Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is in fourth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into Saturday night's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Edwards is coming off a second-place finish at Daytona last Saturday ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is in fourth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into Saturday night's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Edwards is coming off a second-place finish at Daytona last Saturday night, his 11th top-10 in the last 13 races. He finished third at Chicagoland last year.
TONY STEWART ANNOUNCED HIS NEW DEAL TODAY. THERE'S TALK THAT OTHER DRIVERS THIS YEAR WERE OFFERED PIECES OF OWNERSHIP. WERE YOU? "The numbers are huge and we're very fortunate to have sponsors that believe in the sport, fans that will support the sponsors. That's what really gets the numbers to be big, are the sponsorship dollars. For me, personally, the idea of ownership, that's what makes up true wealth and something you can pass along and something you can have a legacy with. But also with that comes a lot of responsibility, and for me, I didn't really look at that too much. A couple people talked about it a little bit, but for me it's about just being in the best car and racing on Sunday -- that's what gives me the joy. Now, it would not be enjoyable for me to take on the responsibilities, trying to manage things and make decisions on a corporate level. That just doesn't sound like fun right now."
WOULD TONY BE TOUGH TO DRIVE FOR? WHAT KIND OF OWNER WILL HE BE? "I'm sure Tony will be fine at it. It'll be exciting to watch, just like anything. I don't know if I could drive for him. It would be tough. We've had some times where we both wanted to kill each other, and fortunately Jack and I haven't had that yet. But, I'll tell you what, he is an amazing competitor and I think what he's doing is probably really lucrative for him, but it's also going to be a big challenge. I know, for me personally and for most of the guys in the garage, we'll be watching, kind of see how this goes and see what happens."
THE SERIES RETURNS TO A MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACK THIS WEEK. "I feel real good about all these mile-and-a-halves. We run really well at them, and we run pretty well at some other tracks, too. This whole year I feel like we're better than we've ever been. So, it's good. I feel good about practice, too."
ON THE CHASE, SPECIFICALLY BONUS POINTS. "We don't need Kyle [Busch] to get any more bonus points at all. He's going to be tough to beat, regardless of whether he has those points, but, if you give him a head start, that's not good. I'm really focused on winning races right now. We're almost to the point where, knock on wood, we can count ourselves in the Chase. And, once that's done, nothing else matters, winning is all that matters right now."
ON STRATEGY GETTING CLOSE TO THE CHASE. "Once we feel very certain we're going to be in the Chase, we're going to take a different approach. Bob [Osborne, crew chief] and I have talked about it. We're going to try some things that you definitely wouldn't try racing for points, because wins are all that really matters."
SUCH AS? "You might gamble on a little fuel. Strategy, aggressiveness on the track. You try some things that you know you definitely wouldn't do if you're points racing. Hopefully, we get to that position. If we have a couple of more good races and we feel real comfortable and we can go race like that."
THIS WILL BE THE FIRST RACE AT CHICAGOLAND UNDER THE LIGHTS? WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? "I don't really have any expectations under the lights, other than it just should be fun. It'll be a good show for the fans. It's always pretty hot here in July, and I think the fans are the ones that are going to benefit the most."
WILL THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRACK CHANGE UNDER THE LIGHTS? "The track will have a little more grip, but it's the same for everyone, so it'll be the same race, it'll just be a tick faster."
-credit: ford racing