Edwards - Friday media visit

Event: Las Vegas

Carl Edwards comes to Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a win in 2008 under his belt and currently stands 12th in the points standings. Edwards has historically done well at mile-and-a-half tracks and talked to media members about his strategy to rebound from a disappointing day last weekend in Phoenix.

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

Eric Gilbert

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Scott’s/Kellogg’s Ford Fusion – HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET OVER THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF LAST WEEKEND? “That is a really good question. I don’t know if I have completely gotten over it yet. It was hugely disappointing but this first practice session is helping. The Roush Fenway cars are fast. I feel like we have the cars, at least at this point right now, that can compete for the win. There was a big unknown coming to a mile-and-a-half. Every time you come to that first mile-and-a-half race of the season it means a lot. I would have loved to come in here the points leader with a win already, but this helps, being fast.”

DID YOU TALK WITH KYLE BUSCH YET? “Kyle and I did talk, yes. I kind of beat him up all week in the media saying he hadn’t called me yet, but he was calling my old phone number. He had the wrong number. I give him a lot of credit for coming over and talking to me and I think we will be fine.”

WHEN YOU WENT THROUGH YOUR LONG WINLESS STREAK, HOW DID IT AFFECT YOUR CONFIDENCE? “I am trying to think if there is anything more difficult than that, but I don’t think there is. It is the most difficult part of the sport, to go for a long period without the success that you want or in Jeff’s (Gordon) case the success you are used to. I can’t speak for him but I can say that when we won that race at Phoenix last season it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I still carry that to this day and I will until we either win another one or we get to 40 or 50 races down the road if we haven’t. It is a great feeling to get rid of that pressure and win a race after a streak like that.”

WERE YOU ANGRY AT CARL LAST WEEK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED? “I wasn’t sure what had happened and the longer I thought about it the more mad I got. It is so hard sometimes as a driver, especially in that situation, the farther the day when on I got to think more about how fast the race car was and I was just mad in general. Then once I saw how well he was running it made me a little madder. What I tried to do was keep my emotions in check and focus on the job at hand. The hard part on top of that is to be patient and see what his explanation was. Looking at it I wasn’t sure what happened. I was trying my hardest to give him the benefit of the doubt. Until you speak with someone. I don’t ever want to be that guy that just gets mad and angry and points fingers. I don’t want to be the guy who gets out of the car angry as hell at the wrong guy. I try to do my best to figure out what happened first. I was upset and I hadn’t decided whether or not to be upset at him. I didn’t know what to do.”

YOU ARE A PILOT. CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THINGS WENT YESTERDAY MORNING AND WHAT YOU WERE DOING? “Yesterday morning was insane. Flying with the Thunderbirds was a spectacular opportunity, especially to fly out here in the desert. We went to Death Valley and flew over mountain tops upside down and gave some folks in their campers the air show of a lifetime out there. That was pretty cool. They let me fly the plane which was a lot of fun. The most impressive thing about the whole morning was seeing how these guys operate the Thunderbirds program. It is unreal. They are the best of the best in the Air Force and it shows. Their professionalism and excitement was something I hadn’t seen. It was really inspiring to walk out of the door onto the tarmac and the guys are all lined up and dressed sharp with their shoes polished and they were pumped up for the flight. These are the guys that are working on the planes and helping out, it was unreal. It was a really inspiring morning to see people who care about their jobs that much. The whole experience was great. I didn’t get sick which was huge and we pulled 9.1 G’s which was a lot of fun. It was really net.”

GIVEN WHAT WE SAY LAST WEEK, ARE WE GOING TO SEE MORE OF THE INTENSE RACING LIKE LAST WEEK WITH INTENSITY? “I hope we don’t see more of Kyle and me. I just want to get through this race and finish where I think we can. We talked a little bit about this on your show the other night. The racing is as intense as ever. The double file restarts people are realizing you have to go as hard as you can because you might not get another opportunity to pass these guys. The higher speeds here are going to make it more treacherous to run side by side. The bumps are a little big bigger which I think is good. Character in the race track is great. I think you will see guys hopefully being patient with one another enough. I think you will see guys right on the edge and racing really hard. The wind is a factor too and if that stays up it will throw a little more chaos into the mix.”

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THINGS LIKE WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND? DO YOU JUST SHOW UP AT THE NEXT PLACE AND APPROACH IT LIKE A NEW DAY? “Yeah, that is all you can do. It was extremely disappointing last week. Daytona was okay, but last week was hugely disappointing. The more I thought about it this week and spent time talking to Bob Osborne this week and the guys. It is just nice to be fast this week. The big disappointment of last week was that I felt we had a car that could win. We were on the pole and had a dominant car the first 50 laps, so it is good to be mad for that reason. The real test is how we run here and at Bristol. If our cars are that good then this is going to be a great year. What happened last week, looking back on it, that is just hard racing and I really believe that is behind us. Hopefully we can stay out of those messes throughout the year and have fast enough cars that that one doesn’t really matter.”

AWHILE BACK YOU SAID YOU MIGHT TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE DOING ON THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. HAVE YOU THOUGHT MORE ABOUT THAT AND WHERE ARE YOU AT WITH THAT? “I think we are 29 points out of the lead in owners points and our car is fast. Last week it was close and this week in practice it has looked good. If our cars stay this fast and we can start gaining on the guys in the lead for the owners title then we will continue to run the full series. I am committed to it. In my mind I am going to run the full series, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.”

-source: ford racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags fenway, ford, roush