Rookie Edwards victorious in Kentucky. Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Ford, picked up his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory tonight at Kentucky Speedway in the Built Ford Tough 225 leading the final 40 laps of the 150-lap...
Rookie Edwards victorious in Kentucky.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Ford, picked up his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory tonight at Kentucky Speedway in the Built Ford Tough 225 leading the final 40 laps of the 150-lap event. Edwards' first truck series victory came in his 18th start and extended Roush Racing's winning streak to two consecutive races.
Edwards qualified his Ford in the fifth position, but an engine change following Friday's first practice session forced him to the rear of the 36-truck field for the start of the race. The move for the lead came in Turn 3 as Edwards powered by Brendan Gaughan, who blew a motor, on the outside groove of the 1.5-mile speedway. Edwards became the third Ford driver to win in 2003 and increased Roush Racing's all-time truck series victories to 30, the most in series history.
CARL EDWARDS-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
"I cannot describe it. This is the greatest feeling in the world. My mom is here, my girlfriend Mindy, my brother. It's just unbelievable. Jack Roush has given me this opportunity and that's exactly what it is - an opportunity. Hopefully we'll make the most of it. This is the most amazing feeling. I cried the whole last lap. I can't describe it."
DID YOU HAVE ANY FUEL CONCERNS? "No, I didn't. Doug Richert is a really smart man. He's my crew chief and he said we can do it. Towards the end, I started lifting a little longer trying to save the fuel, and I guess that was a good idea because we ran out doing doughnuts there. He does a really good job of acting like we're going to make it. I didn't realize how close we were."
"I had a junk old Mazda car that I driving to every race in about a year ago, sleeping in it and trying to beg for rides. To be sitting here in front of you guys as the winner of this race is the most amazing thing in the world."
"The kids like it. I started doing that (back flips) at the dirt track back home. I saw that Tyler Walker does that, and I thought it was really neat, so I've been doing that for about four years now."
HAVE YOU EVER HURT YOURSELF DOING THAT? "No. I'll tell you what, I figure of all of the times to do a back flip that's the best time because even if I did fall down and hurt myself I really wouldn't mind; I'm so happy."
"I used to buy a little slot in Speed Sport News in the back and put my picture there and just said, 'Hey, I'm a driver and here's my phone number.' It's long ways from that. It's been a lot of work. I'm an average guy with great friends and family; that's all there is to it."
"If Jon would have passed me and won this race, nobody would have been happier for him than me. It was so great to finish one-two last week. Yeah, I really wanted to win, but Jon is an unbelievable young man. I competed against him last year, and I just thought that here's some kid, last name Wood, and I'll go in there and we'll show him how to do it, and that's not been the case. That guy is talented and very gracious and a great friend. Racing with him is pure fun."
"We blew up a motor right before we went out to make our practice qualifying run. That motor that we just won that race with was the one that's been sitting in the hauler all year just riding along, bouncing around. It says a lot about the guys, Joe Tryson and the folks back at the motor shop."
TALK ABOUT RACING BRENDAN GAUGHAN. "I hope that looked like fun because that was so much fun. It was like dirt racing on a Saturday night. He'd drive it in too deep and I would get a run on him and then he'd try to break the draft, not that we drafted on Saturday nights back home. It really was a lot of fun. I wished we could have raced him to the end because it was really spectacular. He did an unbelievable job of saving it, too. I thought that was going to be pretty big."
"There is going to be an announcement on Tuesday as to what they're going to do with Jon and my teams. It's based on economics. They want to develop our talent and they want to do it the best way they can. We've had a great relationship with Ford, Roush has, and we really enjoy the truck series, so whatever they decide to do, I have faith in their decision. All we can do is go week to week and race s good as we can."
"Every race is important. There is more pressure. We've got a shop full of guys that are working their hearts out and they're the ones who this really strains. They have to go home to their families and listen to those questions of what's going on. They don't know and I don't know. We need a sponsor, and I believe we can give the results that are necessary and keep someone happy. It's just the matter of finding the right marketing partner."
"I really thought that we were pretty good right off of the bat. What we did, Jon Wood was really good in qualifying so we used some stuff that he had in qualifying. John Monsam, his crew chief, won this race last year with Mike Bliss so we had some really good ideas of what we should do, and it all worked out really well. To be honest with you, from the very start of this race I really expected to win. I know that sounds bad, but it felt that good."
"I caught myself a couple of times racing too hard into the corner and the trick for us was to be tender into the corners and take it really easy. If I just ignored the other trucks we did great. Essentially, I just raced the track. It was just like when we came her testing a few moths ago, just drove around and tried to repeat the lap times and be easy on the tires, and that's what kept the lap times low."
"When you're leading at any level, you have the advantage because you can step on the gas whenever you'd like and it takes that split second for the other guy to step on it. Plus, I read some stuff Ron Hornaday said on restarts and I try to practice that. He's really good. The other thing, I had Jon behind me, so I knew that Jon wouldn't be doing anything really stupid. It allowed to me to just concentrate on getting as much forward traction as I could. Having the old tires and low fuel load made the truck handle really well. New tires and full fuel make it really loose. Those restarts were easier than those after pit stops."
"I don't know what is it. Some days you just feel good and today I felt good."
"One time I tried to pass Brendan on the outside and he moved up just right where the air came off of my truck and I almost hit the wall coming off of two. If I got close off of four, I don't remember that one. I know one time off of two it opened my eyes pretty good. I could have ended my night there."
"I think there's any point in my life that's been more stressful that those last 18 or 19 laps. That's the honest truth. I want to win so bad and do well so bad. My girlfriend is shaking her head because last night I was the about the most evil person on the planet to be around because I was so frustrated because we didn't have it right last night in Happy Hour. The thing that made it simple was I sat there and thought about my buddy Steve (Shearer) that I met today. Steve Shearer is a cancer survivor. When he pulled in here, we drove around the race track once and to see the way he looked at this place and how much joy he had just being here and enjoying the day. I just decided to ignore everything and just enjoy running that truck around the race track. I think that's the only thing that saved me from going nuts."