Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, joined members of the media after the first practice session at Phoenix International Raceway Friday afternoon. Edwards, who has five wins at PIR across the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series’ and discussed what it will take to add to that total this weekend.

Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Carl Edwards, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

TALK ABOUT HOW PRACTICE HAS GONE FOR YOU AND WHAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT HERE THIS WEEKEND. “Practice went really well for us. This is obviously a huge weekend for us with the Subway Ford being that it is the Subway race. We would really like to win this one for everybody there. Practice went really well. I think we have a very fast race car. It looks like Biffle is extremely fast as well, so we will lean on him a little bit between practices and then try to get the car tuned in for the next practice. It is really weird to see the 60 car drive by, by the way. It is like a dream when you are missing school or something. You forgot that test paper. I am driving it via Trevor.”

YOU ARE ONE OF THE HANDFUL OF DRIVERS THAT DOESN’T TWEET. YOUR REACTION TO WHAT HAPPENED WITH BRAD MONDAY NIGHT AND ARE YOU GOING TO JUMP ON THE TWITTER TRAIN? “No, I am not going to jump on board the Twitter train but I think that anything that gets the fans excited it good. I didn’t realize we could have our phones in the car but honestly I won’t be taking my phone in the car during the race. I will just say that. If it gets the fans excited, if it is something they enjoy, then I think the more power to the guys that are doing it. I think that is cool.”

THERE WERE 200 GALLONS OF FUEL IN THAT JET DRYER AT DAYTONA. YOU ARE A PILOT, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTED CHANGES TO THAT? “I think we could all sit here and come up with things that would have been good in that situation to have done. I think that NASCAR will certainly look at the situation and come up with a plan. I am sure it will involve those guys at least wearing a fire suit and helmet. It is just a reminder that things like that, freak things happen, and it reminds you how many different ways you can have things go wrong at a race track. There is a lot of energy in those race cars and a lot of potential for trouble. At the very least it reminds everyone how big of a problem a fire can be. You don’t realize how much energy is in that fuel until you see it all on fire. I trust that NASCAR will address it so that we will probably never have something happen like that again.”

IN DAYTONA, HENDRICK LOST A TON OF RACE CARS AND HAD ONE DECENT FINISH. YOU GUYS WON THE RACE AND A BUNCH OF MONEY AND MAYBE LOST ONE CAR. WHAT DOES ALL THAT MEAN GOING DOWN THE ROAD FOR THE OTHER PLATE RACES. DO YOU HAVE A BIGGER ADVANTAGE WITH MORE CARS STILL IN THE STABLE? DOES EVERYBODY HAVE FEWER PLATE CARS THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THE SWITCH OVER NEXT YEAR? “Those are all really good questions and I don’t know the answer to all of them. I think we all forget, especially us and you guys that cover the sport and us drivers that show up and drive the car, we forget how much energy goes into these cars to build them. When you see cars torn up it is just hundreds and hundreds of hours of work that has to be done. I can tell you that I haven’t seen Jack Roush much happier than he was after that race Monday night or Tuesday morning. He was very, very happy. Thinking of it in terms of that he might have been real happy they didn’t tear up all that stuff. There is a lot of money and time that goes into those. I don’t know how it sets us up for the next restrictor plate race. With all the cars being rebodied for 2013, I don’t know how it fits everybody’s plan. We were trying specifically not to tear up the car. I tore mine up a little bit but we are going to run that car again at the next speedway race. That is our plan.”

WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON PENSKE COMING OVER NEXT YEAR? “I asked Jack that. I asked him if it was a good thing or a bad thing and he said it was neutral. The Ford folks are excited about it and Ford wants to win that manufacturers championship and they want to win races and they deserve to. They have put a ton into this sport and their business is going really well. If Ford is happy then I am happy. I think it will be neat to have more Ford’s out there winning races.”

HAVE YOU GOTTEN ANYMORE REACTION FROM PEOPLE OR FANS ABOUT LAST WEEK? “We definitely kept it exciting last week and people were talking about it. I think that everywhere I went this week it seemed like the only frustration I heard out of people was that they couldn’t stay up that late to see the end of it. It didn’t seem people were upset about the racing or the delay. I think NASCAR did a really good job. From all the feedback I got, the people watching the race were really happy that NASCAR started the race later so they could come home and watch it and we can say it looking back with that fire and craziness that it was such a unique race that I think people were entertained by it. In the end one of the fastest cars won with Matt and he earned it. Overall, looking back on it, I would say it was a good event. Taking everything into consideration it was a great event.”

WITH THE MOVE FOR FORD, DO YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE THE SAME SORT OF RELATIONSHIPS WITH BRAD AND AJ THAT YOU DO WITH THE RPM TEAM? “I don’t know. Jack started to talk about that a little bit with me and he said we would just have to see. I think Jack and Mr. Penske have worked together in the past on some different engine stuff and different projects and I am sure if Ford had their way they would work together on everything and that is what we would do. I just don’t know what is going to happen yet. I know that all of us at Roush really respect the Penske organization. Their drivers and everybody do a really good job and I think they feel the same way. Like I said earlier, if Ford is pumped and it raises the level of our competition at Roush because we have another Ford team over there either sharing information with or just competing with, because there is always competition when you are racing the same manufacturer, either way I think it will be good for us.”

YOU’VE HAD YOUR MOMENTS WITH BRAD. IS THAT ALL WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE NOW? “Yeah, to me it is. I think they were pretty much resolved there at the race track. This sport moves fast and at the end of the day you have to go every week and race as hard as you can. I learned a long time ago not to hold onto that stuff and just go racing and treat people how they treat you. Lately that has been going great.”

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WEEKEND LIKE DANICA HAD, WRECKING IN THREE CONSECUTIVE RACES, AND HOW DO YOU COME BACK FROM THAT? “I don’t know that I have wrecked in three consecutive races in the same weekend. That is tough. Anytime that kind of thing happens it takes the wind out of your sales. It is easy to get frustrated. All you can do is go next week and that is one of the fortunate things about our sport. No matter what happens you get to go to the race track next week and your crew has a beautiful race car for you and you get to go. The worse one I had was my first race in the Cup series at Atlanta we won it. The very next week I felt like a hero and I was walking around the garage with my chest puffed out. I shifted into third gear pulling out of the pits on my qualifying lap and I spun out and wrecked the car. I went from hero to zero really quick. I realized how quickly things can change. For her sake, I hope she turns it around.”

DO YOU WANT YOUR PEOPLE PUSHING TO THE LIMIT LIKE THE 48 TEAM? “Of course. I want my crew and all my guys at the shop to push the limits of everything with the cars, with all the rules, to bring the absolute fastest race car out here. If you don’t, someone else is. You are trying to do that so you can gain points and get an advantage. If you get caught with something and you lose points then all that is right out the window and you have to start all over again. It is tough. That has to be really, really frustrating.”