There are four Ford drivers competing for spots in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Carl Edwards (2nd) has already clinched while Greg Biffle (6th) just has to start in order to lock up...
There are four Ford drivers competing for spots in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Carl Edwards (2nd) has already clinched while Greg Biffle (6th) just has to start in order to lock up his position. Matt Kenseth (9th) and David Ragan (13th) are also trying to secure a spot. All four drivers held Q&A sessions Friday at the speedway.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU CARE ABOUT THIS WEEKEND OTHER THAN WINNING? "I'm watching David Ragan real close. That's gonna be fun for the fans to watch that fight for the chase. I know how that feels. It doesn't get anymore stressful than that -- maybe going to Homestead with a chance to win the championship -- but that's what I'm watching. Really, I feel like we're just out to win. This is our last real fun race, where we don't have much to worry about."
WHAT'S THAT LIKE WHEN YOU GET IN THE CAR KNOWING YOU HAVE TO RUN WELL TO MAKE THE CHASE? "In 2005 I will never forget. That race was the most stressful race I've ever been a part of because there was a wreck over in turn three and I was real close to getting caught up in it and we ended making the chase by just a real small margin. And then it led to us almost being able to win the championship. I felt like that Richmond race in 2005 was a bottleneck. I mean, so much stress went on in that race and I don't envy those guys that are in that position right now." WHAT'S IT LIKE WHEN YOU MAKE IT? "You know when you don't make it, you're just gearing up for the next season. The phone kind of quits ringing and unless you go out and do what Tony did a couple of years ago and win a bunch of races, it's real hard to have any real positive things going in the chase morale-wise, media-wise or whatever if you're not in it, so it's a big deal to make it."
HOW FAR HAS THIS GROUP COME THIS YEAR? "We've come a long ways in the last year, right out of the gate winning those races at the mile-and-a-half tracks was huge at the beginning of the year, and then to be able to win at Bristol and run really well at Martinsville with Robbie up on the box says a lot about the team and how everybody has been working. But this thing kind of goes in waves and people figure things out. Now you're seeing Jimmie run really well after they were struggling a little bit at the beginning of the year, but you just have to peak right there in the chase. You hope the engineers and everyone work and find that thing for the chase."
WHAT KIND OF STATEMENT DID JIMMIE MAKE LAST WEEK? "Jimmie's car was unbelievable last week. That's a big statement. There are a lot of race tracks that are big, mile-and-a-half, big tracks in the chase, so I thought that was pretty huge, and for us to kind of struggle there a little bit was a little bit frustrating."
HOW MUCH HAS RAGAN IMPROVED THIS YEAR? "David's a real strong person, I think. I feel like he's got a lot of confidence in himself. He's one of those guys that, I think, is gonna be great and how he has matured over the last couple of years -- in my eyes just from the outside looking in -- it looks like he's on a real steep curve and he's gonna be great."
HOW MUCH WILL THIS TRACK CHANGE WHEN IT RAINS? "I don't know how much the surface will change with the rain. The surface was pretty good when we started this morning. It looks like we might get this race started tonight, but it looks like we'll most likely get the Cup race in tomorrow night, but if we do, it'll be on a green race track at night so it's likely to be a little bit different, but this track seems to stay pretty good."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO RAGAN ABOUT '05? "I haven't talked to David about that night. If I did, I'd tell him to just hang on, don't make any mistakes, don't stress. It looks like he's got a real fast car."
WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT '05 WRECK? "I just remember, I think Dale Jarrett was behind me and he was doing everything he could to stop and I was all jacked up and I thought, 'It's over,' and we barely made it through. For me, I saw kind of my whole career flash there because I knew that making it in the chase and having a good season was gonna really help us get a sponsor for the next year. We were still up in the air."
HOW HARD IS IT FOR YOU WHO IS ALREADY IN THE CHASE TO STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THE GUYS TRYING TO GET IN? "The people who have their season hinging on this night, I don't want to mess their night up and nobody wants to mess their night up. Even if it's a guy you don't like or whatever, you don't want to mess it up just because that's not fair. So I think everybody will be on the toes for those guys that have to get in."
-credit: ford racing