Ford 300 Post-Race Transcript
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased now to be joined by our race winner and crew chief and team owner up here on the stage. The race winner for today's Ford 300 is Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Save A Lot Ford; his crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer; and his team owner, Jack Roush. Congratulations, gentlemen. Terrific job not only tonight but throughout the course of this season.
Carl, your thoughts about winning today's race? Certainly made a great run at your second consecutive championship falling 21 points short but certainly put on a good show for us.
CARL EDWARDS: It was a great race, a lot of fun. I had a great time racing with Kyle. That was a great race. I know Clint had to be sweating those last few laps when some of those guys behind him had tires, and I thought, man, it can happen.
Drew did a great job, my guys did a great job and we had a car that was fast enough to win and we did everything right. Boy, if I could go back to the season and pick up 21 points, that would be great, but we can't. It's a full season. Clint earned the championship. He'll be a great champion.
You know, it's neat to see how excited his family was and how excited he is, and I'm as happy as I could be for another guy to beat me, and I hope he enjoys it.
Q: Drew, your thoughts, a lot of strategy had to unfold there towards the end, and it seemed like you made the right calls.
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: Yeah, you know, we had to do what they didn't do. Basically we wanted to put as much space between us and them as possible. The way it worked out, the 2 pretty much stayed on our game plan and they were running good enough that they could stay within four or five car lengths from us most of the time.
So, you know, it was tough to get off sequence with them. But, you know, at the end I saw last night's race, took stuff from that and knew that the only way we were going to have a chance to win the championship, let alone the race, was stay out. Hopefully
Clint was far enough back and he would come and get tired, but unfortunately it didn't happen.
THE MODERATOR: Jack, you've got to be proud of this race team and congratulations on a super year.
JACK ROUSH: It's been a super year. The race team has done a great job coming together. Drew is going to be really good in this business, I think as good as any of the crew chiefs that are famous for their success.
All of our sponsors have hung with us this year. It's been a great year. It's been a pleasure to be involved in the Nationwide series and to be this close for a second year.
If I look back, the only thing I was able to do as an owner was to be able to race with Carl and Drew in the Nationwide series, that would be enough for me. It's been a great pleasure.
Q: Carl, over this last stretch, both the Nationwide and Cup, all you've had to do is go out and run for the wins. Was that kind of a relief rather than worrying? I remember the fuel gamble you did in Fort Worth, but how do you feel about just being able to go out and run fast?
CARL EDWARDS: I'm kind of thinking about just racing like that all the time now. I can't imagine why you'd race for points. We seem to have accumulated a lot of points by just being aggressive. You know, there is a fine line. You have to be careful. I have taken a lot of not very smart chances, chances that were risky, but it has been fun. I've enjoyed it.
You know, tonight went as well as it could have. For one race it couldn't have gone any better. No matter how tomorrow goes, you know, the thing is that this winter I can go into this off season knowing that we're going to be tough next year. We're going to be tough here in the Nationwide series and in the Cup Series. We've grown a lot and had a lot of fun.
Q: Carl, I just wanted to ask you about the in race reporter stuff on television. We saw you again tonight. Maybe talk about what that's like for you? It's such a new thing and very interesting for people watching at home.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, a lot of people have commented on it and say they enjoy it, and I'm glad they do. It's very strange to be talking in your car and know that you're talking across to millions of people across the world, I guess, from your race car.
It's pretty neat.
I think Dale Jarrett does a great job with it, and I enjoy doing it. There are times, like tonight, and I think it was in Atlanta when it's like the last restart, we're leading the race, and here comes Dale asking me questions, and I think to myself, man, you know, should I be doing this? I don't know if I should be talking at this point. But it hasn't seemed to affect the racing, and it's kind of fun. Takes my mind off of any stress I have.
Q: Carl, you did about everything you could do tonight. You won, I think you almost led the most laps. As you exit here, does that leave you happier or is it frustrating that you came up short?
CARL EDWARDS: Well, definitely it's frustrating to not win the championship. I mean, that's what we set out to do this season.
Q: (Question about Clint Bowyer)?
CARL EDWARDS: One time I raced against him in Moberly, Missouri, and I beat him. It was awesome (laughter). That day felt real good. It doesn't make up for this day, but it felt good. Clint is a really good guy, man. It was so cool, his mom and dad come to the races, and the way he told me the story, he started racing out of the corner of his dad's tow truck shop, and he's a great racer.
You know, to get that day in Moberly if you would have told me that Clint and I would be racing for the Nationwide series championship in 2008 I think that was 2001 or something I mean, I would have laughed so hard. We were just a couple dirt racers having some fun there. It's very neat.
Q: For Drew, next year Carl is probably going to be the favorite to win the championship. Does that at all change your approach rather than coming in halfway through a season like you've done?
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: You know, I think it doesn't change our approach like Carl talked about earlier. He knew things that he could probably look back in the year and think maybe I should do this better. There's a lot of things I could have done better.
I've never been in a situation where I've raced for points. My rookie year as a crew chief I was fortunate enough to be with Danny O'Quinn, we won Rookie of the Year, but racing for points in and out against tough competition was new to me. There's certain things throughout the year that I look back on and think, man, we could have got five bonus points there, or, man, I shouldn't have been that aggressive with that.
I think the things I've learned over the last six or seven months on the 60 car have prepared me for championship battle.
Q: Carl, how long do you want to keep up the pace of doing both series full time?
CARL EDWARDS: You know, I don't know. I'm enjoying it right now. I mean, racing with Drew and these guys, I mean, Saturdays are a blast. To be able to win races and have my friends and my family here and have a chance to race for championships, it's good. So as long as Jack will let me do it and NASCAR will let me do it and we're competitive, you know, I plan on doing it for a while.
JACK ROUSH: That was a great question. I'm glad you asked it. I thought I understood next year was the last year you wanted to do it.
CARL EDWARDS: I'm kind of going a year at a time, but I don't really know. If I'm sitting here a year from now and we've won 10 races and a championship -- it's up to you guys.
CARL EDWARDS: We're going to go to London and do the Race of Champions, and then from London we're going to Thailand and doing some big bicycle ride adventure over there. I don't have an itinerary yet, but it will be exciting.
Now that we have less time off in January, I don't know what I'll do then. We're going to have some fun, I guarantee you.
We'll try to take a camera so you guys can see it. It should be exciting. Tom Giacchi in Bangkok is going to be priceless. So I'm excited.
Q: I just wanted to ask Jack, once you toyed with building a test track at some point a few years ago. With what was announced yesterday, have those plans come up in your head at all?
JACK ROUSH: You're the second person that's asked me that question. I have neither the money nor the inclination to build a test track and also have had conversations with Mike, and I don't have any intention to try to get around their test rules.
If we could organize a situation where all the established teams would hold hands and resolve not to test outside of the NASCAR mandated or approved testing, not go to the skid pads, not go to Canada, not to go to Pikes Peak or any of the places they're checking on, I'd be happier with that than to skirt around.
If everybody else does it, we may have to do it, too, but that's certainly not in the spirit of trying to save the teams money and trying to operate in these severe economic circumstances.