Charlotte Motor Speedway
CARL EDWARDS – No. 60 Fastenal Ford Mustang
“It was a big day for Fastenal. I don’t know how Will Overton did it, but he picked the right race to sponsor all three cars, so it was a great race at the end for me. I just got too tight and Matt was able to get by me. He raced me really clean and he just wore me down there and I got tight. His car would turn and he got the victory, so congrats to him and his guys. Overall, it was just a really good day for our whole team and it was fun racing like that.”
RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. – No. 6 Fastenal Ford Mustang
“We started off really good. We got the pole and we led the first few laps. I could tell it was gonna get tight on us and it finally did and we kind of backed up and just tried to maintain the rest of the race there in the top five and just have a good, solid points day and it worked out. We just never really could get the front grip that we needed, but, again, thanks for Fastenal. I missed the 1-2-3 finish like we were looking for, but it was still a good day for us.”
I just needed the race to be five laps shorter.
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – YOU PASSED MATT ONE TIME. WAS THERE A TIRE ISSUE THAT KEPT YOU FROM TAKING ANOTHER SHOT? “Yeah, I couldn’t get back to him. I was getting tighter and tighter and that was my big lunge for life there. He swept up in front of me and he was saying thank you out the window and I was like, ‘Hey, not so fast. I’m gonna slide this thing down in there and try to race a little longer.’ He raced me real clean. I believe he knew with his car he could get me. I was just trying to get everything I could, but it just kept getting tighter and tighter and, finally, with these cars when you get tight enough, you really have to slow down in the middle of the corner and it’s over. I just needed the race to be five laps shorter and it would have been pretty good.
“WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BIGGEST PICKUP FROM LAST YEAR IN PERFORMANCE? “It is a big pickup and it’s not just one thing, it’s a number of things. I’m sure Ricky and the other guys would agree. The cars drive better and the engines run better, the pit stops are better and we’re working very well as a team between the cars. It’s not just one thing, it’s a lot. It’s been a lot of work for Robbie and all the guys on the engineering staff and Jack. They’ve done a really good job.
“KYLE SAID YOU GUYS CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. DID YOU GET BETTER DURING THE RACE OR DID HE FALL BACK? “I think our cars got just a little bit better. I don’t really know what he was struggling with with his car, but I think my car, right up until those last few laps, I’d kind of run the right-front tire off of it, our car just got better the whole day. That was a lot of good work by Mike Beam.”
IS NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT THE TITLE MAKE IT MORE FUN IN ANY WAY? “That’s a good thought there. I really did have a lot of fun there. I don’t know if it’s because there’s not a driver’s championship on the line. We’re still racing for the owner’s championship. I think it comes more with having these fast race cars and having these successes this season, both for Matt and I and Ricky and everybody. I think there’s just a little more confidence and with that confidence makes it just a little more fun to go race. I wanted to win this thing more than anything. I did everything I could, but I’m still able to walk away with my head held high because I know tomorrow we’ve got a really fast race car for that race. You don’t feel like you have as much pressure on because the cars are fast almost every time we get in them and that’s what makes it fun for me.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. CONTINUED – CAN YOU TALK ABOUT TOMORROW’S OPPORTUNITY? “It’s a huge opportunity for myself, just to get my feet wet. I haven’t had a lot of testing in these Cup cars with the horsepower and the bump stops that they have, so it’s a huge opportunity for me and it’s a long race, so I can hopefully learn a lot, maybe more than I would in a 400-mile or 500-mile race. Hopefully, we can just be there all day and learn all day, but the Wood Brothers have done a great job bringing me in and making me feel like family. We don’t have any expectations, except for finishing this thing and getting the checkered flag and just seeing where we finish.”
CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – DO YOU RECALL WHEN YOU SAW A TURNAROUND WITH RFR? “I remember when I first saw it and that was Daytona last summer. The first time I really believed we were back was about 50 laps or 40 laps into the Phoenix Cup race this year. Yes, we did crescendo with our performance all the way until Homestead last year and then I thought, ‘Man, I’m not gonna get too excited. I’ve got to go through a long winter here,’ and I was anxious to see how fast we would be when we got back to the race track in the spring and it’s picked up even better than it left off. I saw the glimpses of it at Daytona and then it took all the way until about Phoenix this year for me to really feel like, ‘Hey, we are back,’ and feel that confidence and that’s good. It feels like it’s here to stay. I hope it can last the rest of the season. That would be huge. Ten wins out of how many races, it can’t be too many, so that’s a very big percentage.”
RICKY STENHOUSE, JR. CONTINUED – WHAT DOES CONFIDENCE DO FOR YOU AND WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET A MINI-OUTLAW CAR? “The confidence is definitely high, but I think it’s because of Jack Roush and everybody at Roush Fenway and Ford Racing sticking behind me – and Carl Edwards. Confidence is huge for us. Like you said, we were lacking it last year. Obviously, when you crash 12 times in the first half of the season, nobody’s confidence is gonna be very high. We started questioning whether we could do this or not, but what I like about it is the great group of guys that are with me right now were with me all through last year. They went through it with us and stuck it out and nobody left or gave up and quit. Blackwell Angus Beef came on last year even when we were struggling and that kind of helped turn us around at Daytona. We got a third-place there and they came back this year, so it’s huge. I don’t know when I’m gonna get one. Jimmie’s trying to get me to get one.”
-source: ford racing