CARL EDWARDS -60-World Financial Group Ford Taurus (Finished 1st) "Boy, that was a real race. That was a lot of fun. At the end there, that was just a fight for the win. That was really fun. The whole day was like that. The guys did an ...
CARL EDWARDS -60-World Financial Group Ford Taurus (Finished 1st)
"Boy, that was a real race. That was a lot of fun. At the end there, that was just a fight for the win. That was really fun. The whole day was like that. The guys did an awesome job. It started in qualifying. To get the Busch pole I think was a huge advantage. It helped us with pit stops the whole day. Winning at Phoenix International Raceway for me means a whole lot. This is the first track that I ever packed up all of my stuff and headed out to. This was the first pavement race that I ran in 2001 and this means the world to win this race that was a blast."
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING TODAY TO HELP YOU TOMORROW?
"The best thing is that I'll get a good night's sleep tonight. That was a wild race, but there are a lot of things I learned for tomorrow. The way the track changes and the way the car is going to change throughout a run, just stuff that really matters. I got to run extra laps, and for that opportunity I can't thank Jack Roush, World Financial Group, Charter and the whole crew enough. They give me this opportunity. It's extra work to do this for me with all of the flying around and we have to sacrifice some of the appearances that I'll be able to make, so I appreciate them putting a team underneath me and letting me do this."
HOW HARD WAS IT TO HOLD ONTO THE OUTSIDE LINE?
"That's all I had. That was it. That's as hard as I can drive. Luckily, there was a little bit of grip up there on the outside and a guy could get underneath me and I could kind of hold him off. That was it. If Clint got under there, he got into the back of me just a little, so I wiggled up and tried to come back down and got him, and that was pretty exciting. I don't know what it looked like, but it was exciting from where I was sitting. I just tried to do everything I could."
DO YOU HAVE A LITTLE RIVALRY WITH CLINT BOWYER BEING FROM THE SAME AREA?
"No, no Missouri-Kansas rivalry. Clint is an awesome guy. I don't know if everybody knows his story, but he is the best story. He got to this point by just sheer talent and determination. He's an unbelievable guy. He's a great guy to race with, and it means a lot coming where I came from and where he came from to finish like we did today. He and I had a great race a lot like that in Moberly, Mo., one time in pavement modifieds. It was the first pavement modified race that I ran, and I think it was his, too, and we had an awesome race like that. It was pretty cool racing him like that here."
ARE YOU THINKING YOUR GOOD FORTUNES MAY SLOW UP AT POINT?
"No, there is an amount of luck in racing and it can go both ways. I've been on both sides of it, even in my short career, so I'm very grateful for the luck we're having. I honestly feel that you create most of your luck in racing. As long as we work hard and we don't change anything because of how we're running. If we don't change the way we're working and our procedures, I think we'll be awesome. The trick for me is just to forget all about today as soon as it's over and go on and work just as hard next week."
TALK ABOUT YOUR DRIVING LINE.
"Brad was screaming in my ear, 'He's on the bottom, take his line away from him.' My car wasn't as fast on the bottom, so I was trying to inch up a little bit in one and two and then run the very bottom in three and four. Honestly, I was just trying to run wherever mine was the fastest. As soon as you get into that blocking deal it gets really hard to keep up the speed. I knew I had used up all of Matt's patience earlier in the race, so I was kind of in a way, honestly excited to see Clint behind me. Matt had enough of me holding him up earlier on and he let me know that. When he was back there I thought, 'Well, this thing is over and we're going to finish second or be in the fence because he meant business.' In a way I was glad to see Clint back there just because I hadn't made him mad yet that day."
WERE YOU FEARING CLINT MIGHT GIVE YOU THE BUMPER AT THE END OF THE RACE?
"I figured that's would have happened. I figured he'd go up there and nerf me out of the way, and that's fine. That's whatever it takes to win the race, just as long as he does it hard enough so I can't get right back to him he'd been all right. Heck, we're racing. We're racing for wins and that's what this is all about is racing as hard as you can. That's one of the cool things about guys like Matt and Clint, you race them as hard as you can and when it's over, it's over. I didn't know what to expect, but I would have been ready for anything."
DID YOU EXPECT CARL TO EXPERIENCE SUCCESS SO QUICKLY?
"No, Carl has been just incredible in every dimension that you could use to measure him. He's a public relations dream, obviously, he smiles all the time. He finds something on the race track that is uncommon. He goes looking and he noodles out the best place on the race track for whatever his setup is late in the race, better than everybody I've ever seen, not just folks that have been on the team, but the people that I've seen. He's just incredible. Brad and Carl obviously worked real hard on the car all day, and at one point with the track changing and the rest of it, they wound up just a little on the loose side and we had our caution. At any rate, they got the caution they needed. To tell you how little I know, I was cheering for Matt to take two tires, figuring that two tires and track position would be the deal. But, if everybody took four it would not have been the deal and you would have been a lame duck with two. They made a great call for the tires and made exactly the right adjustments, and Carl took care of business."
HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THE KURT BUSCH SITUATION STEMMING FROM LAST NIGHT?
"I haven't talked to Kurt and I haven't seen the ticket, and I've heard the same rumor that's going around the garage area. I don't plan to take any action myself. I'm not looking down the road with Kurt based on the fact that he has his release and he'll be doing something else. He'll be under new management and new oversight next year, and I'll just stand beside and see how that works out for him."
"It would be an issue for Crown Royal, I'm sure, if that proves to be fact, and going down the road with that relationship. Happily, I feel that we can stand beside of it now and say that it's none of my affair."
DID YOU HAVE ANY HARD DECISIONS TODAY?
"Yeah, very hard decisions. I can start by saying it started yesterday when the crew chief decided to make some changes on the left-front of the race car that I should have stood back and watch the guys make. I over-adjusted the race car a little bit in practice, and found during practice that I messed up and I took the blame for it. I gave the credit to someone else and I had to back that out. I have a great crew, and I had to suck it up, and everybody makes mistakes and we came back in Happy Hour and had a great race car again. I told Carl yesterday that I really wanted to sit on this pole for the fact that I wanted to the most poles this year. That's number four for us. I'm happy to get number four and happy to get number five win. The decisions we make are very hard every time because we made a decision to tighten the race car up on the second-to-last stop and couldn't find the wedge wench in the pits. I'll discuss that with the crew later on, and that would have helped later on. That would have helped the car. I keep finding these little things that keep biting me and I don't know what it is. I don't if Jack's hiding the wrenches from me or what (laughing). I knew that the car was loose enough that we had to make a major adjustment. Last week we were at Texas and we were too tight and we didn't make a big enough adjustment to win the race at Texas last week, and we came out second behind Kevin Harvick. This time we made the right adjustment and Carl drove his tail off once again. The kid, and I say kid just because he's younger than me, but he's a true man. I told him that Clint wasn't going to hit him because he's racing for a championship, and I was wrong. I try to teach Carl some things. Bob (Osborne) and I both are trying to teach as he goes along in his rookie year, and he's come a long way in a very short time. He's going to be a great champion."