Texas II: Winning team press conference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Jack, I'm not sure exactly what the formula you were going to use when you mentioned about having a Mulligan race, but can we now consider this to be Jimmie Johnson's Mulligan race? I see you smiling. JACK ROUSH: ...

Continued from part 1

Q: Jack, I'm not sure exactly what the formula you were going to use when you mentioned about having a Mulligan race, but can we now consider this to be Jimmie Johnson's Mulligan race? I see you smiling.

JACK ROUSH: He certainly gave back some points to help us with our electrical problem we had at Charlotte. We had two problems.

CARL EDWARDS: We'd love to throw away a deeper finish.

JACK ROUSH: We'd love to throw away a deeper finish. We gave up more points than that twice, or obviously we wouldn't be a hundred points behind.

I find no glee in somebody else having trouble. Certainly I don't wish Jimmie Johnson or the 48 any ill will at all. We'll just go out, and if they decide to come down pit road when they shouldn't, a caution will come out when it hurts them the most, it won't certainly be because I put anybody up to anything. I'll just be happy to realize the benefit of it.

But the same as they've realized the benefit the our electrical problem that occurred. You know, those things you can't choreograph. You take what hand you're played and you do the best you can with it.

We were extraordinarily lucky, not Carl because he wasn't there, but with Matt in 2003, with Kurt Busch in 2004. If the luck hadn't been with us on both those occasions, we wouldn't have won either one of those championships.

I don't deny Jimmie Johnson a championship for having good fortune, of not being caught up in David Gilliland's wreck or Carl's wreck at Talladega or not having a bad part in his car. Just wait and see what happens. When it goes against you, you've got to suck it up and resolve to keep the faith, keep going. When it works in your favor, you say God bless Texas.

Q: Carl, you said last night after the Nationwide race you felt in your gut it wasn't over, that had you a feeling you could pull this off. You've got to have tremendous confidence now going into Phoenix and Homestead.

CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I mean, those are two really great racetracks for us. I love 'em both. Phoenix is I think one of the most fun racetracks we go to. A driver can really make a difference there. It sometimes comes down to calls by crew chiefs and stuff like that. So I really feel like that racetrack will be good.

Homestead is a lot of fun. Ford weekend is always good for us. Jack has had a ton of success there. So, yeah, I still feel the same way. I think we're in a good spot right now. I don't know who said it or who started, but sometimes it's easier to be playing catch up, you have a little fun with it.

Q: Carl, yesterday in the Nationwide race you took four tires late. It seemed to work for you. Did that influence the decision to take four with about 70 to go in this race? Jimmie said he expected you to be able to shoot through traffic and get back up to the front pretty quickly. What was it that prevented you from doing that?

CARL EDWARDS: You know, I don't know exactly what Bob was balancing there, two tires or four tires. If our stop would have been a second or second and a half faster, I believe we would have come out in fourth position instead of sixth or seventh or wherever we ended up. When the lap cars are on the inside, every position you give up is really two positions, because the lap cars were fast tonight on the inside.

So I think what hurt us there was these cars are a little tougher to drive than the Nationwide cars. The field is a little more stratified. In the Nationwide Series, the cars, there's more of a difference between them. This series, it's very close. It's hard when you're back there in real dirty air following 10 cars to make something happen.

I was a little bit surprised at how tough it was. But that's what you have to expect in this series.

Q: Carl, could you talk about how it goes against every grain in your body to not want to mash the throttle down and how nerve wracking that is trying to save fuel. Jack, could you talk about Jamie McMurray's run tonight.

CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, it's strange because, I mean, when I put the fire suit on and get in the racecar, we're racing, I mean, you go as hard as you possibly can. I mean, everything in me is trying to figure out how to go faster all the time. It sounds kind of silly to say or whatever, but it really is difficult to figure out how to slow down sometimes.

Bob was yelling my lap times out on the radio. It's like I needed him to just explicitly say, Carl, you are going too fast, you need to slow down. He would say, That's a 32.40. You got a 12 second lead. I'm thinking, Okay, are you sure you want me to go slower? Are you sure? I needed like someone to write it on a card and stick it in front of me, 'cause it is it shouldn't be that hard. I'm sure looking from the outside, they're up there screaming, Why is he still going so fast? But it is kind of difficult at the end of a race like that especially, you know, because I just want to know. I need a little extra. I need to be sure. So it is hard.

 I just was worried that they were like missing a car.  Second place can't
be 12 seconds back.  There must be some other car that's maybe not showing
up on the scoreboard.  You start thinking all these things.  It's tough.

JACK ROUSH: You got anything to say about that, Bob?

BOB OSBORNE: Carl's always been hard to slow down.

JACK ROUSH: On Jamie McMurray, he's a good racecar driver. He's had not the results we hoped this year. Certainly isn't in points where we hoped he would be. But he's been running really well in the last handful of races. He's definitely got some energy and some momentum going.

You know, what I felt was going to happen when I realized I thought Jamie was going to win the race with 20 laps to go, and Carl was going to benefit in gaining some points, but I didn't think we'd be sitting here with Carl, I thought we'd be sitting with Jamie tonight.

But Jamie, he'll get a win soon. We've got a plan to make his team we think stronger for next year. So we're real excited about going forward with Crown Royal and making that work to everybody's satisfaction.

But he certainly missed a chance to win a race tonight. But everybody knows he was there, that's the main thing.

Q: Carl, in the very short history of this race, the driver who's won the week before at Atlanta has followed up to win here. You've done it twice. Any speculation on why that is? With the schedule getting shuffled up next year, do you think this phenomenon will continue?

CARL EDWARDS: You know, I don't know. I don't know exactly other than the tracks are similar. They sure don't drive the same because of the tires. But they are similar. It's probably mostly chance. When they're back to back like that, there's not much time for things to develop, things to change in the setups. It's not like they're three months apart. What works last week will generally work the in next week, but not much longer than that.

It's probably the combination of that and luck. I mean, if things would have gone any other way tonight, we wouldn't have won and that streak wouldn't have worked out, but it has.

JACK ROUSH: Carl and Bob had a really good performance here, as they did at Atlanta. You look at that, before last year you'd say you turned your car around because had you that magic car. The fact is this was two different cars that had pretty much the same performance result in terms of the way they handle in practice and the rest of it. That's a credit to NASCAR for keeping the rules tight, not letting the crew chiefs go off and do silly things to cars that would make some of them faster than others.

CARL EDWARDS: You should be in the meetings on Tuesday (laughter).

BOB OSBORNE: I play with cars plenty. I like to make them as fast as I can make them.

No, the cars have come a long way and we have great body hangars, great finish fab, great engine department, great chassis department, that are building us a lot of racecars that can go really fast. So we're lucky right now.

Q: Jack, your drivers have won seven of the 16 races here at Texas. Tonight all five guys were in the top 12. What do you feel like accounts for your special success here?

JACK ROUSH: Well, you know, I spent 17 years with Mark Martin. To my way of thinking, he was an early king in my time at least for mile and a half racetracks. He liked to get in a racetrack with a lot of grip and stand on the gas. If it was slippery and worn out, as racetracks get, if you had to drive it loose on the edge of destruction, he would do that. He set up a standard for the way the bodies are hung. He set up a standard for the performance we expect, from all of us, that we really that I think we benefit from.

If we hadn't had somebody as good as Mark, and the thing that Mark would have done a decade ago, if somebody was a little bit messed up on their setup or the car wasn't working right, he'd bring his handful of rags down. One of the worst things a driver could see was Mark Martin coming down pit road with a handful of rags.

Mark really did a lot to help me create an expectation that I've passed on to Bob and everybody else what we need to be doing on these racetracks. We expect to go to mile and a half racetracks that are fast, scary and run like hell. The guys keep that alive.

Q: I was wondering if you had any thoughts, people spent this week trying to give the championship to Jimmie Johnson, it was over, complaining the Chase was boring. In so many ways with the points, you've had these high highs and low lows, you've been the one making it interesting. Do you have any thoughts, have you learned anything about yourself or about racing in this series, this championship?

CARL EDWARDS: I didn't read much this week. I spent most of my week in the woods in Missouri hunting. I think that's been good for me.

What I've learned, and I'm still learning, is how to compete the best I can. The bottom line, you know, at the end of all of it is generally keep your head up and keep going as hard as you can and you'll get whatever you deserve.

For me, I just enjoy the competition. Like Jack just brought up a minute ago, it's neat to race under a rules package where everyone is so close. Every dirt racer around the country wishes that he could run at tracks like this with cars that are this close and guys that are this good at racing. I try to get a little bit of enjoyment out of it. I really do like it.

 I hope we keep making it exciting.  I hope the next two races are real
exciting.  I hope it's still good for us.

I don't know exactly know what your question was, but... Really doesn't matter because I won't read the article because I'll be in the woods, up in my tree stand, thinking about anything but Jimmie Johnson (laughter).

I call it hunting, but it's mostly just watching because I'm terrible.

BOB OSBORNE: Sleeping is more like it.

CARL EDWARDS: I try not to fall asleep in the tree stand (laughter).

Q: Those are your plans between now and next week?

CARL EDWARDS: There's a couple things I really want to do. I want to fly that airplane I flew last week that was really fun go hunting a little bit, spend some time with my fiancee. That's Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday we go to Las Vegas for Discount Tire and do an appearance. We'll be in Phoenix on Wednesday night. That's my plan, unless Jack calls me up and tells me I'm supposed to be in the meeting.

JACK ROUSH: I'm missing the meeting this week, too.

Q: Do you still have that kid's courage necklace?

CARL EDWARDS: Yeah. I'm wearing Dalton's necklace right now. Dalton here gave me this necklace to wear last week. It worked so well, and he enjoyed it, so he said I could wear it these last three races. It's very cool.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

-credit: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , David Gilliland , Mark Martin