Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Scotts Water Smart Ford Fusion has three top-10 finishes at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. The NASCAR Nationwide Series defending champion talks about racing this weekend and his expectations of the...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Scotts Water Smart Ford Fusion has three top-10 finishes at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. The NASCAR Nationwide Series defending champion talks about racing this weekend and his expectations of the race.
WHAT WILL WE SEE DIFFERENT THIS WEEKEND WITH THE NEW SPACER? "We'll see some different shift points. I don't know how it's going to affect it. I've been thinking about it a lot and kind of wondering what exactly is going to happen. I think we'll definitely be shifting in different places. The set-up will be a little different because you won't have as much power of the corners so you don't have to worry about wheel spin as much. The number one thing that I'm interested to see is if it rains. What that's going to be like, running in the rain. We're all kind of holding our breath and just kind of wait and see what happens."
DO YOU LIKE TO RACE IN THE RAIN? "Yes, I like to race in rain. That would be a blast. I got to race one time in the rain in a baby grand stock car. That was really fun so, I'm sure it would be a nightmare for all the crew chiefs, but it would be fun for us, I think."
ON THE FANS. "The fans are great here. I believe this is one of the neatest events that we go all year. This is one that I look forward to. It's just so different, a different culture. To see how the fans, to kind of understand how they see the sport from their perspective where its something that's around all the time, on TV all the time. It's not readily available, so they see this as a real novelty and it's really fun to see fans that look at our sport that way, that's cool."
WHAT ARE YOU DOING SPOTTER WISE? "I don't know how many spotters I have actually. We've got Jason Hedlesky and Tom Giacchi is going to help out a little bit. We'll probably have a third spotter by the time Sunday rolls around. I don't know exactly what our strategy is, but the more you can have here the better. Three usually works pretty well. You can do it with two, but three is good."
HAS TOM SPOTTED FOR YOU IN THE PAST? "Yeah, Tom spots for me. As long as he's spotting for the right car, it's good, it works out."
HOW DOES IT WORK KNOWING THAT YOU NEED TWO OR THREE? HOW DO YOU GET THE THIRD? "Spotters are greater but in the end, it's still your job to drive a race car. I know Tom and Jason really well. Jack's had a buddy here that's helped us. He's not here this year, so I don't know exactly who were going to get. It doesn't bother me. We've got a close knit group all together and they can send one of the truck drivers or someone up there and we'll be fine."
IS THIS A DRIVER'S COURSE? "Oh, yeah, this is a driver's course, for sure. Road courses are like that. I'm very aware that when I'm off the pace here, usually it's not the car, it's usually me not driving the right way. The driver is a big portion of what makes the car go around here."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS TRACK? "The number one thing I like about this course is the location. I think that coming to Mexico City is a blast. The other thing is that it's got real tight corners and it's got some sweepers. There's this big almost 180 degree corner down here, that's a lot of fun coming on to the front straightaway. The long front straightaway is pretty neat. I'm really glad they took the chicane out. It's a fun track, there's nothing wrong with it."
YOU ARE A FAVORITE OF THE MEXICAN FANS AND WE WANT TO SEE A BACK FLIP. WILL WE SEE ONE SUNDAY? "A back flip is definitely possible. We've just got to do it, you know. We've got to have everything go right. I really like the Mexican fans, too. We have a good time. This is a really fun place to come."
A LOT OF MEXICAN DRIVERS AND ROAD COURSE DRIVERS ARE HERE. "There's some amazing drivers here. The road course racers like Papis, they're all fast. I'm upset Jorge Goeters isn't running this year. That's too bad. I was really looking forward to racing with him. The road course drivers are pretty spectacular. Colin Braun is someone to look for. He's going to be very fast too."
THOUGHTS ON ADRIAN FERNANDEZ. "Adrian is going to be tough. He's a pretty cool guy. It's great to be able to race against a national hero like him. That's cool."
YOU MENTIONED COLIN BRAUN, WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN FROM HIM AND HIS ROAD RACING BACKGROUND? "Yeah, Colin Braun is very, very good. As much as I want to stand here and say I'm the guy to beat and I'm going to win this race. I'm telling you, I'm going to have to beat Colin. Because we went and tested and he's spectacular. I would not be surprised if Colin is not one of the fastest guys here this weekend."
WHO ELSE IS THE BIGGEST COMPETITION? "I think Boris [Said], Boris is always fast, Adrian is going to be fast. But I have a feeling that Colin is going to be the guy to beat. That's who we're shooting for."
YOU WANT TO RACE IN THE RACE BECAUSE IT'S A CHANGE OF PACE? "Yeah, exactly. I'd love to be able to race in the rain. I'm telling you, something exciting will happen if it rains. I'd just like to be a part of it."
WHAT MAKES A GOOD ROAD COURSE? "For me, a good road course is somewhere that's got some sweeping corners, it's not just all about out braking people. That's fun too, like Montreal is fun, but every one of those corners is as hard as you can brake, you know maximum braking. I personally really enjoy road courses that are like this or Watkins Glen or Sears Point where there's some sweeping corners. That's fun to run through a fast set of esses, that's cool."
WHAT IS THE USUAL SPEED HERE? It's pretty fast. This is a fast place, especially this straightaway, then coming down into the slash short shoot off the esses in right hander, it's pretty fast. This is a pretty high-speed place. Down in turns one, two and three, those are real tight corners, so it kind of has both. Those corners are just like Montreal, flat as a board and real tight. Then these corners around here are more like a Watkins Glen or something."
HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE HORSEPOWER DIFFERENCE? "Right off the bad, we're down on horsepower because of the altitude. The spacer is going to make the shift points different. We're going to be shifting later. I don't know how that's going to affect the race. It doesn't ever seem like we're shifting right at the end of the straightaway anyway, there's a couple of spots where I think it's going to make it easier, actually."
DO YOU THINK IT'S HARDER FOR A ROAD COURSE GUY TO BECOME AN OVAL RACER? OR AN OVAL RACER TO BECOME A ROAD COURSE GUY? "I don't know. I can't tell. You would think that oval racing would be way easier to learn, but it's just real precise, it seems like it's more competitive. Where a road race guy, if he's really good, he just stands out because that driver has so much of an affect."
DO YOU FIND ROAD COURSES OR OVALS MORE DIFFICULT? "I don't know. I think it varies from person to person. I feel like I've become a lot better road course racer but it was difficult. It's a different type of driving. You probably could talk to somebody like Boris or Juan [Pablo Montoya] or somebody that can tell you. But I heard Juan say something that was interesting. He said that the ovals you leave the car loaded all the time. The car is at the edge of adhesion all the time. Where on the road course, you do that for short sections, you know, for short durations of time and he said, from what I read, he said that was different. I never really thought about it that way. In a road course car, you're doing a lot more stopping and things like that where on an oval; you just keep the momentum up. They're both hard to do."
ON A ROAD COURSE, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN TO GO FASTER? "Yeah, but all racing is like that. You can only go so fast and any faster is slower. Some road courses are different. Watkins Glen is totally different from Sonoma and the effort you put out. You can really be aggressive at Watkins Glen and you can't do that at Sonoma. It depends. It takes most of my brain power to run well on a road course."
-credit: ford racing