NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 Post-Race Transcript An interview with: CARL EDWARDS BOB OSBORNE JACK ROUSH THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the winner of the Dickies 500, Carl Edwards. Carl becomes the first NASCAR Sprint Cup driver...
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 Post-Race Transcript
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the winner of the Dickies 500, Carl Edwards. Carl becomes the first NASCAR Sprint Cup driver to sweep both races at Texas Motor Speedway, winning the Samsung 500 and today's Dickies 500. It's his third win at Texas Motor Speedway.
Carl, talk about those last laps.
CARL EDWARDS: Never had Bob yell at me for going too fast, but he did tonight.
I just was so nervous that we were missing something. I thought there's no way we can go this slow, save this much fuel, and still be leading this race.
They did a really great job, though. That was cool. You know, of all the ways you can win a race, fuel mileage isn't the most exciting one. But we had I believe a dominant car all day. The car was very fast. We got behind on that last pit stop. It was very cool to still win the thing.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by winning crew chief Bob Osborne.
Bob, talk about that gamble at the end.
BOB OSBORNE: Well, I don't know really what to say other than the fact that when the caution came out, we had to make that pit stop, we knew we were going to be short. You know, we went to the drawing board, so to speak, and calculated all the line lengths, how much fuel can the car actually pick up, and we were pretty comfortable mid race, mid run there that we would be okay if Carl did his normal great job of saving fuel. He did and we were able to make it. So that was a good end to a bad situation.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by winning car owner, Jack Roush.
Jack, if you could talk about those last couple laps in the fuel mileage race.
JACK ROUSH: I had not been down with Bob and the guys as they calculated the fuel mileage the whole race, but I had seen the data. I knew that the 99 car, the Ford Fusion, was getting better fuel mileage than the other cars we had. I didn't understand why and I still don't understand why. I'll be anxious to do an analysis of the carburetor on the dynamometer when we get home.
That 99 car really stepped up and delivered better fuel mileage, whether it was something with Carl's line, he wasn't using the brakes as much as he did at Atlanta or not as much as the other guys did, I'm not sure what accounted for it, but it did take a step that I questioned the legitimacy of the data I was seeing. I went down and found Mike Messick, my number one tuner. He supervises all the engine tuners on all the teams. He confirmed with me that it looked like we were going to be a mile and a half short. That was based on the incredible performance of the carburetor, which the 16 car was about seven laps short.
So, anyway, it looked like a lap and a half short. Bob and Carl worked it out between them. We've seen situations where if the driver is willing to not go as fast as he might, stop using the brakes, has track position to give up, you can save several laps in a tank of gas. They were able to do that.
I don't know how you would ever go from a situation like this and make an assumption that it could be the same result the next time you try. It's different for big tracks and short tracks, flat tracks and bank tracks. The fact is, we don't have enough experience with it to really have iron clad formulas for how much you can save.
But it was a lap and a half short and Carl was the man, he did it. Bob had the faith in it and they pulled it off.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q: Bob, would this have been the gamble that you would have made or been willing to make had it not been this exact situation with the Chase, the points, all that?
BOB OSBORNE: If the points were closer or we were in the lead, no, we would not have made that type of decision to gamble. We're in a position where we want to make as many points up as we can.
Losing the points that we would have lost finishing I think 15th is the last lead lap car, I think, I'm not sure. But I'm not really concerned about that. Yeah, we want to finish second in the points, too. Obviously we want to finish first, and that's what we're shooting for right now. It was just a risk that I thought was worth taking.
Q: Carl, you've been saying all week the Chase wasn't over, which is what we would expect you to say. Now 106 back, do you feel vindicated? How confident are you going the last two?
CARL EDWARDS: I would if I really cared what everybody else thought. I'm learning to not really care because it really doesn't matter.
That's a good question. I feel good about it. I feel satisfied, you know, that we did take a chunk out of that lead. Jack and I had talked about it. I think it averaged out to where if we won them all, he finished ninth these last three race, we could beat him.
JACK ROUSH: That's correct. He had to finish ninth or better to beat us. I haven't done the math on this. It should have moved him down in the top five. You have to do somewhere close to the top five for the next two races, which he certainly is capable of. Based on the way he raced out most of the year, it's what you expect.
Sometimes momentum is a wonderful thing. I've heard Carl say he doesn't believe in momentum. But I've seen it. It's pretty real for me. Right now the 99 and Carl and the Ford Fusion and Bob have this momentum. If it causes a mis step, if they wind up second guessing themselves on a change, or if they wind up pushing on their strategy some, it could make a difference.
CARL EDWARDS: But, yeah, I do feel like what happened tonight, I didn't expect to be able to close that many points on Jimmie without him having some sort of catastrophic problem. I think that's a good shot in the arm for all of our guys, all the guys that have been working so hard at the shop and here at the racetrack, that we can go out and perform well enough to win this thing. That's cool.
Q: Carl, how would you rate today's gamble compared to the gamble you took a few weeks ago on the last lap against Jimmie? Which one was more fun?
CARL EDWARDS: Kansas was may more fun (laughter). That was pretty neat. That was leaving your foot on the throttle. This one was taking it off.
But, man, you know, a win is a win. It's cool to be surrounded by guys that are this intelligent and this driven to win. To have Bob up there on the box and Jack and Mike Messick and all these guys coming up with a plan to win, I mean, that's cool for that to be happening. Real time, heat of the moment, making decisions like that, I feel like I've got a good group of guys.
So, yeah, it's not as exciting maybe as other ways to win, but it's still neat. It's part of the sport. It's cool.
Q: Carl, any stress now as you get closer to getting closer to potentially being able to do this with the Nationwide Series championship and Cup Series championship facing you together?
CARL EDWARDS: What was the question exactly?
Q: The two championships, having to work on both of them, now that this looks more realistic.
CARL EDWARDS: Really it's just fun at this point. We've got nothing to lose. We can just go out and be aggressive and take chances. I can race as hard as I want. I mean, it's cool.
You know, yesterday we picked up a bunch of points on Clint. Not a bunch, but a few. Today we picked up a lot of points on Jimmie. It's neat. You know, it's fun.
I've been part of championship efforts, even back racing in dirt cars and stuff. It's wild. I watched the Formula One race today. That was a spectacular, spectacular drama there. I just hope that we can get this thing close enough to make it that much fun at Homestead in both series. That would be cool.
Q: Bob, obviously you look pretty smart right now, like a genius. If it didn't work out, probably a lot of people across America would have been saying, What an idiot, why did he do that? Were you prepared up there to take that on yourself if it didn't work out and say it was on you? Carl, would you have been mad or upset at Bob if it didn't work out?
BOB OSBORNE: Well, when I'm at work and I'm getting scolded by Jack, my usual answer to him is, I've got big shoulders; I can handle it.
You know, the decision was not blind. We had a lot of data to back the decision. So it's not like a whim that the decision was made. Don't read too much into it. There was a lot of data put into it and a lot of conversation and a lot of analysis to make that decision.
But at the end of the day, had it not worked out for us, I've made poor decisions in the past, and I bet I'll make poor decisions in the future. I'll live with them, learn from them, and move on.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I think the way our relationship is, mine and Jack's, mine and Bob's, all of our crew guys, especially at this point in the season, we're all in this together. You know, if I do something and make a mistake that costs us something, you know, like at Talladega or whatever, my guys don't get down on me.
Having guys like Jack and Bob, the guys around that I know are harder on themselves than I could ever be, that's very cool. So I wouldn't be mad at Bob if we had run out of fuel. I know he wants to win just as bad or more badly than I do.
Q: Carl, it looked like from about the halfway point on through the wreck on the backstretch with Montoya, you were throwing haymakers at Jimmie's points lead, lapping cars with great regularity. Third on the lead lap, you put him to eighth on the lead lap. Were you consciously doing that knowing how far back you were putting him? Also does it bother that you that wreck there, there's a guy like Gilliland, who got parked for that, who is not a Chaser interrupting the whole flow of the thing, do you think it broke up the rhythm of your day?
CARL EDWARDS: The way the world seems to work is that everything happens for a reason. I can't imagine being upset at David Gilliland for what he did, because we're sitting here with a big ring and a cowboy hat. If he hadn't wrecked whoever he wrecked, it might have been different.
It is a good question because from the outside I think a lot of times people see it as simple as, Hey, some guy made a mistake, and he's not even racing for the championship. Let me tell you something, David Gilliland is a great racecar driver. He's racing just as hard or harder than a lot of guys out here because he's racing for a sponsorship, for a ride. You know, I think you got to be careful. I believe in this sport you need to be careful pointing fingers and saying negative things about guys because we all make mistakes, every single one of us.
Definitely personally I'm not mad at David Gilliland. I think he's a good guy.
Continued in part 2