I can to be as healthy as I can and I think that's pretty silly."

FINAL COMMENT. "I just want to say one more time that I definitely regret what happened and hopefully everybody understands that it's just competition. I do the best I can and, like I said, when things don't go well, I might not be as happy as I am when things do go well. That's just me. That's how competitive I am."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards