Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, met with the media following Friday's practice. Edwards has a win and eight top-10 finishes in nine career starts at Auto Club Speedway. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT LAST WEEKEND'S DAYTONA 500 AND...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, met with the media following Friday's practice. Edwards has a win and eight top-10 finishes in nine career starts at Auto Club Speedway.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT LAST WEEKEND'S DAYTONA 500 AND ABOUT THIS WEEKEND'S RACE? "Last Week did not end up the way we wanted, but it was cool that Ford was in Victory Lane. It was neat to see Matt win the race. This is place is a lot of fun for me. I still haven't seen video of what happened last week, so I don't know exactly what happened in that wreck. I'm sure they're figuring that out right now. I love racing here. It's a fun race track. We were really good in practice, and this was the start of a really great season last year, so hopefully we can have a good run here and get started the same way."
DALE EARNHARDT JR. IS ALSO SPEAKING RIGHT NOW. HE'S KIND OF GOING THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH LAST YEAR AFTER TALLADEGA. HOW DOES A DRIVER HANDLE THAT, AND WHAT DOES A DRIVER DO TO REGAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF HIS PEERS? "It's racing, and there are going to be wrecks in racing, and there's going to be wrecks for all different kinds of reasons. I've been involved in wrecks that I had nothing to do with, and I've been involved in wrecks where I've had everything to do with. I think that we all make mistakes and that's just what happened. That's racing. So, you've just got to move on and tell everybody just to deal with it. It's part of the game, you know?"
IS IT A DIFFICULT PART OF THE GAME? "I'd say it is. It never feels good. It's not good to wreck at all -- if it's not your fault, at least you can say, hey, I did the best I could do. But when it's something -- in my past, when I've caused a wreck I always feel the worst. You think, 'Great, I'm just going to go ahead and leave and go home now.' It's not the best feeling. That's just part of it. If you don't ever make mistakes, you're probably not trying hard enough."
CONSIDERING THERE WAS NO TESTING, DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU'D HAVE OUT HERE? "That's a good question. I didn't know what to expect today. I didn't know if we were going to be fast or slow or whatever. It looks like we're pretty good. It looks like Jimmie's real good. So, I don't think a ton has changed, but we haven't gotten into race practice. I'm sure there's a lot of teams still that have a lot of things to do. So, I think you'll really know after race practice, kind of how everybody stacks up."
MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAID THE SEASON STARTS HERE. DOES IT? CAN ANYTHING BE LEARNED FROM DAYTONA, OR SHOULD EVERYTHING JUST BE THROWN OUT? "I think the season really starts here. Daytona is such a huge event and it's a different type of racing than we're going to race the rest of the season, and it kind of stands alone, literally and figuratively. I really feel like this is where you're going to see how strong your pit crew is, how good your relationship is with your crew chief, and if the engineering you've been working on work, and the things that work here are going to apply at a lot of race tracks. So, yeah, everyone's playing close attention. We're racing now. We're going to be doing the same thing week after week for 34 or 35 more weeks."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR FORMER NATIONWIDE CREW CHIEF, DREW BLICKENSDERFER, WINNING THE DAYTONA 500? HAVE YOU TALKED TO HIM? DO YOU GET ANY CREDIT FOR LETTING HIM MOVE OVER TO THE 17? "I should've worked that into the deal when they asked if it was alright to go over there. It was nice of them to ask me in the first place if I was cool with it. It really didn't matter how I felt. If Matt felt that's what he needed and Jack felt like that was the right thing to do, then that's what they needed to do. Obviously, it worked out great, right off the bat, to win the Daytona 500 in your first crack at being a Cup crew chief. That's amazing. Drew said that Jack told him he's still on week-to-week basis or something. I don't think he's received his first paycheck as their crew chief yet, or something like that. That's pretty amazing. I got to see him right after the race and he was really excited, and then he came down today and we talked about it just for a minute. I'm really happy for Drew. He's a true racer, and him and his wife are really cool people. I'm excited for him. I couldn't be happier for him."
EVERYBODY MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT YOU BEING THE FAVORITE THIS YEAR. DOES THAT PUT ADDED PRESSURE ON YOU TO GET BACK ON TRACK THIS WEEKEND? "No, I put so much pressure on myself. That's really nice -- it's a real honor for the media to have picked our team to be the team to beat. The sport is about what you can do right now, and what have you done lately? This whole thing could be on its head, and there could be someone leading the points, dominating, that they haven't even thought of. So, my job is to go out and do what we've been doing. We didn't have a ton of expectation going into 2008. We preformed really well. But, that's not changing anything. I try not to read the good press or the bad press, because it just doesn't matter. You have to do what you have to do on the race track."
YOU'RE THE CHAMPIONSHIP FAVORITE, YET THIS ROOM IS PRETTY EMPTY. DON'T YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE MORE MEDIA HERE? "I think Dale Jr. had a press conference at the same time, and there's a little bit of a story."
DOES IT BOTHER YOU? "Oh, no. It's fine. I understand how everything works. And, I've seen it the other way. Usually, during your media availability, if there's a 100 people crowded around, it's not good. So, I've had those and I prefer this. This is fine."
-credit: ford racing