Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his weekly press conference following practice for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. IS IT NICE TO HAVE A RACE WHERE NO POINTS ARE ON THE LINE? "This is kind of a relaxed ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his weekly press conference following practice for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race.
IS IT NICE TO HAVE A RACE WHERE NO POINTS ARE ON THE LINE? "This is kind of a relaxed weekend because there aren't points on the line, but right now we've lost so many points the last few weeks that I'm excited to go race some more for points, so I'm really looking forward to next weekend. Tomorrow night will be a good, fun time just to relax a little bit, race real hard, and have a good time behind the wheel without a lot of stress."
IS THIS A TEST SESSION FOR YOU AS WELL? "Oh yeah, this will most definitely be a test session. We're gonna learn a lot. Even the guys that aren't in the race, just watching their teammates be in the race is gonna help them a lot. This is as good of a test session as you can have."
IS THE 600 LIKE A GRUELING BIKE RIDE ACROSS MISSOURI? "I'd say the 600 is a little harder than our bicycle ride. Sometimes it feels like you're racing for days in that race. It's cool, though. The neat thing about the 600 is it's like a couple different races in one. There are the guys who are fast in the beginning, fast in the middle and fast at the end and it's pretty cool."
IS THAT HOW YOU GET THROUGH IT, COMPARTMENTALIZE IT IN YOUR HEAD? "Yeah, there's nothing like when they say halfway. The spotter says, 'All right, halfway,' and you think, 'Man, that's a long halfway.' And running the Nationwide race the night before that's 900 miles in 27 hours or something, so it's a pretty cool weekend. I enjoy it. It's too bad you can't try to run the Indy 500 still. That was neat to watch those guys do that."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO THAT SOME DAY? "Oh man, I'd love to run the Indy 500 someday, but there's no better racing on the planet than NASCAR and I'm glad I'm here running the Coke 600 next Sunday, but the Indy 500 would be cool to try, that's for sure."
ARE YOU GOING TO DO THE GATEWAY BIKE RIDE AGAIN? "Yeah, we're gonna do the Gateway bike ride. We've already got a ton of people coming. I'm pretty excited about it. The more the merrier in my eyes, so we should have a pretty good group this year."
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT NASCAR'S DRUG POLICY THIS WEEK. SHOULD THERE BE A LIST OF BANNED SUBSTANCES? "Yeah, I think definitely there needs to be and I think there will be. NASCAR is doing their best. We all agree, every competitor in here and everybody in that NASCAR trailer, wants this to be a clean sport and we all want to know and feel comfortable with that. I'm sure that NASCAR will work it out and it'll be as good a policy as anywhere as it evolves."
AS A GUY WHO WORKS OUT AND IS PHYSICALLY FIT DO YOU THINK TWICE ABOUT WHAT KINDS OF SUPPLEMENTS OR VITAMINS YOU CAN TAKE? "Those are all good questions. I'll drink like a shake or something after I work out sometimes, but that's it, so I don't really have much concern for that. The number one thing is you just don't want a mistake to turn into something huge. You don't want something that you don't even know about affecting you as far as their drug testing. I think NASCAR realizes that. I get the sense that they will tweak this and make it better and better." CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RACE TOMORROW? "It's gonna be fun. It's gonna be good. I was just looking at the format and going over it with Bob and I think it's gonna be pretty exciting for the fans with a 10-lap shootout at the end. It's gonna be crazy. They're not gonna invert and I think that's good. That will give everybody a chance to just base this on speed and strategy and that will be cool."
THE 10-LAP SHOOTOUT IS BACK. "Right, the 10-lap shootout will be neat and you've got to decide whether or not you're gonna pit. You've got to kind of see how this thing evolves and it will be cool."
HOW DIFFERENT IS TOMORROW NIGHT COMPARED TO THE 600? "It's completely different. Next week we've got to come out of this race with the most points we can -- the Coke 600 -- and that's it. There's no other mission for us, just to come out with the most points we can. Tomorrow night, it's just, one, win the thing and, two, learn as much as we can. It doesn't really matter where we finish, so it's all or nothing tomorrow night."
CAN YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM TOMORROW NIGHT? "Oh yeah. It's the best test session you could have. We're racing and that's pretty cool. We'll learn a lot for a week from now."
THERE'S A MILLION BUCKS ON THE LINE TOMORROW. HOW DO YOU GET READY FOR THAT AND PREPARE FOR THE BIG RACE AS WELL? "If this is a test session, this is a real good one. You get to race. It's a million bucks if you win and, really, all the things that we're gonna do in this All-Star Race you're gonna apply to the Coke 600, so it's a totally different mentality from next week, but we'll try to learn as much as we can. We're definitely going for the win because that's a cool race to be a part of."
IF YOU HAVE AN AILMENT OR SICKNESS WHAT KIND OF STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO GO THROUGH NASCAR TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET IN TROUBLE? "The way it was explained to all of us is that if we take anything you're supposed to ask NASCAR and say, 'Is this OK?' That gets really tough to do in everyday life, I imagine, for a lot of people, so I believe what you're gonna see is the NASCAR testing policy evolve and they're gonna figure out how to make it better so that everyone understands it more completely because, myself included, there are a lot of people that don't really understand exactly what's going on and how all the procedures work."
WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS COMES UP HOW DO YOU POLICE IT? "I don't know. I don't envy NASCAR's position trying to implement something new and wide-sweeping like this that has such a huge impact on people if there's a mistake. That's what's dangerous about this. It's just like any sort of thing like this."
-credit: ford racing