Edwards Wins at Gateway CARL EDWARDS -60-Henkel Ford Fusion BEING THAT YOU'RE SO CLOSE OT HOME, CAN YOU PUT INTO WORDS WHAT WINNING HERE MEANS? "I can't even tell you. I've just got to thank PK (Pierre Kuettel). I really got up there ...
Edwards Wins at Gateway
CARL EDWARDS -60-Henkel Ford Fusion
BEING THAT YOU'RE SO CLOSE OT HOME, CAN YOU PUT INTO WORDS WHAT WINNING HERE MEANS?
"I can't even tell you. I've just got to thank PK (Pierre Kuettel). I really got up there wheel-hopping into the pits and he made a great call. This is the biggest win yet, to win here at Gateway in front of the hometown. I've got to say that Denny Hamlin is a hell of a driver. That was so much fun. I bumped him once and got by him and he bumped me a little bit and got by me. We raced hard for a long time. I'm just so happy. It was along week for me and I had a lot to think about, and I'm just glad to be back here winning a race. I can't believe this."
TALK ABOUT THE DECISION TO TAKE TWO TIRES.
"It was easy for me. I left it up to PK. I didn't have to make any decisions. I just got to drive a great race. Once again, Denny Hamlin, what a great race car driver."
"It worked out in our favor there because they pitted right before the yellow. PK did a great job doing things that probability-wise put us in great position. I thought we lost the race there when I screwed up getting on pit road and wheel-hopped the rear tires real bad. That's just unbelievable that we took two tires and they didn't. It worked out great."
"This is just a special place to me just because of the number of people that come here that I know and I've raced with and that have helped me. It means a lot. Like driver intros, just to hear the crowd, that means a lot."
"It's amazing and there's one thing I want to say. I really want to dedicate this win to Bobby Hudson and his family. Bobby is my spotter in the Cup Series and he is the shop foreman that takes care of building all of these Busch cars and all of the trucks. He's been a racer and he's worked for Roush Racing forever, and he is one of the greatest guys that I've met. His father passed away this week, and I went down there and visited everybody, and they have a heck of a family. I want to dedicate this win to Bobby Hudson, that's number one."
"It was just so tough to pass, and Denny was real slow in the center of the corner down there in one and two. I bumped him that one time and got by him, but I knew once I couldn't get away from him, I knew that was the wrong thing to do because he was going to be right back there. I was like, 'Please, Denny, just don't wreck me.' I maybe deserved it a little bit, but he did a great job. I had a blast racing with him, and I hope he had as much fun as I had."
"I didn't think the weather affected the track as much as I thought it would. I thought it was going to affect it more than it did. The track seemed pretty great. It's different than what I remembered. The groove was a little different this time and it made it a little harder to pass, but it was definitely fun."
"I was just trying everything I could. It seemed like Denny and I were almost the same speed. He may have been a tick faster, so it's like, 'Well, you can follow him all night or just try a bunch of stuff.' I tried a bunch of stuff and he was just a tick better most of the time. When I was in front of him, I think I could hold him off, but it was real tough; he was just a little faster."
PIERRE KUETTEL , Crew Chief-60-Henkel Ford Fusion
HOW BIG OF A DIFFERENCE WAS THE TWO-TIRE STOP AT THE END?
"Apparently, it made all the difference. I was contemplating whether we were going to do the fuel only or the two tires, but we had to wait on fuel anyway, let's just get two tires. It worked a lot on time."
"It really meant a lot to make this happen for Carl here in his hometown. He stressed how important that was and I tried to be pretty calm about it because it was like, 'we can get this done,' but I didn't want him to get overly excited about it. He made it happen. Right there at the end where it came down to that green-flag stop, and we were mulling around whether we were going to do two tires, four tires or fuel only. I don't know, I guess I had an epiphany and just decided to do two tires and it worked out. After looking at the laps that were left and the amount of time that we could make up, and we had to wait six seconds for fuel anyway, it only made sense to put two tires on. Once I saw that he got back out there and was eating him up seven and eight tenths a lap, I knew we had it. That's why I came over the radio and told him, I said, 'Listen. We've got two tires and everybody else is taking fuel only. Let's do it.' He put it in high gear and took off. It was great."