Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, is 54 points out of the lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Edwards spoke about his hopes for this weekend after Friday's practice session. CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, is 54 points out of the lead in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Edwards spoke about his hopes for this weekend after Friday's practice session.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus
HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING SUNDAY, ESPECIALLY WITH THE WEATHER. "Our Office Depot Ford is really good, but that's one of the things I was asking Bob Osborne. I said, 'What's the weather supposed to be like on Sunday?' Because we kept freeing the car up and freeing it up, and if it's gonna be sunny and hot, you don't want to be too loose here and lose that forward grip, so we're hoping the weather will be just like this on Sunday and we'll be alright."
YOU'RE STILL IN THIS TITLE HUNT. "We feel like we're definitely in the chase for the championship. I mean, I think everyone is in it right now, to be honest with you. This has really worked out perfectly - this chase format with 10 guys having an opportunity. I guarantee it's gonna come down to the last lap at Homestead and it's stressful. Just knowing that it's gonna be impossible to go out there and get a lead. It has been for Tony and even Jimmie Johnson. It's stressful for us, but I know for everyone other than those top 10 guys it's fun to watch."
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THE TITLE IN YOUR FIRST FULL YEAR? "It would mean the world to me to win this championship this year. That's all there is to it. It would mean the world. We have to do everything perfectly. We can't be thinking too much about that. Right now, we're here at Martinsville. We've had an awesome practice so far, so it's little steps, one foot in front of the other and maybe we'll end up there. It would be unbelievable."
HOW DO YOU COMPENSATE FOR SO LITTLE EXPERIENCE HERE? "The races I have had here have been disastrous. We've had wrecks and steering problems and I've definitely screwed up my fair share of stuff here. We had an awesome test here and hopefully this is that breakthrough race where we run well here at Martinsville. I think this is really the bottleneck of our championship run here. This is the one we have to run well at to make it. After this it will be all blue sky, so it would mean a lot to win here or even run well here."
HOW DO YOU COMPENSATE FOR THE LACK OF EXPERIENCE? "The way I compensate for my lack of experience here is to use my teammates, lean on my teammates' setups and talk to them. This morning I was watching the video of last year's race, just trying to analyze guys like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart and watch what they do. Other than that you just really focus and concentrate. I try to realize that I don't have it figured out and I try to go ask other people for help."
JACK ROUSH CONSIDERS YOU A WILD CARD WITH A LEGITIMATE CHANCE. YOUR THOUGHTS. "It's strange because we're in an odd situation. We did not expect, really, to be fighting for this championship. We hoped for it and we've gained ground all year. At the beginning of the year, if we would have been basing the championship off of the first 10 races, we would have been in deep trouble because we didn't know what we were doing. Now we're learning and I'm learning as a driver. The team is coming together and I think that's what he means. If we can catch up and keep a hold of this thing, and not slip and make a mistake, like we should - and show a little bit of maturity beyond our experience, we'll be alright."
IS IT A MINDSET HERE AT THIS TRACK? "Generally, for me, this race track has been a little bit frustrating. It doesn't seem productive to me to let a track frustrate you, so I try to come to come to these places with a real fresh outlook. The bottom line is you have to get your car right and you have to be fast just like any other race track. We haven't been that great here, whether it's me or the car or whatever, we just haven't gotten it down. Today we ran really well. We had a good test. What I try to do is I'm trying to just come in here and be excited about this race and go out there and have as much fun as I can and focus on every corner."
DO YOU OVERDRIVE OR UNDERDRIVE THIS TRACK? "My tendency is to definitely overdrive Martinsville. I'm learning to just lift a little earlier, wait a little bit and get to the throttle later and not abuse the car. It's a fun challenge. If we weren't in the midst of the championship hunt and there weren't all these people watching and all this on the line, I'd be just having a blast. But what happens here is it seems like the frustrations compound. You go in a little too hard and wiggle, then some guy gets by you and then they start to freight train you. Then you're trying too hard and you keep going backwards. I have trouble just staying calm and doing everything I can, but I'm getting better and I'm learning and I think this is gonna be a race that we really show that."