Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is in 11th place in the Chase heading into Sunday's race at Dover. Edwards, who has one victory and a current streak of six consecutive top-seven finishes at The Monster Mile, met with the...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is in 11th place in the Chase heading into Sunday's race at Dover. Edwards, who has one victory and a current streak of six consecutive top-seven finishes at The Monster Mile, met with the media following Friday's first practice session.
YOU'VE OFTEN TALKED ABOUT APPROACHING RACES ONE AT A TIME. NOW THAT THE CHASE HAS STARTED, IS THERE ADDED URGENCY? "You know, with only 10 races in the Chase, there is a little bit of urgency, but it's still 10 races. Last week, for instance, wasn't exactly what we wanted, but it wasn't a disaster, either. We have to run well every race, and there's still a lot that can happen. It's a relatively short time, but a lot can happen in two or three races, you know?"
YOU SEEMED TO STRUGGLE IN PRACTICE TODAY. "We definitely struggled there. The good news is that Greg [Biffle] was real fast. So, hopefully we can do what we did last week, and kind of lean on him and what he figured out, and can get a good qualifying run out of it. But, it's real frustrating because a lot of times we come here and even in race trim we're top-five or -six compared to qualifying times. It is what it is. We're going to fight hard here and we'll see what happens."
IT'S BEEN MORE THAN A YEAR SINCE YOU'VE BEEN HIT WITH A SPEEDING PENALTY ON PIT ROAD. HOW DO YOU DO ALL THAT YOU NEED TO DO -- GET ON PIT ROAD, GET IN THE BOX -- AS FAST AS YOU CAN, AND NOT TRIP THE ELECTRONIC TIMING? "The problem with the way they time pit road is that there's still some room for error there. I haven't been caught, I guess, in the Cup series, but we had the deal in Kentucky where I was caught three times in a row. So, to me, that makes me realize that there's still room for some sort of misinterpretation of the pace car's speed or problems with the timing lines or whatever. So, you've just got to be careful because the penalty is so huge, especially under green. You've got to be careful."
IS THERE A SOLUTION? "I think, just like everything, that will evolve, and hopefully they'll have a more accurate way that doesn't require a setting or speed with the pace car -- just because every week it's a different pace cars and you don't really know if there are after-market wheels on it or if there's some error in calibrating that would throw it off. Hopefully, that evolves and it becomes something that is very, very fail-safe. But, until then, we also have to be nice and cautious."
IT SEEMS THAT THIS HAS BEEN A MILD YEAR IN TERMS OF CRAZINESS. THERE HAVEN'T BEEN ANY WRESTLING MATCHES OR HELMET THROWING. HAS IT BEEN AS QUIET THIS YEAR AS IT SEEMS? "Well, the year's not over. As it comes down to the wire, tensions will be high and the competitive fire will be as bright as it's ever been. But right now I think the over-ruling factor in the garage, the thought is everyone is kind of working on their own thing, trying to get better, trying to be a contender here. There's a lot of stress on everyone for a bunch of different reasons. I think that's why you don't see so much extra stuff going on; everyone's just working on their cars."
IS IT BECAUSE THE COMPETITION IS TOO KEEN NOW? "Yeah, the competition is tighter now, and it seems to be very fickle. There's people figuring things out, and it seems like every week there's another player that comes in that's really fast, and somebody that slows down, and you've got to stay on top of that. So, I think everyone is just kind of focused right now."
ARE THE DRIVERS REALLY TRYING TO KEEP A LID ON THE TEMPERS? "I don't know."
ARE YOU? "I'm just trying to do the best I can, trying to do everything I can to get my Aflac team in position to win the championship. So, it just is what it is. It's not over yet."
-credit: ford racing