Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings coming into this weekend's race at AMS. He spoke to reporters after Friday's practice. ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED AT HOW YOUR SEASON HAS...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings coming into this weekend's race at AMS. He spoke to reporters after Friday's practice.
ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED AT HOW YOUR SEASON HAS STARTED? "Yeah, but not in light of any of the predictions. In general, I would have loved to have not blown an engine up last week. I think we were gonna be second and maybe fighting for the win. We were pretty fast, but this is racing. Jimmie sure didn't get off to a stellar start last year. It only matters to get into that chase and then to be good in that last 10 races. We've got our heads up. I would have loved to have won the last three races, but that's just the way it is."
ARE ENGINES A WORRY FOR YOU THIS WEEK? "No, the engine isn't a worry for me this week just because last week the problems were things that just happened with engines. It wasn't something, I don't think, that's necessarily gonna show up again. It's not like a problem we're looking into overall or anything. Really, we've just had two races. Daytona is a crapshoot. I was on Matt's bumper when we went through that wreck, so I figured if I would have made it through without any damage, I could have had just as good a chance at winning. That 99 car was the fastest car last week. We had a bad pit stop and the engine blew up, so our performance is there and we've actually had some pretty good luck. That's the only time I've rolled across the finish line with a blown-up engine and seeing the checkered flag. I coasted a lap-and-a-half. That's how fast we were going. I coasted a lap-and-a-half. It's still so early. This weekend, next weekend, if we can have a couple good runs, it'll be great."
ANY PLANS FOR THE WEEK OFF? "I don't know exactly what I'm gonna do with the week off. This will be the first off weekend during the season that I've had since I started running the Cup cars, so it's kind of cool how the schedule worked out."
HOW ARE THE TIRES? "The track is real slippery. It's pretty wild. That's fun, though. I like this place when it's like that. It's a track that you can run three-wide on, but, at the same time the car moves around quite a bit. It's totally different from a place like Charlotte or Vegas, where the car is really nailed down. You can get a little aggressive with the wheel here. It's fun."
CAN THE TRACK ITSELF CURE THE ENGINE ISSUES BECAUSE THE TIRES WILL FALL OFF? "Jack and I talked about it and he didn't feel like the RPM issue was the only thing that hurt us last week. He thought there might have actually been a little problem with the one of the clearances on our bearings, but, in general, the cars will only turn so many RPM before the engine will break. This place, it'll slow down and there will be more change in RPM over a lap, so it should be easier on the engine."
SO THE TIRE SHOULD FALL OFF MORE THAN LAST WEEK? "It seems like the tires are gonna fall off quite a bit, which I think is great for the racing. We talk about how hard it is to pass and how many passes you don't see, well, if the tires don't fall off, you're gonna see passing because there will be guys who gamble and stay out and guys who get new tires and come through the field. What Jimmie did in that last race, coming all the way back up to second, that's fun for the fans to watch, so I love this place for that."
DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEMS FROM LAST YEAR BEING RESOLVED? "Personally, I enjoyed running on the tire they had last year. It was a bear to drive, but it was the same for everyone. It was enjoyable. I don't think they're much different. I think they're pretty hard to drive. I think there are gonna be a lot of people with their hands full and, in a way though, that's kind of what makes it fun. You come to a place like this and there are gonna be guys who get the setup right and who can drive it and feel good, and there will be guys who are out to lunch, and there will be guys in-between working on it all day. I think that's fun. I think that's part of the sport. If you make it easy to drive and everybody goes the same speed, that's not much of a show."
WHICH ONE ARE YOU GOING TO BE? "I hope we're not out to lunch. We've been really good here. This is one of my best race tracks, probably my best race track. I enjoy coming here. I don't care what they do with the tires as long as they don't blow out."
THAT FIRST WIN HERE. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT? "That day in 2005 here in March, that was a career-changing day for sure. The idea that you cross the finish line, and I try to explain this to people, but up until that point I didn't really think of winning the races at this level. It was a goal, but I didn't think of it as a realistic thing. I don't know why. We crossed that finish line and I thought, 'Man, I think the race is over and I think I beat him.' I guess that's it. That's winning a race. I kind of went through my mind, 'Why did I win? Did something happen? Did we get lucky? No, we just had a good race and we won.' That was a whole big shift in thinking for me."
IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO STAY THE SAME AS A PERSON, BUT THIS SPORT CAN CHANGE YOU. HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED? "I think we all grow and learn things, but I was thinking about that today. I drove out on the race track and I thought of Victory Lane that day and how I went home after that and the things that went on that week. I'm really, really fortunate that I can say I still live in the same place, I hang out with the same people. I do the same things and I still get the same enjoyment out of the racing, so I hope that doesn't change. I hope that stays the same."
-credit: ford racing