Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Monte Carlo SS met with media and discussed the Carl Edwards / Matt Kenseth situation at Martinsville, on his relationship with Tony Stewart, racing at Texas next week, on his approach to the Chase in the next four...
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Monte Carlo SS met with media and discussed the Carl Edwards / Matt Kenseth situation at Martinsville, on his relationship with Tony Stewart, racing at Texas next week, on his approach to the Chase in the next four weeks, his relationship with Carl Edwards, the elements of good teammates, on paying attention to other teammates, and the difference between Lowe's Motor Speedway, Texas, and Atlanta
Select quotes from driver interview:
HOW WAS PRACTICE? "We felt like we were really good in race trim. But for some reason we didn't be pick up hardly anything in qualifying (trim) and that really put hinder on where we're at on the charts. But I think we go out second or third to last, I think the track is probably going to be at its best then. So we'll be able to pick up a little then."
WITH ALL THAT IS GOING ON IN THE ROUSH CAMP THIS WEEK, HAVE YOU EVER HAD A SIMILAR SITUATION?
"I've never been to a point where I was that angry. But I think we've all had our issues at times. As teammates, you expect your teammate to drive you a little bit different than what you expect of other guys. And when they don't show you that courtesy, not necessarily that they have to, but it kind of fires you up and I think that's a lot of the reason they had the problems they had."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT WHEN YOU SAW THE INCIDENT?
"I didn't think too much of it. As drivers, we see sides to people that not a lot of people see. To me, that was typical Carl (Edwards) and typical Matt (Kenseth). So it really was no surprise to me."
THERE IS A FEELING THAT WHAT WE SEE IN CARL EDWARDS IS NOT THE REAL CARL EDWARDS. IS THAT THE CASE?
"I just think his temper is a little bit different than what people may think. But I mean you've got to let your personality come out. And if you want to get fired up and this and that and the other, he does a good job of staying calm on TV. But I've seen a side to Carl and even other guys out there that are not so pleasant."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR THE ROUSH CAMP TO PUT THIS BEHIND THEM AND SETTLE IT, OR HOW DAMAGING CAN IT BE IF THEY DON'T?
"I don't think it's going to be very damaging. I think those guys are going to race each other the exact same way whether they confronted each other or they didn't. I think a lot of it is just two competitive spirits. Like I said, when you're in the same stable you expect to get raced a little bit different and when you don't, you get mad. It's just that some people show it differently than others."
SINCE YOU ARE MATHEMATICALLY OUT OF THE HUNT FOR THE TITLE, WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR THE REST OF THE CHASE?
"We definitely know we're not in the championship and we know we're not in a position to be top three in points, but we see top four, we could get there or top five is definitely feasible for us. If we end the year and accomplish that goal of either fourth or fifth in points, that's going to be a huge, huge bonus for us considering where we started when we were three or four weeks in."
HOW OFTEN DO YOU SEE THAT ANGRY SIDE OF CARL EDWARDS? EVERY WEEK, EVERY MONTH, OR WHEN?
"Carl and I have had some issues in the Busch Series. It was last year when he kind of caught me by surprise the way he reacted. But we've also had 20 races that have gone good between us versus two bad ones. So I just think it really just all depends the situation. I think that situation (between Edwards and Kenseth) had boiled over, over a few weeks. I know with Tony (Stewart) it's kind of the same deal. It finally comes to a head and it's real ugly."
WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEAMMATE?
"I think you try to model yourself after probably the No. 24 and No. 48. They do a good job of racing hard, but still maintain a good relationship. I feel like me and Tony (Stewart) have that relationship now, but it took an incident for that to happen. You're liable to see the same thing with those two. You're liable to see that they're probably closer after this then they were before. Sometimes it just takes them letting it all out in the air before one realizes what the other expects out of the other."
-credit: gm racing