NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Florida Dodge Dealers 250 February 13, 2004 An interview with: CARL EDWARDS JACK ROUSH THE MODERATOR: We're joined here tonight by the winner of tonight's Florida Dodge Dealers 250, Carl Edwards, 99 Super...
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Florida Dodge Dealers 250
February 13, 2004
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We're joined here tonight by the winner of tonight's Florida Dodge Dealers 250, Carl Edwards, 99 Super Chips Ford.
You started off by starting in the back, because of an engine change. You sped down the pit road at 180 miles an hour, ended up at the pack, seemed like the same place you started. You spun in turn three.
How the heck did you win this thing?
CARL EDWARDS: That's what Jack was just asking me in the ride over here. He said, "If you want to win championships, you're going to have to take it a little easier."
But, man, I wanted to win this race. For some way, some how, somebody was looking down on us tonight because there were a lot of reasons, like you said, that I shouldn't have one. We had a special young man with us tonight, Josh Baysinger that was really neat. We have the whole Super Chips off here in the grandstands. This was a big day for us, big day for Roush Racing and for Ford.
THE MODERATOR: What does it feel like to win at Daytona?
CARL EDWARDS: Oh, man, it hasn't really sunk in yet. It feels pretty neat. I was going through my mind thinking all the people who were probably back there in Columbia, Missouri, screaming and jumping up and down in their living rooms watching the SPEED Channel. It's very amazing. I'm very, very fortunate.
Q: What's with the new back flip now?
CARL EDWARDS: They told me before the race, they said, "If you win, do not stand on the truck." And so that's all I could come up with. I hope it was all right (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Questions from the press box.
Q: Compare this year to last year here at Daytona.
CARL EDWARDS: Contrary to what it may have happened like, I feel like I have a better idea of what I need to do to finish the races (smiling).
I know, Jack, I'm sorry.
Last year, I had this thing in my head screaming, "Do not let anyone pass you." I was going to do anything I could not to let them pass me. I think I actually let one or two people pass me tonight.
But that's the thing, just getting that experience, that year of racing under my belt in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, really helped to maybe not make some mistakes that I would have made last year.
Q: What are your long range plans for Carl, Jack?
JACK ROUSH: Carl is the heir apparent for the No. 6 car after Mark retires. I hope we can get Mark to keep going in the No. 6 car until we get Carl a championship in the Truck Series, then a chance to run for a championship in the Busch Series. I'd like three years, then I think he'll be in the 6 car.
Q: Can you describe that situation with the young man with you in Victory Lane?
CARL EDWARDS: It's really a neat situation.
He's a young man whose family and himself used to come to the racetracks around central Missouri, to the dirt tracks. I'd run into him a couple times. I did not realize that he had a battle going on, you know, in his life with his health. The young man, he's 12 years old, Josh Baysinger.
They just contacted me about three days ago, four days ago, and said, "His wish is to come down here to Daytona and be at these races." There's a company or a foundation called the Dream Factory in Missouri. They made it possible for him to be down there.
Then the folks at Craftsman, the Craftsman Truck Series, the officials, gave him pit passes, helped us out.
I just feel fortunate to have met him. He inspires me, a young man like that going through such a battle with circumstances, you know, that he's facing, the way that he goes right -- you know, fights them and has a smile on his face and is enjoying every day. That inspires me.
That's really I feel what made us win today.
Q: Are you going to allow him to take the trophy home with him?
JACK ROUSH: Absolutely.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, Josh Baysinger is taking that trophy home with him.
Q: What happened when you and Randy went screaming down pit road?
CARL EDWARDS: I'm sorry, Jack (smiling).
I think what happened was --
JACK ROUSH: We need to review the tape probably (smiling).
CARL EDWARDS: We need to review the tape, but I'm pretty sure it happened something like I cut down the racetrack trying to pass someone when there was someone next to me. I'm sorry to whoever that was. I kind of cut across their nose. When everything got straightened back out, it was like, "Well, there's pit road, and I haven't lifted yet, so let's see what happens."
It worked out.
Boy, could have been bad. I'm very lucky (smiling).
Q: Does a spin like that rattle your confidence?
CARL EDWARDS: Not really. Just kind of made me mad. I wanted to go racing some more. Didn't really do anything to my confidence.
Q: Did the tire go down?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah. Right before I spun there, I'm pretty sure it was the left rear tire, I was going down the back straightaway. It just deflated or equalized like all in an instant.
I thought the motor blew because it was spinning. I lost forward progress, but I think it was just a tire.
Q: Carl, have you ever had a day where you've gone through so much adversity and still won?
CARL EDWARDS: I don't think I have. There was one race in particular at Capital Speedway in Holts Summit in 1999 where we had a day like this, a race like this. I think we were like 20th with six to go on a restart or something. I somehow ended up winning the race.
Other than that, this is it. I don't see how we could go through much more than this and still end up winning.
Q: Could you comment on what Jack said about being the heir apparent to the No. 6 car?
CARL EDWARDS: It's just an honor. It just motivates me to work harder every day to be the best driver I can be so that when we do come up with a marketing partner to run in the Nextel Cup Series, in a car that I can give them the best and be the best driver I can be to win championships, the emotional part of me just can't believe it. It gives me chills to think about it. Mark Martin is someone I looked up to long before I started racing for his determination and his drive to be, you know, a very, very capable race car driver.
So it's an honor.
Q: Were you concerned you might get the call from the NASCAR officials for speeding on pit road?
CARL EDWARDS: Yes, I was concerned about that (smiling). But I really didn't have -- it kind of unfolded about the same speed as my brain could kind of comprehend what was going on. I thought, "Here I am going down pit road. If I lift now and try to blend in, I'll probably cause more trouble than if I go ahead and keep it going."
But, yeah, I was concerned. Nobody said anything yet. I guess we made it through that one.
THE MODERATOR: Jack, Carl, congratulations on a great start to the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
JACK ROUSH: Thank you very much.
CARL EDWARDS: Thank you all very much. This is a blast. I'm really happy.