Carl Edwards is the most recent Ford driver to claim victory at Michigan International Speedway with his 2008 3M 400 win. That victory was the historic 11th owner win for Jack Roush, tying him with the Wood Brothers for the most by any car owner...
Carl Edwards is the most recent Ford driver to claim victory at Michigan International Speedway with his 2008 3M 400 win. That victory was the historic 11th owner win for Jack Roush, tying him with the Wood Brothers for the most by any car owner at MIS. Edwards meet with the media Friday to discuss where he feels his team is headed, driver interaction, the new FR9 engine and more.
TALK ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE RUN - "We worked hard on race trim and Bob tried a couple things, then we made two qualifying runs ^a now we are watching it rain. I am not sure if we will get qualifying in or not, so we felt like we balanced our practice pretty well either way."
HOW CLOSE DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE TO REALLY BEING COMPETITIVE AND UP FRONT? "If you take the best car at each of our races, including the RPM guys, we have been very close. If you look at one individual car and look at how we've run through all the races, we are still pretty far off. I guess that is what we have to hope for in having all these teams to lean on, taking the best car in each race and looking at that to apply it the next time. I am hopeful that we are close, but I can't quite tell. Our best race was Richmond and I felt we had a top two or three car. Our team hasn't been that fast, but our teammates have at times. I just don't know, but I hope we are close to figure something out."
WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THAT THERE WAS AN ISSUE WITH DATA SIMULATION? "I don't know that there is ever a time where you say, 'Oh, we discovered an issue'. The evidence is the performance. That is where we are focusing our energy because Jack feels like that is the issue. I am not the person to say here are the procedural problems we have. What we are doing is not working as well as some of the other guys and considering we don't have the opportunity to go test makes simulations hugely important. We've got that and a bunch of other things, that if they were better, we would be faster."
WHO WEARS THE FIRE SUIT IN YOUR FAMILY? (Laughter) "I'm wearing it." IS IT MORE IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO TRY TO WIN A RACE TO PROVE YOU GUYS CAN DO IT, OR ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED WITH TRYING TO STAY IN THE TOP-12? "We've already proven we can win races ^a not right now we can't, but we have in the past. I know what it is like to win more races than anybody in a season. I know what that feels like and I know we can do it, so for us the important thing is to be in the Chase. If on Sunday we had to take a huge risk to try to win the race, or we could be guaranteed a third place finish, we would have to take the third place finish so that we can be in the Chase to try to win a championship. I don't want those types of choices, but that is where we are at."
IF YOU WERE KEVIN HARVICK, WOULD YOU EXPECT TO GET ONE FROM JOEY LOGANO, AND IF YOU WERE JOEY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? "I am not either one of them. It is just racing. What is going on between them isn't for me to comment on, it is between them."
JACK SAID EARLIER THIS WEEK THAT THE NEW ENGINES ARE MARGINALLY BETTER, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT? "Here is the deal, everyone at Roush Yates Engines works very hard and they are doing a very good job. It would be nice for us to have an engine that everybody else is trying to catch up to, instead of us trying to catch up to them. I think one of the things we have been trying to do is not to think of how we can catch up to everyone because that is not going to work. We have to figure out how to be the guys everyone is trying to catch. It is a lot easier when you are in that position. The new engine seems to be very reliable and makes great power. I can only hope that the future is that it will produce more power and we can run more tape and the rest of the guys will be complaining that we have too much motor."
YOU LEFT OUT THE WORD FAST. YOU SAID POWERFUL, BUT IS THE NEW ENGINE NOT AS FAST AS IT NEEDS TO BE? "I didn't leave out the word fast because an engine isn't fast. It produces power so that the car can be fast. It seems to be powerful, maybe even a little bit more than our other engine. That is a separate thing. A lot of people come up to us and talk about how the new engine is coming and you are going to be faster, but the problem isn't our engines. The problem is how fast the car can go through the center of the corner and the balance. The engine is a separate thing. Right now it looks like it is as good as or better than the old engine. We are all hoping that in the next couple of months that we can gain 10 or 15 horsepower. That would be great. Then we would be faster for sure, regardless of if we fix our handling problems."
CAN YOU LOOK AHEAD FOR US TO NEW HAMPSHIRE? "I like New Hampshire. I almost won my first time there in the trucks. I have won Nationwide there, maybe two. I felt like we were going to win the race when we had the Red Sox car. I enjoy that race track. It has been one of those tracks that we have struggled with as a group. That and Phoenix have not been our strong points. I am optimistic because we ran well at Richmond and I think that some of that thinking could be good at New Hampshire. It is a little flatter, but it is smooth and has smiliar speed as Richmond. For us as a team, having Fenway Park right up the road, there is a lot of pride for us to run well there."
DOES THE RAIN TODAY IMPACT YOUR DOUBLE-DUTY SCHEDULE? "I have no clue what my schedule is going to be. We always try to figure it out about two weeks in advance but I can't make a decision to be honest. I was going to ride with Joey, but we go out 45th and he goes out fourth, so he said we have to figure out our own way to get there. It frustrates Angela, my assistant, because I can't make a decision what I want to do."
I UNDERSTAND YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF NOT TRYING TO CATCH-UP, BUT TRYING TO GET AHEAD. DO YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT OTHER TEAMS ARE DOING? "Yeah, I am not saying we aren't trying to catch up. We are looking at other teams. If we could go copy the fastest car we would. What I am saying is that within our team, our culture, you don't think about being as fast as the others because it won't make you faster. A couple of years ago when Jack figured out the axle housing, that got us ahead ^a and that was nice. When we were that fast, we still didn't win all the races. We won a bunch, but not all. We aren't going to settle for being as good as everyone, we want to be better."
"We still go testing. I don't think we do less work than anyone. I think why we are pointing at the simulation is because that is what determines what you are going to work on once you get to the race track. It is the interface between the work and the output on the race track. That is the formula that may or may not be right, if that makes sense."
GOING INTO THE 2010 SEASON, DID YOU HAVE ANY INKLING YOU WOULD BE IN THIS SITUATION? "Yes I did. We were worse in 2009 I think. I think we are doing better now. I thought things could be worse now I guess. When the season started I thought we might be in real trouble. Now we have three cars in the Chase, we are able to run top-10 ^a it's not terrible. I am not pleasantly surprised, but not surprised the other way either."
WHAT WAS YOUR DEFINING MOMENT WHEN YOU SENT THE MESSAGE YOU WOULDN'T BE A DOORMAT ON THE RACE TRACK? "I don't know if there is a defining moment. I am simple. I don't mind confronting anybody about anything. I hope people know that if they are going to wreck me, or take advantage of me, that I am going to address that. I hate to talk about other people's deals. I will speak for myself and say that as a person, you have to stick up for yourself. I don't see anyone in the garage that doesn't stick up for themselves. I think we are all pretty clear about that stuff. I thought last weekend went just like it should have. I don't think there was anything out of the ordinary. It's not my fight though. Those guys are their own guys. It is tough. Everybody has to deal with it. I am sure you all deal with it in your business too. Everybody does it, you just don't have cameras and everybody's opinion interjected into it. I am sure if somebody steals your parking space, you might have some things to say that if a camera was right there, we would all be like 'wow!' That is just part of being a person."
YOU MADE IT A POINT TO CONGRATULATE BRAD KESELOWSKI AFTER HIS WIN LAST WEEK, WHAT WAS THE IMPETUOUS THERE? "Brad and I had our issues, but like we have talked about a bunch, I did not mean to flip him over into a fence. I was just trying to spin him out. That is behind us ^a it is done. Brad and I get along just fine. Me going over to congratulate him was just me saying he had a heck of a race. I know I had him nervous a little but he kept his cool and won that race. I thought he did a good job, so I just wanted to congratulate him like I would with anybody."
DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS SHOULD CONTINUE TO RESOLVE THINGS ON YOUR OWN, EVEN IF IT MEANS ON THE RACE TRACK? "I think we should be able to resolve things on the tracks, or in the pits, or wherever. You have to be able to tell guys that things don't fly. I am normal. I grew up in Columbia, Missouri. If you had an issue with somebody, you go and take care of it. You can't let it be because it won't fix itself. What is different now is that you are on television and everybody has an opinion and it gets twisted around. That is one dimension of it. The second part is that some of the participants understand that very well and manipulate it. They don't act like normal people and use you guys to make whatever reality they want to be. It becomes very difficult as a driver to decide what to do. You think it would be great if you could pull a guy aside and work things out. If you can't work it out then whatever, but you can't do that now. It is like this big mess now."
ARE WE GETTING TO THE POINT LIKE HOCKEY WHERE THEY SETTLE THINGS WITH A FIGHT? IS THAT WHAT IS COMING NEXT? "I don't know what to say about that. Every situation is different and you just have to do what you have to do."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE INTENSITY RATCHETING UP EACH WEEK? "It is crazy. It is incredible really. I think it is hard for people to understand who aren't in the cars. I heard a lot of talk this week about give and take and racing hard all the time. As a race car driver when you are in the car, there is stuff you realize like risk versus reward. Some of those restarts were just crazy. People are taking chances. I think that is a function of a couple things. The double file restart puts you in a position there to do that. Also, with the cars, it is so tough to pass that sometimes when they drop the green, guys with less to use just say 'screw it' and they go for it. Everybody else just gives them a wide birth and watches to see how it goes. I can drive down in there and go three-wide and door slam someone just like the next guy. It is a tough balancing act on how hard to go on the restarts. In the end, as long as we get through without wrecking it is exciting for the fans."
DO YOU THINK THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED POSSIBILITY WILL TAKE AWAY THE FUEL MILEAGE ISSUE HERE? "That is a good question. I thought about that a lot at Pocono. I guess you just have to have a brace crew chief if he is going to stretch it to the very end. It depends on what everybody else is going to do. What is going to end up happening is that the last time everybody stops, lets say there is that caution but the best guy is one lap shy, of course everyone is going to get fuel there and save for that last lap. If a caution comes out before we get to that white flag ^a man there are going to be a lot of things going on. I don't know what's going to happen, but it will be different."
-source: ford racing