This Week in Ford Racing
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is fourth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, trailing leader Tony Stewart by 14 points going into this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway. Edwards, who has one NSCS victory at The Monster Mile, recently touched on a variety of subjects, including upcoming Chase races at Dover, Charlotte and Talladega.
YOU’VE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS ON CONCRETE TRACKS LIKE DOVER. WHY? “I like Dover and I’ve loved Dover ever since the first time we went there in the trucks with Jack. It’s a fun race track. It’s got a high sensation of speed, but those concrete tracks really boil down to how good your car is and how precise you can get that setup. I feel like Bob and I have really good communication and we’re able to really dial the car in and then the track doesn’t change much, so can really work towards that goal all weekend and march closer and closer to that perfect setup. There is less firing from the hip and more marching through the setup and changes. I really like that style and that race track is just a lot of fun. It’s neat and I’m excited to go there.”
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE BIG TV AT CHARLOTTE? “It’s probably really good that they put it parallel with the racing surface, so that we can’t watch it. If it were at the end of the straightaway in the middle of three and four, it would be too tempting to watch. Every once in a while you’ll be driving down the back straightaway and the color will change, they’ll put up a graphic or something and it’ll light up the back straightaway and it’s a little surprising when you’re right there and everything lights up. That TV is pretty neat. Do you remember before they turned it on they had a video of the guys working up there? I don’t want to name any names, but somebody really close to me was like, ‘Man, those guys have been working hard all weekend up there.’ It wasn’t Bob, thank the Lord. So, anyway, it’s a neat TV. I like racing there. It’s fun. We had a lot fun (last) week. I did my big high fall, which was fun. It got me excited. I start watching Super Dave Osborne clips on You Tube after I did that (laughter).”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE RULES CHANGE FOR TALLADEGA AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT A CHANGE LIKE THAT SO LATE IN THE SEASON? “It’s nothing compared to the track change at Phoenix. NASCAR is not afraid to change things and that’s part of the sport. We have to adapt every week to different race tracks, so why not adapt to a rules change like that. I guess I haven’t looked into it really closely, but the restrictor plate is bigger and there is a limit on the psi of the cooling system. My gut reaction to that is there’s gonna be a whole lot more going on on the race track because guys are gonna be swapping the lead more. We’re not gonna stop running nose-to-tail. The winner of the race is gonna use that to get up front and as the race winds down and things become more important, I don’t think guys are gonna care if they’re blowing water out of the overflow. They’re gonna run the things until they melt down, so I think there’s more potential for a team to have a problem and I think that will make the race more difficult and more exciting and different, so I think it’s good.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO SEE WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING RACES ON TV? “I like all sorts of racing. I really like watching motocross racing because it’s so different from what we do and there are so many variables happening, but I can get into any type of racing. I like the touring car stuff. I saw a couple of those Australian touring car races and some of those are amazing. Any time there’s a dirt race on TV I like watching that, but, in general, my favorite races to watch are ones that are really close and there’s a lot on the line. Some drama doesn’t hurt, but I really like watching that really close racing and the neatest thing as I’ve grown through my career I like watching guys really race each other with just enough respect where they push each other right to the limit, but they’re not out there wrecking each other. That always, to me, is a little anti-climactic. You’re like, ‘Wow, he wrecked him, so now I don’t get to see any more racing.’ I really like the really hard races and I think those come in every type of motorsports. I’ve seen some really good ones, like the Indy 500 this year. That was probably one of the most spectacular finishes to a race I’ve seen and who would have known? I mean, I almost quit watching and then the thing turned into this heart-wrenching story of one guy’s near success, so that was pretty cool.”
YOU GOT TO KNOW DAVID PEARSON A LITTLE BIT. WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF HIM? “I cannot imagine what he was like when he was 30. He must have been like the wildest human being on Earth because he is just a wild man. He’s just got that look in his eye like he’s up for anything anytime, so that was my first impression. We rode in a rental car from the Darlington Airport over to the speedway. That was the first time I hung out with him and he was just wide-open, non-stop. He’s a really neat guy. He’s a really honest guy. I haven’t talked to him a lot lately, but there for a while I talked to him quite a bit. He understands the sport as well as anyone. He’s just a cool guy and a neat guy to hang out with.”