Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his Q&A session Friday after Nationwide Series practice to discuss this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. F1 IS CHANGING THEIR POINT SYSTEM. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? "I...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his Q&A session Friday after Nationwide Series practice to discuss this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
F1 IS CHANGING THEIR POINT SYSTEM. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? "I think if you determine your champion just based on wins, you're taking a huge gamble of having the wrong champion. If one guy wins one race and runs 20th in the rest of them, and another guy finishes second in every single race, that's not the right guy for a champion. The more and more I pay attention to all of these changes with all these point systems all over the board, the more I like the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series, where the guy with the best average finishing position throughout the year wins. I think the farther we get away from that, the bigger the chance of changing our sport to try to fit in with others and I don't think that's best for us."
WHAT WOULD THAT DO IN NASCAR IF THAT WAS ADOPTED? "The deal is we all race as hard as we can for the wins. The wins, that's the best feeling. I haven't won a championship so I don't know what that feels like, but the wins feel real good. That's what we race so hard for. It doesn't matter if the champion is determined on how many wins you have. If they said, 'We're gonna pay $5 million to the winner every week,' we're still gonna race hard for the wins. At the end of the year, you have to say the champion is the guy who ran the best through the season. I think we kind of have to stay away from messing with the points too much."
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO WELL HERE AT BRISTOL? "This is a wild place. You have to survive first. Three hundred laps on Saturday is a lot and 500 is a ton. You look up at the scoreboard and you feel like you've been racing your guts out and there's 300 laps and you think, 'Wow, this is great.' But then at the end you have to be on it. It's a hard race at the end, so you have to be there and stay mentally in the game."
IS IT HARD KEEPING YOUR COOL? "Every lap here you're racing with someone, it seems like. It's fun in a way. Every track has its good points and its bad points, but this place doesn't have too many bad points. It's pretty fun."
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THE OLD CONFIGURATION THAT YOU CAN'T DO NOW? "You could complete a pass better with the old configuration because once you got under a guy, you forced him into the outside lane, which was way slower, and you could get by. You could make the pass stick. It was harder to initiate a pass. It was harder to get a run on someone. Now, you can get a run on someone easily, but it's really hard to complete the pass. The fans see more side-by-side racing, but it's tough."
WHAT'S SURPRISED YOU THIS SEASON? "I don't think there have been any big surprises so far. Matt winning the first two races, that was a good surprise. Him and Drew doing that well, I'd say that's probably the biggest surprise so far."
IS THE RACING WHAT YOU EXPECTED AS FAR AS CONTENDERS? "I didn't expect the 2 car -- Pat and Kurt and those guys -- to be so good at Atlanta. They came out strong and I think they're gonna be really tough at all those mile-and-a-halfs, seeing how fast they were there. Other than that, these cars are getting so close that it wouldn't surprise me this weekend to see someone we haven't seen win. Every week it wouldn't surprise me to see someone we haven't seen run really well. David Reutimann was at the top of the board and he could check out and win this thing on Sunday and everyone would say, 'Hey, that's a big surprise,' but the cars are so close that it wouldn't surprise me. It only takes a small advantage."
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUNG DRIVERS AT BRISTOL AS FAR AS SURVIVING? "Give, give, give all day. You can race someone so hard 100 laps into these races and we're all races, so you feel like, 'Man, I've got to beat this guy. I've got to pass him. I can't let him pass me,' but it seems like at this place you should just give the spot and give a little room. If you do that the whole race, I've learned that I end up better at the end than if I just go like hell from the beginning. I won my first Cup race and the next week we came here. I wrecked in qualifying. Jack Roush told me before the race, he said, 'You know, don't take this the wrong way, but you would be better off when they drop the green to pull to the inside and let them lap you once and race the whole day a lap down.' I thought, 'What are you talking about,' and he said, 'Well then you wouldn't race people so hard and you'll probably make it to the end.' I thought, 'Oh, that's crazy,' and I ended up wrecking about 50 laps in and I thought that would have been a lot better, so it's a tough place."
DO YOU FEEL FOR MARK MARTIN BEING 35TH IN OWNER POINTS? "I'm not gonna feel for Mark just yet. He's too fast. I was talking to him last week or the week before and I firmly believe he'll be in the top 12. I don't know how far out he is, but that guy could run in the top three for the next 20 weeks and it wouldn't surprise me. If they can just have a little bit of luck, I think they'll be fine."
-credit: ford racing