Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heading into this weekend's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards, who has two Bristol Cup wins on his resume, talked about the upcoming ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heading into this weekend's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards, who has two Bristol Cup wins on his resume, talked about the upcoming back-to-back short-track races at Bristol and Martinsville, and how they differ.
YOU'RE HEADING TO A COUPLE OF SHORT TRACKS, SO DOES THAT MAKE POINTS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN THERE? "The short tracks are a lot of fun. I've been running better at them lately, so I'm looking forward to them more, but it just really comes down to right now making the chase, so we're all looking for points. You want wins because that gives you those bonus points in the chase, but if we can get out of Bristol with a good run, then we get into some real fun stuff with a lot of different variety of tracks. The last 10 races are a long ways from now, so we just have to do the best we can to be in the hunt there."
HOW DIFFERENT IS BRISTOL FROM MARTINSVILLE? "Bristol is Bristol and Martinsville is like running the parking lot at Bristol. They're different. Bristol is its own animal. I don't think there's anything, really, that compares to it, and Martinsville is the same way. It's just so different than anything else. It's hard to explain. You have to go and see it and drive on it. The first time I ran at Martinsville I got down in the corner and I thought, 'You've got to be kidding me. We're gonna make that corner 500 times?' But they're fun. They're more fun when I run well, for me, but I've been getting better at it."
HOW DO YOU LIKE BRISTOL NOW VERSUS A FEW YEARS AGO BEFORE THE REPAVE? "At first I thought, 'Man, we're gonna be able to pass a lot easier.' There are a lot of grooves, but that's not the case. They did such a good job of making the different grooves the same speed that you can't get by anyone. It went from being a track where you could bump someone out of the way and get by them to a track where now you just run two- or three-wide and you can't really get by them. But I still think it's a better show for the fans. I think anytime you have cars racing side-by-side and fighting that hard lap after lap, that's what the fans come to see, so I think it's a good move. I like it both ways. I've won both ways, but I think this is a good move. I think what they did was right."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO BE THE SAME PERSON YOU WERE BEFORE ALL OF THIS SUCCESS? "That's the most important thing. I often have to remind myself that this is not the real world. This is not something to get accustomed to. I mean, this is abnormal. What we do here, we don't deserve to do it, we're not entitled to anything. We're very fortunate to do it and the more and more I learn about it, the more I want to spend time away from it so that I don't get sucked into something that's not really me. I think that's really important."
THAT CAN HAPPEN CAN'T IT? "Oh, yeah. It's easy. I get to the airport the other day. I was unloading my luggage or something and the guy hadn't brought the rental car out to my airplane. He came a little bit late and he kind of parked it far away and I was like, 'Man, he could have pulled it a little closer,' and I'm like, 'What the hell am I saying?' That guy is bringing my rental car over to my jet and he didn't park it close enough? It's like, 'Damn, I've got to get my head straight here.' That's the truth. I'm not saying I'm doing the best job at it, but I really do try to think of that."
-credit: ford racing