Carl Edwards talks Daytona

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Edwards thinks 'time is of the essence' in getting intermediate track problems corrected

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, met with media members Thursday evening after the rain-delayed opening practice session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of Saturday nights Coke Zero 400.

IT IS A LITTLE STORMY OUT THERE. TALK ABOUT THAT FIRST PRACTICE SESSION AND WHAT YOU SAW OUT THERE IN THE CAR. “We just finished. We stayed out on the track until almost the end and there was a big lightning bolt out there in turn one and that was a pretty neat picture out of the window there. Hopefully everybody is safe and stays out of harms way. You know, I read a neat article by Ed Hinton and his 40-years doing this. I don’t know if he is in here but that was pretty neat to read and I want to say congrats to him on his retirement. That was a cool story to read. But I digress, our car is fine. It seems pretty good. I am proud to have Subway on board and we have a lot of fun with those folks and hopefully we get the opportunity to run the entire race, don’t get caught in any wrecks and with the two wins and being in the Chase it is a opportunity for us to just go out and be aggressive and have some fun and hopefully get a trophy here at Daytona. That would be a big deal for me.”

DO YOU EXPECT IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO PASS HERE THIS WEEK LIKE IT WAS LAST WEEK IN KENTUCKY? “I don’t think so. I think even though the weather is hot and this track is right on the edge of requiring you to lift off the throttle the cars still grip well enough and the cars have enough downforce and the tires grip well enough that I don’t think we will have to lift. I think it will be a pack race and I don’t think handling will come into play very much unless you really stretch it on tire wear. I don’t think that will be a factor.”

ANYTHING NEW YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT NEXT YEAR? “No, no there isn’t and it isn’t bothering me to keep it to myself either.”

THE ISSUES YOU GUYS HAVE HAD ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS, DO YOU NEED TO GET THOSE FIXED BY INDIANAPOLIS OR IS IT MORE POCONO, MICHIGAN. DO YOU HAVE FOUR WEEKS TO GET IT FIGURED OUT? “Really time is of the essence. We have to fix our problems now. The first thing is we have to figure out what our problem is and then we have to fix it. Time is getting shorter and everyone is working as hard as they can. Jimmy Fennig, the first thing he said to me today was hey, we have things we are working on and things we are excited about and don’t worry because we don’t give up and are going to fight this thing until the end. We have nine races until the Chase and we feel like we are good enough right now to hang on through the first round. So we have about 12 or 13 races before we have to be better. We did it last year. We made the Chase and led the regular season points and then ended up 13th in the final standings. As great as it was to do well in the first part of the season, we want to win the Chase. We don’t want to just be participants. We have to get things fixed right now.”

DO YOU THINK RAIN TIRES ARE A GOOD IDEA FOR THE SPRINT CUP SERIES? “I didn’t get to see the Nationwide race last week but I really enjoyed racing in the rain in Montreal. The race when Marcos and I battled to the end with the track drying, that was really fun. The Goodyear tire was a really exciting tire to race on because as it dried out it wore really quickly and was hard to manage. I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t run in the rain in the Cup series. I think it adds a really interesting element to the race. It is slightly dangerous. It took us a few years of doing it to be able to do it safely but man, it is a whole other dimension and is really fun.”

WITH THE RAIN AND EVERYTHING, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE NEXT PRACTICE IN TERMS OF WHAT WE WILL SEE SATURDAY NIGHT? “So, if I am not mistaken, if it rains out tomorrow the practice we just finished will determine the starting order. That is why that practice was so crazy. I think if we get the next practice in it will be representative of the race. You will see guys trying different things and seeing how their cars pull up behind the others and how handling is. I don’t know if we will get that practice though and I don’t know if we will get to qualify. If we do get to qualify, it is going to be crazy. It is going to be interesting. You saw a glimpse of it there a minute ago with everyone pacing around and not wanting to be the rabbit out there. At the end of the day, this is what this new Chase format was made for, a race like this in the middle of the summer with guys that have to win and guys like myself with nothing to lose. It is going to be a crazy race.”

WOULD YOU LIKE QUALIFYING TO RAIN OUT? “No, I want to qualify. I thought I was doing really well and ended up 27th in practice. That wasn’t good.”

Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Event Darlington
Article type Interviews
Tags carl edwards, daytona, ford, nascar sprint cup, roush fenway