CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (qualified 3rd) "I did not think it would hold up as well as it has. I think we're going to end up third or fourth. That's amazing. The car is really good. That lap I thought would be 10th or so....
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (qualified 3rd)
"I did not think it would hold up as well as it has. I think we're going to end up third or fourth. That's amazing. The car is really good. That lap I thought would be 10th or so. I'm very happy with it. I'm very happy to see how the thing runs in race trim tomorrow. We were super-fast last time we were here. I've been waiting to come back here and get it another shot at it, so starting up front is going to be big for me."
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTERMEDIATE TRACKS AND A TRACK LIKE THIS ONE? "The intermediate tracks, the cars handle similarly, both, the intermediate tracks are scarier because you're going so much faster. So, this track, if you mess up a little bit, you slide around a little bit, and you don't risk as much. But there's still a knife-edge to drive. It feels a lot like driving a USAC Silver Crown car around here, to me. The first time I came here in a Silver Crown car, I was amazed how much the cars moved around, and you could hustle 'em, and these cars kind of feel the same way to me. I think that's fun."
YOU MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS OVER THE WINTER ON MILE-AND-A-HALF TRACKS. ANYTHING YOU CAN RELATE REGARDING FLAT TRACKS LIKE THIS?
"I think all of the stuff we worked on will apply. We won at Bristol last year with this car. We won at Dover. Sat on the pole and led until we blew up here. We talked about the gains we made this morning -- Chris Andrews and I did -- all those gains from the last time we ran here until now, all of those gains should make us faster. So, I hope it applies. It would be really neat to win on a track like this. It's so much different than something what we've won on so far this year. That would be cool."
A SATURDAY NIGHT RACE UNDER THE LIGHTS ON A MILE TRACK. THAT SEEMS TO BE PERFECT FOR SOMEONE LIKE YOU AND YOUR BACKGROUND.
"Yeah. Saturday night races are fun. This place is just beautiful at night. It's a real cool race to watch. It's a unique race track, which makes it really neat. It's a race track that you be really racy on. One of the greatest races I've had in my life was with Kevin Harvick in a Nationwide race here. We just swapped back and forth and rubbed on each other and leaned on each other for what seemed like 50 or 100 laps. This place is fun like that. You can really race hard here."
WHAT'S SEPARATING THE ROUSH FENWAY DRIVERS RIGHT NOW IF THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME INFORMATION?
"I don't know. It seemed like last week, it seemed like cars came and went. Kenseth, Matt, his car, when he was out front, he was untouchable. I couldn't run what he was running. Then we got out front and streatched that big lead. I think it came and went. I don't know if it was different tire sets or they were that touchy with the adjustments. I thought it was aero-dependant and then I got behind Kyle Busch and I felt like I could catch him and got a good run on him on the outside, if I remember correctly, and pass him on the outside that went pretty well. When I got behind cars, I felt like my car gave up a little bit of grip, which they're always going to; the old car, new car, they're all going to do that. But I felt like it gave it up in a pretty balanced away. It might've gave up 60 percent of front grip and 40 percent of rear. It got it a little tighter, but it wasn't a huge aero-type thing. I thought it was actually okay."
YOU'VE BEEN RUNNING SO WELL LATELY. CAN YOU GET EVEN BETTER WHEN CREW CHIEF BOB OSBORNE RETURNS?
"That's a good question. Bob and I talked about it, and we have been running really well, and I had to reassure -- I mean I can't wait until he gets back. I didn't realize until he was gone -- you don't know what you;ve got until it's gone, I guess, is the saying -- I didn't realize how much of a relationship we'd had built on the radio, how efficient our communication was. Nothing against Chris Andrews or Robbie Reiser, but it seems like it takes one or two back-and-forth transmissions on the radio to get the same thing done that Bob and I would do, and there have been a couple of moments that have been kind of confusing. We've made small mistakes. So, I think when Bob comes back we'll actually get better, which is actually great. I'm looking forward to it."
YOU'VE HAD THE BLOWN ENGINE AND A PENALTY. DO YOU PLAY THE "WHAT IF" GAME?
"No, I don't play the 'what if' game. I think all you can do is focus on what's ahead. You can't live in last week. This thing changes so fast. I'm hoping we can get over that penalty, and if we miss the chase by a couple of points, then maybe we'll think about it a little bit then, but I think we're going to be all right."
-credit: ford racing