Daytona 500: Edwards - Ford interview 2009-02-11

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, showed off his new commercials for the 2009 season and also answered some questions about the upcoming Daytona 500 on Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway. BASED ON...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, showed off his new commercials for the 2009 season and also answered some questions about the upcoming Daytona 500 on Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway.

BASED ON WHAT YOU'VE SEEN SO FAR, GOING INTO THE LAST LAP ON SUNDAY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE FIRST, SECOND OR THIRD? "Third wouldn't have worked out, I don't think, the other night. I've thought about this quite a bit. We have two different possibilities here, we could have a race on Sunday that ends with a long green flag run, or we're gonna have kind of what we had the other night where maybe 12 laps from the finish or 10 laps from the finish we get a caution and everybody is gonna be on the same page. I'm really hoping for the long green-flag run, where you can battle with two or three guys, instead of just mayhem. The way it feels to me, and I'm not an expert at this, but I'm getting better at these places, is it feels like it's just restraint that keeps us from wrecking. So the closer you get to the end of the race, there's this crescendo where everybody starts going, 'Well, I'm gonna take a little more chance,' and then there's a wreck. There's no way to race as hard as you want without wrecking in those situations. I hope it's not a frustrating race like that that finishes under caution. I want to race to the checkered flag."

IF IT'S A GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER FINISH, WOULD YOU WANT TO BE FIRST BECAUSE THERE COULD BE A WRECK AND THE RACE WOULD BE OVER? "Yeah, for sure. I learned that last year in the July race. The green-white-checker, here, it might not last more than 100 yards past the green, so you want to be first. It's tough. That was kind of one of the biggest letdowns that I've had in a race car. I was racing with Kyle and I was planning on how we were gonna do this to the end and then all of a sudden the caution is out and it's over. That's just part of it, but I hope it doesn't end like that."

COULD GAS MILEAGE HELP HERE? "It could help here. I guess Biffle won a race here once on fuel mileage. I don't know exactly how I'd save fuel around here, but anytime you can go a little farther it could pay off. The thing is, this track is big enough, if you're in the lead group and they pull off, even if they stop with you, I don't think you'll put them a lap down, so it's maybe not as big of an advantage here."

WILL WE SEE YOU GAMBLE EARLY IN THE SEASON LIKE YOU DID AT KANSAS LAST YEAR? "I don't know. I just have this thing sometimes in the car that comes out and I say, 'Screw it, we're going for it.' And it seems to happen once in a while a little too much. I don't know. I think early in the season -- last season we started out so strong I felt like I had the option to take more chances because we had that kind of points pad. We were way up in the points. Let's say we come out of here with a top-10 and we go to California and run really well, and Vegas really well, then I think we'll be able to take more chances. It just depends on what situation we're in."

HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE DUELS TOMORROW? "The duels are gonna be pretty interesting. Bob and I talked about that. If I'm not mistaken, it's supposed to be pretty hot and sunny tomorrow. I think if we can make it past the first eight or 10 laps without being in a big, wadded wreck, I think it's gonna string out a little bit. I think handling is gonna come into play, pit strategy a little bit, making sure you have a good pit stop if you have a green flag pit stop. My strategy is to race as hard as I can, get to the front, and hopefully rely on the handling of the car to be able to keep ourselves out front. I felt like our car the other night in the Bud Shootout handled really well and that's we were leading that first 25-lap run. But if we're anywhere near the front, I'm gonna race hard and try to win the twin so we can start up front because on Sunday I think it's gonna string out, too, and I want to be in the front. So we're racing hard."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RESTART ZONE? "Fifty feet sounds like a lot until you're in the car. I thought, 'That can't be 50 feet.' It's like two red lines and another one right after it, so it's not much of a zone. I think it's a good idea, though. I think that before it was kind of this, 'you could start wherever you want,' and it caused a lot of wrecks. I think they had it loosely determined that it was somewhere near the red lines, and then I don't remember who did it, but somebody waited until we got to the start-finish line to start and everybody wrecked. I think this is a good idea. It's cool. It defines it a little more, and I think at the tracks where it's just two guys trying to get an advantage on one another, I think that will be a big enough area to kind of mess with a guys head a little bit."

DOES THIS TRACK NEED REPAVING IN THE CORNERS? "No. I think repaving, they should not repave race tracks. I think the rougher the better. It makes it more fun when you're out there sliding around and moving. It makes it harder so that you can end up running different lines and get an advantage. If this track were like Talladega, it wouldn't be nearly as fun. I think repaving Darlington was the most frustrating thing they've done. In my eyes, that took a lot of fun out of that place and I hope they don't repave this one."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards