Michigan Nationwide Wnning Team Interview

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Michigan International Speedway

Carl Edwards/Mike Beam/Jack Roush Post Race Press Conference


CARL, IT WAS A NICE BATTLE BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE RICKY STENHOUSE JR. FOR THAT WIN. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? “I realized with 11 laps to go and I was thinking the laps kept ticking down and I was driving harder and harder and not catching him. With 11 to go I stepped it up and drove harder than maybe I should have. I saw him wiggle one time and hit the fence off of two and he was driving that car hard. His car wasn’t as balanced as mine. We were able to get by him. With 15 to go I didn’t think we were going to be able to get him. We were talking in victory lane about the race a year ago here. We weren’t even close. We were not competitive with a lot of these guys. In the last year, Doug Yates, Jack, Mike and all the guys at the shop have done a great job of making our cars fast. They moved the shop, changed the engines, put together sponsorship and when we didn’t have sponsorship Jack committed to running the cars and that is why we are here today in victory lane. The cars are amazing.”

Carl Edwards, Roush-Fenway Ford
Carl Edwards, Roush-Fenway Ford

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

MIKE, YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE WIN? “It was a great race and it is always good to win here for Ford and Jack and our whole company. I was kind of concerned with about 15 to go but I knew that Ricky had a good short run car and I was hoping they wouldn’t have a caution. You know it is really a group effort. Robbie and his group down there give us great cars and Scott, our engineer is a great engineer and great guy to work with. It is a lot of fun right now. We come here with a kind of chip on the shoulder because we finished second the last three races.”

JACK, YOUR FIFTH NATIONWIDE WIN HERE AT THIS TRACK, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WINNING HERE? “It is great to race in front of the home crowd. We have 3,000 Roush Industries folks in the area, a lot of which came. We have customers that came and were in our hospitality. There are a lot of expectations when we race here. This is the first big race track I attended when I came to Detroit to work for Ford in the 60’s. I came to MIS to watch an Indy Car race. This is coming home for me. I enjoy flying my airplanes over here midweek when I can and doing aerobatic things when I can. The fact that we have been able to have the success we have here in our backyard is really fun.”

WHEN THEY TOLD YOU THAT RICKY WOULD COME BACK TO YOU, DID YOU EXPECT IT WOULD HAPPEN BEFORE IT DID? “What is it you said exactly Mike?”

MB: “I said ‘Don’t worry about it, he is coming back to you.’

CE: “It is easy for him to say not to worry about it.”

MB: “I was listening to the 6 car too. That helped me. I might look smart but really I am not. I do listen very well though. I was listening to Ricky talk. Even though time and scoring was out the whole day, I had a stopwatch.”

CE: “It was more work than I thought it was going to be. I thought we would drive up there and go by him but I was mistaken. I really had to drive hard. He is really getting good at this. He is going to be very tough, especially when he gets more Cup experience and gets to race with those guys on Sunday. He will be very, very tough on Saturdays.”

COULD YOU GUYS SPEAK TO TREVOR BAYNE COMING BACK AFTER BEING AWAY FOR SO LONG?

JR: “Trevor had the really unfortunate incident with an insect bite. That created some anxiety and then we had to deal with the symptoms of the insect bite for a period of time. He really had to step out of line and come back in. Dr. Petty and the medical staff that consults for NASCAR gave him good advice and Trevor and his family went along with it and we have made sure he was healthy before he came back. He has made a statement as to what he can do as he has come back because you would think he might have lost momentum but he hasn’t lost a step.”

CE: “He out-qualified me in the Cup car today, so he gets no more advice. I personally thought it would take him longer to get in the swing of things but he is ready to go. He is fast.”

MB: “I know we enjoy having Trevor and Ricky in the shop. They are two very talented young guys. I enjoy working with them. They listen very well and have a lot of respect for Carl and Jack and I try to help them as much as I can. All three teams work really well together and I am very proud of that.”

CARL, YOU TALKED ABOUT BEING IN FORD’S BACK YARD. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT FORD AS A COMPANY UP HERE IN MICHIGAN AND THE WHOLE BIG THREE COMPETITION AND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE? “A few years ago Ford brought us up here for a meeting that we talked about a little bit in the last few years. I wish everyone here could have been in that meeting. They told us what was going to happen with the auto industry here in America and they told us how tough it was going to be and what they were going to do to come out of the other side in a better position, if at all. They did all those things. They structured their business and sacrificed. Jack had to sacrifice a little bit as well and I am just really proud to represent Ford here. It means a lot that they are behind us. Lewis Booth, the CFO was here this morning. Jim Farley, the Global Marketing Director drove his 1965 Mustang over from Detroit and they were just here hanging around, talking to us and telling us how important NASCAR is to them. For us to get a win here today is huge. We need to win for them tomorrow.”

I think that is one of the hardest parts about the series right now, practicing the right way and not tricking yourself.

Carl Edwards

JR: “Probably the most exciting thing I got out of the meetings we had on Thursday is that they have a new Fusion coming in the very new future that gets 41 mpg and they have a 40 mpg Focus and other cars coming. 40 mpg is the buzz word at Ford Motor Company.”

CE: “The new Fusion looks awesome. It is really neat. It is going to be the car.”

RICKY SAID WHEN HE WAS UP HERE THAT YOU PRACTICE BETTER THAN HE DOES. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT TAKES AWHILE TO LEARN? “That is one of the problems we are going to have with Ricky. He understands where he is not getting everything he could. That is a big deal for him to recognize that. I hadn’t thought of that. What is difficult to me at practice is that we get really one set of tires to practice on. As you make changes you have to make sure you aren’t putting yourself outside of the ballpark that you are making changes that help. I think Mike is really good at helping me to understand where in the tire life we are as we are making changes and making sure we are going in the right direction. I think that is one of the hardest parts about the series right now, practicing the right way and not tricking yourself.”

CARL, YOU MADE A LATE DECISION TO RACE NEXT WEEK AT ROAD AMERICA. DO YOU KNOW WHO WILL PRACTICE YOUR CUP CAR SATURDAY AND HOW IT WILL ALL WORK? “That is a good question. We haven’t talked about that. I think we are talking about maybe having Billy Johnson practice the Nationwide car. He is for sure going to practice the Nationwide car on Friday. We had talked about flying him back Saturday morning to practice the Cup car. I don’t know if we will be able to do that or not. We haven’t worked out all the details yet. Billy did a really good job testing at Road Atlanta. He made me step up my game and I don’t think he has many laps at all in these cars. We haven’t figured out exactly all we will do, but Jack might know more about that.”

JR: “Yeah, Billy Johnson is a name that most of you haven’t heard but he has been racing with my son Jack Jr. in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series in a Mustang and they have won two races this year in that car. Billy was also in one of our Nationwide cars at Watkins Glen last year and got involved in a wreck. He practiced well and was running well when he got in the wreck.”

JACK, THE GIBBS GUYS ARE YOUR MAIN COMPETITION. IS IT MORE SPECIAL BEATING THOSE GUYS? “The Gibbs guys and Toyota program has been strong. We have strength in our program. This business ebbs and flows. They are going through at least a plateau right now if not a little bit of a hole. They will come out of that the same as we did. All the top teams can’t stay on top all the time. They have to move it around.”

I ASSUME YOU LOOKED AT THE OIL PANS THAT CAME OFF THE GIBBS CARS. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT? “It was a deal where the put a part on the car that was not approved. If you make a change to a component on the car and it is something different than is in the car then you better show it to John Darby. If you don’t, he is likely to tell you to take it off your car. That is what happened. They put an unapproved part on the car that had an aerodynamic advantage for sure. I didn’t check the part. I didn’t pick it up. I wish I had. It might have been tungsten. It was either steel or tungsten. If it was, that would be even more of an advantage. NASCAR looked at it and took it off the car. They would do the same for us or anybody.”

THE OFF ROAD TRUCK SERIES IS ON THE TV’S IN HERE RIGHT NOW AND I NOTICE YOU ARE CHECKING IT OUT. ANY CHANCE WE WILL SEE YOU IN ONE OF THOSE SOME DAY? “I was just telling jack that looks like a lot of fun. That truck there just flipped about four times. I hope that wasn’t Brian Deegan in it. That stuff is pretty neat. There is a lot of neat racing going on right now. It is cool to see that stuff out there. It looks fun.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush-Fenway Ford and Carl Edwards, Roush-Fenway Ford
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush-Fenway Ford and Carl Edwards, Roush-Fenway Ford

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

JACK, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE PENALTY HANDED DOWN TO YOUR FELLOW OWNER IN REGARDS TO THAT ALTERCATION HE HAD WITH MR. BUSCH? “It was pretty high. I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of ‘have at it guys’, maybe that was a boy and a man, I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it.”

CE: “That is all you guys needed was that one little sound bite. You gave it to them Jack. You fell right into it.”

JR: “I was on Richard Childress’s side of that dispute. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was okay. I am disappointed it cost him that much, but he was standing up for himself.”

WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT YOURSELF EITHER BEFORE OR AFTER THE PENALTY? “I have some plates in my face right now and some serious injuries I am dealt with. I think my fighting days are over.”

CE: “I wouldn’t count on it though.”

CARL, YOU WENT INTO THE STANDS AGAIN; YOU REALLY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND WITH THE FANS. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU TO ENGAGE THE FANS? “The fans are what make this sport what it is. Jack is the one that said we could all go out in the middle of the night on some country road and race each other but it wouldn’t be near as fun. These fans are what make the sport. Going up in the grandstands and that, I hope the other drivers will start doing that. That is not my deal. I don’t own that celebration. It is really neat to go up there. I would recommend it to anyone. They are the most important part of this sport and I really enjoy spending the time I get to spend with them. It is really fun when we win to get to share that together. It is really cool.”

-source: ford racing

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Series NASCAR-NS
Tags carl edwards, ford, mike beam, roush