CARL EDWARDS, driver of the No. 99 Scotts Grub Ex/Aflac Ford Fusion YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BACKUP CAR EARLY, HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOU? "The guys did a good job out there. We had a flat right rear tire and we hit the fence. The backup car is going...
CARL EDWARDS, driver of the No. 99 Scotts Grub Ex/Aflac Ford Fusion
YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BACKUP CAR EARLY, HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOU? "The guys did a good job out there. We had a flat right rear tire and we hit the fence. The backup car is going to take a little bit of work. The good news is we got a lap with it and we get to qualify with it, so we will get to start in our qualifying position which is the best way to go here. We got one lap in and we will tweak the set up from there."
THERE ARE ONLY THREE FULL TIME CUP DRIVERS RUNNING NATIONWIDE NOW, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT AND DOES IT MAKE NEXT WEEK THAT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT GOING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN POCONO AND NASHVILLE? "There are some pretty good drivers out there. Somebody was telling me that this was the first time we have been out of the top two in a couple of years. I don't think it matters if there are Cup drivers there or not, the competition is really stiff. There are guys out there that are running really well. We just have to keep out head down and keep going forward."
HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT WEATHER ON SATURDAY ELIMINATING PRACTICE TIME NOW THAT YOU ARE IN A BACK UP CAR? "A lot more now ^a the good thing is that our cars are pretty close and we have teammates to lean on. If we don't get any practice I feel like we still have a pretty good start. We were really close with that first car and Bob knows the differences and says he can get us right back to where we were. It would be a heck of a Sunday running 900 miles if that is how we did it. Hopefully the rain will hold off."
MATT KENSETH WAS SAYING EARLIER THAT YOU GUYS WERE TRYING TO CATCH UP WHILE EVERYONE ELSE WAS TAKING ONE MORE STEP AHEAD. DO YOU FEEL THAT TOO? "That is how the Sprint Cup series is. In a race, if you mess up just a little bit, it is really hard to gain any ground. We just aren't fast enough. The guys have been working really hard. We have been trying a lot of things. Bob has been working very closely with the other guys the last couple of weeks. We have been working as a team really well. The big thing is to hold it together and not self destruct. We are making progress, but it is painfully slow. I can't wait for one of the engineers to come up with that idea that will make us fast again."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS BEING MEMORIAL DAY AND YOUR INTERACTION WITH THE TROOPS? "I don't know what other sports are like, but here at NASCAR we get the chance to spend a lot of time with the folks that serve our country. We meet them at the race track almost every week. Last night we did the Speedway Children's Charity black tie event and General Sadler was there in his best military dress. Randy Fuller, retired Air Force, he wore his military uniform. A lot of people, me included, are very proud of what our military does and the sacrifices they make for us."
SOMEONE MENTIONED THAT WHOEVER WINS THE SECOND MICHIGAN RACE USUALLY MAKES THE CHASE. DO YOU GO FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT? DOES IT MAKE YOU TRY ANY HARDER THERE? "No, it sounds good though. If we win, I will lean on that statistic. I try my very hardest at every race, every lap. We give it 110% each time out. That has been a good track for us though and I would love to go there and run well. I don't think about that stuff unless it suits me. If we win it, then I might think about it."
A LOT OF THE TALK TODAY IS ABOUT DENNY AND KYLE. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU HANDLE A RIFT WITH A TEAMMATE AS OPPOSED TO A NON-TEAMMATE? "I think it is easier to handle stuff with teammates because you have to work with them. You have to put it behind you. I didn't think that was that big of a deal. I think it was just racing and frustration. I wish they would have been madder to slow them down, but they will probably come out of it better than before. That is the way it has always been with me. You come out of it stronger, better friends and better teammates."
HOW TOUGH IS IT WHEN YOU FALL BEHIND TO HAVE THINGS LIKE SIMULATIONS THAT ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL? "I think it is important in this sport because it is man and machine. It is important to keep perspective on your place as a driver. When you are doing well it is easy to think you are the man. But when it doesn't go well it is easy to point at the car. It is one of the hardest things. I am fortunate myself to have had success and have wins so that no matter how much I struggle I don't lose confidence. I was telling Lee Spencer the other day about my journal I found in my drawer the other night. I was reading from 2005 where I wrote 'This is easy, we are going to win a ton of championships', and it made me chuckle. It also inspired me. When it is good, it is easy ^a when it is not you can't get down on yourself. You have to be mentally tough."
-source: ford racing