Daytona II: Edwards - Thursday media visit

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, is in fifth place in the standings heading into Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards finished second in last July's race at the famed track. He met with the media...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, is in fifth place in the standings heading into Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards finished second in last July's race at the famed track. He met with the media prior to Thursday's first practice.

"We had a great race here a year ago. It was very close. Kyle and I finished 1-2, closer than these two chairs up here are sitting together. It was close. Hopefully, we can run that well again. It would be nice if we could have a Ford in Victory Lane at both Daytona races, and it would be really good to win one in that Subway Ford. That would be really fun. I think that it will be all right."

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE NOMINATED FOR THE HALL OF FAME? "Obviously, it would be a huge honor to be a part of something like that. I'm relatively new guy in the sport, but it seems like all the time I meet people, and just the other day I was talking to Andy Petree, there's a guy who has done everything in the sport, and I get the chance to talk with Darrell Waltrip a lot and I know Bobby Allison, he's a great guy. Who votes on who gets in? How does that work? A COMMITTEE. "They have a committee? So, I'm sure they'll get it right and I'm sure it'll be a big honor for those guys. I can't imagine someday maybe being retired, and being honored in that way would be very cool."

WHAT ABOUT A GUY LIKE DAVID PEARSON? "David Pearson is cool. I'd vote for him for just about anything. He's a pretty fun guy. I like him a lot. Hopefully, they'll get the right group. I'm sure they will."

WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO CATCH KYLE BUSCH IN THE NATIONWIDE STANDINGS? AND, WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON THE DOUBLE-FILE RE-STARTS STARTING IN NATIONWIDE HERE TOMORROW NIGHT? "The last couple of weeks, I think we're run just a little bit better than that 18 team and Kyle in the Nationwide series. We did really well at Milwaukee. We were really fast at New Hampshire, we just had a bad pit stop. We just have to run like that every week. If you look at how Kyle has run, he probably should've won eight or 10 races -- I don't know how many he's won, but not that many -- that's how you have to run to win 'em. To win three races, you have to dominate eight or nine of them. So, we just have to keep running the way we're running, to keep working on these engines and make sure we're fast at these bigger tracks, and make sure we have a little luck. Those guys are good. As far as the double-file re-starts, there's probably no better place to start them then here and see how it goes. It'll shake things up a little more in the Nationwide series than the Cup series at the bigger tracks because there's less horsepower. You're more reliant on the sideforce and downforce, so when you start cars side-by-side like that, there will be a lane that has a bigger advantage, or an advantage, and it will be a bigger advantage, maybe, than in the Cup series. So, I think you'll see more shaking up of the field with double-file re-starts in Nationwide than you will in Cup."

WHAT WAS YOUR REASCTION TO YESTERDAY'S NEWS REGARDING JEREMY MAYFIELD? HOW COMFORTABLE WILL YOU BE AS A DRIVER WITH HIM ON THE TRACK IF AND WHEN HE RETURNS? "I think the best thing is just to wait and see what the real facts are and what comes out. I think all of the speculation is damaging to both NASCAR and Jeremy, so I'll just wait to see what comes out of it. But, I feel safe with all the drivers on the track. I don't have any problem racing anyone."

FROM WHAT YOU REMEMBER FROM THE RAIN-SHORTENED DAYTONA 500, DO YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT A GOOD HANDLE ON WHAT YOU HAD? "I felt like the Daytona 500 was a good race. Our cars were good. It obviously didn't finish under green, which is never good, but I felt like we learned enough at that race that we can lean on that information and have a little bit of confidence. I felt like we were pretty good. The last two trips here, I felt like we've been good. This track is a lot more fun, for me. It's the most fun restrictor-plate track, because it's got bumps and it gets slick and handling comes into play, and that's pretty cool after 10 or so laps. I feel like we've got a good handle on that, so hopefully that translates to a good run."

AFTER WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF TALLADEGA, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT HERE, THE NEXT RESTRICTOR-PLATE RACE? "Honestly, I've had wrecks that were worse feeling than that by far. That one was pretty wild, and the potential for something bad to happen was maybe a little higher -- not for me, but for Ryan Newman, the fans. I'm not going to drive any differently. If I had it to do over again, I think it would end up probably the same way. At least I'm aware more of the fact that, hey, there's some things that can happen that I hadn't thought of before. It's funny in racing, you forget about those wrecks that quick and then you go do the same stupid stuff again and again -- at least I do. So, I'd say that's far from my mind. I hadn't thought about it today until you said that."

YOU'RE ON FACEBOOK NOW. HOW IS THAT OR CONNECTING WITH FANS ON YOUR TERMS? "It's really fun. That whole medium is kind of finding its way to where it's going to end up. I used to think Why would you have a MySpace page or Facebook or Twitter? It's silly. I have 26,000 fans on my Facebook page now, and it's really cool because it's the only place I can reach that many folk, and I can just tell them what's on my mind or what's going on. There's nobody looking over my shoulder or telling me what I can or can't say, or trying to slip things in there. It's the coolest thing. If I'm riding my bicycle, I might take a picture from my phone, and send it up, it's kind of fun. It's fun for them, but it's really fun for me. Fans send me pictures and sometimes it's hard to get things, but they can post pictures. There's a guy had a real cool picture of his mini-Cup car and had it painted up Aflac 99. That was pretty cool. It's kind of neat. It's fun."

HOW DO YOU GET OVER WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF TALLADEGA? "One of the things that attracted me to racing so much was that the first time I drove a race car it scared the hell out of me, so, I was like, 'Man, that's pretty exciting.' Now, I don't get that feeling. It's just the competition, and that the fear is losing. That's the only real fear out there is making a mistake that costs you a position or the race. There's really no issue there."

RICHARD PETTY WON HIS 200TH RACE 25 YEARS AGO. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE LEGEND AND HIS INFLUENCE ON YOU? "Richard Petty, he's larger than life. My dad went to a race to somewhere in Kansas. He'd leave on a Friday and come back 4 in the morning Saturday night after racing somewhere, and one of the coolest things he ever brought me was a little plastic Richard Petty helmet with a visor. All pictures and videos when I was a little kid riding my Big Wheel I'm wearing this 43 helmet. I wore it out. The visor broke off and the decals were ripped. I was just this kid riding around in a blue helmet. It was cool. To me, he was a mythical figure. Now, I get to see him and talk to him. He's just a regular, down-to-earth guy, that's Superman, really, to all of us. One of the neatest things he did to me is he pulled me aside one time after we went to our event for Coca-Cola, and I had forgotten my dress shoes so I had these boots and they were all nasty, so I'm wearing a suit with these nasty boots, and he said, 'I don't mean to get in your business, son, but you make enough money, and when you're going to go to something nice like that, you need to get yourself a nice pair of shoes and dress appropriately. I think that would be good for you.' I was like, 'Yes, sir. I appreciate it.' And I've got a pair of dress shoes on my airplane now. He's that kind of guy. He can grab anybody in this garage and tell them the same thing, and they'll say, 'Yes, sir.' He's pretty cool."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Ryan Newman , Richard Petty , Andy Petree , Carl Edwards , Bobby Allison , David Pearson