Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 World Financial Group Taurus, comes into the weekend eighth in the point standings after a ninth-place run at Dover last weekend. Edwards, who is 103 points out of first place, spoke following practice as ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 World Financial Group Taurus, comes into the weekend eighth in the point standings after a ninth-place run at Dover last weekend. Edwards, who is 103 points out of first place, spoke following practice as well.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 World Financial Group Taurus
HOW INTENSE IS IT IN THE CAR DURING THIS RACE? "These restrictor plate races are really intense. It's really tough because even if you decide, 'Hey, I'm gonna just sit here and ride and see what happens,' other people start racing and then you get shuffled back. It's really hard because you're almost battling yourself - at least I am. I'm trying to keep myself in check and try to not be too aggressive and not go out there and try to do things where it doesn't pay off."
HOW DOES THE CAR FEEL? "They changed the body on our World Financial Group Ford and it's faster than it was, so I told Bob Osborne, 'Thank you for that' because you come out here as a driver and you can't really do anything to make the car faster. You hold it wide open and they got it a little bit quicker."
WHAT DID THEY DO? "I asked Bob this morning, 'What exactly did you change?' He said, 'We changed the nose a little bit and the windshield a little bit,' so that's all we did."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT PATIENCE AT THIS TRACK? "This place you can't be too careful. You can't try too hard to watch out ahead. If there's a wreck, you can't stop too quick. The lesson I learned last time was that there's an accident and that second I took to realize, 'Wow, I'm gonna have to stop this thing - a huge wreck,' I'd wasted 300 feet of stopping distance or whatever it is and you can't do that. You're almost on pins and needles the whole time. You really have to be planning on what you're gonna do to stop that car as soon as you see some smoke."
DO YOU SEE THIS AS A CHANCE TO CATCH UP IN THE POINTS IF YOU DON'T GET CAUGHT UP IN A WRECK? "It is an opportunity, but at the same time this race is a huge risk. There is the opportunity to gain a lot, but there's also the opportunity to get caught up in stuff that's out of your control, so this is kind of one of those races where you toss the dice and see what happens."
DO YOU WANT TO BE UP FRONT OR HANG BACK IN THIS RACE? "I've been thinking about that a lot this week. If we qualify really well, I think we'll just go up there and see what we can do and be in the front because there's no better place to be than the front in these races. But if you don't qualify well, you don't want to be running 25th right in the middle of a three-wide pack going 180 miles an hour. So I think if we qualify poorly, we might go back and just kind of hang around the back and see what happens."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE UNDERDOG IN THIS WHOLE THING? "Oh yeah, we're huge underdogs and it's kind of fun. There's really not a lot of pressure on us. Nobody really expects us to be fighting for this championship at the end of the year and it gives us an opportunity to go out and have a good time and do our best and not have a ton of pressure. It's like one of the other drivers in the chase told me right after Richmond. I said, 'Man, that was stressful.' He said, 'You should try it when everyone expects you to be in it.' So I'm enjoying this."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HAVING FOUR TEAMMATES IN THIS RACE? "The fact that I have four teammates here makes it a little bit different because I have an opportunity to draft with four guys that I know will help me out. That gives me a little bit more confidence, but, other than that, when it comes down to the last 10 laps they're not your teammates, they're folks you're racing against."