After engine problems at the Brickyard, Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing team have to rely on wins to get in to The Chase. Edwards is winless thus far this year, and needs at least two wins in the next 6 races to have a reasonable chance at a Wildcard spot in the playoff format that decides the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 UPS Ford Fusion (Finished 29th)

YOU HAD SOME MOTOR PROBLEMS, WHAT DID THEY FIGURE OUT? “They haven’t told me anything yet. We think it is some issue with the ECU. We changed that along with the spark plugs and the engine started running better. The biggest thing is what we were talking about there which is our strategy now. I don’t think we are points racing anymore. I think we are officially racing only for wins. We were going over what happened while it was fresh in our mind to determine the best strategy. We had one thing, we had a very fast race car. Greg finished third with his car and I felt like ours was as good as his 3M Fusion. Right now we are going to talk to the guys. Chad and I want to make sure they know that we do not quit. We keep going. We don’t give up. We put our best effort out there and if it is meant to be, it will be.”

WHAT IS THE STRATEGY GOING FORWARD? “I think it will involve lots of pushing on the right pedal and turning left and going as fast as possible. We have to take chances. We have to go race. We can do that, we can race like that. It will actually be a big relief in a way because there is no other choice. We just go race for wins. I wouldn’t bet against us. We can do it.”

THE DECISION TO STAY OUT OR COME IN, IT SOUNDED ON THE RADIO LIKE THAT WAS A TOUGH DECISION. “Yeah well Chad got thrust into about the most terrible predicament a crew chief can be in. We didn’t know what was wrong with the engine and we were kind of points racing but also racing for the win. We had a fast race car and we came in and did the best diagnosis we could and went two laps down under green. Then we stayed out there with seven cylinders or so and it ran pretty well and then got caught up on pit road again by about 50 feet when we got beat by the pace car and went another lap down and that was pretty much the death nail for the whole thing. We talked about it a little bit and the silver lining is this kind of makes it official that we just go race for wins now for the next six races. I don’t think there is much of a chance we are going to march back up there in the points.”

WHAT MAKES IT A SILVER LINING? “Well, for instance, today the decision whether or not to come work on the car, if we aren’t worried about points you just stay out and run it. You don’t know when there is a problem if there is a valve that will tear up a mechanical part of the engine or if it is just an electronic thing, which in this case it was. Hindsight being 20-20 we could have stayed out and run, stayed on the lead lap, come in and chance the ECU and then go back and race for the win. When you are points racing you can’t take that chance. We will just go race now.”

SO EARLY IN THE RACE TO HAVE IT TAKEN AWAY. “yeah, I thought we had a great race car and there is nothing you can do about this sort of thing. It is one of those things that just happens. Unfortunately a lot of those things have been happening to us. We will just go racing and see what happens after this.”

HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF THAT? “I try to keep things in perspective. At the end of the day we are just racing cars and it isn’t life or death. I am ultra competitive but I have learned to be the best I can on the race track I can’t let something like this affect me past today. I have to go out there and make sure it doesn’t affect the guys next week or me and we have to give the same effort every week. If there is a win there or a good run we will get it but we can’t beat ourselves.”

IS IT LIBERATING? DO YOU FEEL LESS PRESSURE TO JUST BE ABLE TO GO RUN FOR WINS? IS IT EASIER? “Nothing is easier, it is just simpler. It makes decisions simpler. For instance, if the same thing were to happen next week at Pocono, it is an easy decision. I would stay out and run it, no matter how sick the engine is, until we get a caution and then go work on it. We just have to do what we can. We have to plan to win these races. I don’t think we can think about points anymore. I don’t know what the spread is but it can’t be good. That is what I am saying when I say it is simpler. We just have to go race for wins now.”

Source: Ford Racing media