Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, spoke to members of the media after Friday's practice session at Phoenix International Raceway. HAVE YOU CRUNCHED ANY NUMBERS TO SEE WHERE YOU'RE AT AND WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, spoke to members of the media after Friday's practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.
HAVE YOU CRUNCHED ANY NUMBERS TO SEE WHERE YOU'RE AT AND WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO GET BACK IN THIS CHASE? "I've been trying not to pay attention to the numbers because I know how far out we are from winning the Cup championship, but what we've done is try to bring our best cars out here -- the whole team. All we can do is go try to win the next two races. That's the best we can do."
WHAT KIND OF GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR SEASON? "If I had to give a grade for our season, I'd give it a solid B or B+ and definitely an A for the effort -- a B+ for the performance. We've won three races, which is really tough to do in Nextel Cup. I'm really proud of my guys for that. We made the chase and with a little bit better luck, we might be a little bit closer to those leaders, but compared to the 48 and the 24, we just haven't been as fast. That's the only thing we've got to work on is to make sure our cars are just a tick better."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PROGRESSION OF THE COT? "We've changed a lot of stuff in the way we set the cars up and everything. These cars of tomorrow are better to drive. My car feels great. Right now, it feels better than my Busch car does. I think that says a lot about the engineering side of it. I don't think NASCAR really has much left to do. We'll see how they run on the mile-and-a-halves. That's gonna be the real true indicator of how it's going to work -- when you get out to a place like Michigan or even California -- a big two-mile track -- it's gonna be interesting to see how they perform around one of those."
WHAT KIND OF GRADE WOULD YOU GIVE THE COT? "Overall, I don't know if I could grade the car of tomorrow just yet. I don't think we've seen how it's all gonna work out yet. I think halfway through next season we'll have a real understanding of what the weaknesses are as far as keeping it competitive. Right now, I'd say it's been a success in that it's made the competition really, really tight. The difference between winning one of those races and running 10th is a really small margin in speed for laps, so that's been good, but I still think there are gonna be some things to figure out and things that we need to work on. NASCAR has been really good about letting it evolve and taking advice from the teams so far."
WHO IS GOING TO WIN THE TITLE? "I don't know who is gonna win the championship. If I had to pick a guy, I'd say Jimmie just because they've been winning races. I have a feeling they're both running so well and Jeff is such a savvy competitor that it's gonna come down to who has a little bit of bad luck. They've got two more races to go and anything can happen."
WHAT ABOUT HOMESTEAD NEXT WEEK? "Homestead is a fun track. It's always fun for us as Ford drivers because it's Ford Championship Weekend and we get to do some neat things down there, but the track is different. Having two true 180-degree corners and making it a true oval, the car has to be just a little different, but the real story there is just the three grooves. You can run all the way around the race track on the top or bottom and it's just fun."
DO YOU LOOK AT THE HENDRICK GROUP IN AWE WITH WHAT THEY'VE DONE? "It's been spectacular how well those guys have run. All of the Hendrick teams have done a great job. I know when Jimmie went by me last week, I paid attention to that car and they've got them working right. They're doing their jobs and they're definitely the class of the field right now, but it just gives us something to shoot for. We need to go into this winter and work hard and try to be as fast as them next year."
HOW HAS THE MOOD AT ROUSH EVOLVED OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS? "Everything seems like it's the same as it was. It was just kind of a bump in the road and I think in the end things might be better after everybody got to say how they feel about everything. I do think that in the end as soon as we get that stuff out in the open, the sense I get is that we're gonna be stronger because of it."
-credit: ford racing