Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, improved two spots, to fourth place, in the standings following a fourth-place finish at Michigan last week. Edwards, who has won the two previous August races at Bristol, met with the media ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, improved two spots, to fourth place, in the standings following a fourth-place finish at Michigan last week. Edwards, who has won the two previous August races at Bristol, met with the media following Friday's first practice session.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN THE NIGHT RACE HERE AT BRISTOL? "I've had a blast here the last couple of years, but it really takes a good qualifying effort, it takes a great race car, and a little bit of luck and strategy as well -- especially now. The cars are getting closer and closer competitively, as far as speeds. You really need everything to go perfectly to win this race."
THE DOUBLE-FILE RE-STARTS HAVE BEEN USED FOR A WHILE NOW, BUT THIS WILL BE THE FIRST CHASE TO HAVE THEM. DO YOU EXPECT THAT THEY COULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE CHASE? AND, MOVING FORWARD, DO YOU EXPECT THINGS TO BE CALMER OR A LITTLE MORE INTENSE THAN THEY ARE NOW? "Those are good questions. I predict that with one of these double-file re-starts will have a huge impact on the Chase. It's so chaotic, there's so much going on -- especially when we maybe go to a place like, I'm thinking Atlanta, it's not in the Chase, but California, Charlotte, those style of race tracks. I think that we are cruising along until something insane happens because you're so packed together, you've got twice as many cars in the same area, essentially, and it's wild."
YOU WORKED WITH A DR. JACK EDWARDS FROM APPALACHIAN STATE ON HYPER-MILING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT, AND DOES IT HELP YOU ON RACE DAY? "He came over to the shop and we drove in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and this hyper-miling stuff, actually, is a pretty interesting competition. They see how far they can go on the least amount of fuel in different types of production vehicles. He's a pretty cool guy. He was really funny. And he showed me some stuff and some tricks that I kind of already thought, 'Yeah, that's probably the way to do it,' but he had it down to a science, you know, how to get the most mileage out of the car, driving-wise, set-up-wise for your street car, and it was really interesting stuff. He was an interesting guy."
EARLIER THIS WEEK, TWO LOTTERY JACKPOTS WENT OVER $200 MILLION IN THIS COUNTRY. IF YOU COULD WIN $200 MILLION, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT? "I already feel like I've won the lottery -- I don't have $200 million saved up, but I've got a lot more than I thought I'd ever have. I guess if I were to win $200 million right now on top of it, what I'd do right now is I'd hire the smartest people I could and try to put that money to good use for education, because the more and more I see going on with this country, the more I feel like we can Band-Aid all of these little things that we Band-Aid with all of this money and all of this talk and everything, but I think that it comes down to education. I think that's where we are lacking. So, if I could win $200 million, that's what I would do, is figure out how I could apply it to cutting these problems off from the beginning."
HOW MUCH PRESSURE IS ON PEOPLE THIS WEEK? YOU HAVE TWO TEAMMATES VERY CLOSE TO THE CHASE CUTOFF. "There really is a lot of pressure. We're over 200 points inside of 13th, and that's still not far enough. There's a lot of pressure. This week, I feel like this race is a bottleneck. It's a lot like a Talladega or a Daytona where anything can happen. So, there are a lot of people right now with a lot of stress, and I've got just enough to keep me honest. I'm going to be careful here and go out and try to get through this one and gain ground and not lose too much."
MARK MARTIN WAS YOUR TEAMMATE, AND TOMORROW NIGHT HE WILL MAKE HIS 1,000TH CAREER START IN NASCAR OVER THE THREE SERIES. "If I had to pick one guy in the garage to be the definition of a race-car driver, it would be Mark Martin. He's a guy that's dedicated, he mentally and physically prepares, and he's fair, he's reasonable, he's a good person. He just seems to be a right-minded guy. For that reason, I really enjoy being around him. As far as his inspiration, for me, everybody always talks about my fitness, how much I do, he was my inspiration for that. I would've probably never started working out if I didn't see a piece that someone did on him about his fitness, and that's helped me immensely in my life and my career. And still to this day, if I have questions or things in regard to anything that's going on around here, he's one of the first people I call. He's always really helpful. So, it's pretty cool; it's his 1,000th start. He obviously hasn't slowed down any."
THE NATIONWIDE SERIES DOES NOT HAVE A CHASE FORMAT? DO YOU WISH IT DID? "I wish it did last year."
GIVEN THE CURRENT SITUATION WHERE YOU ARE IN SECOND PLACE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT IN THAT SERIES, TOO? "I don't think you can ever say we should do something one way or another just because it benefits you personally. I think that in the end, the true way to crown a champion in a racing series like we have is to do it the old way. I think you have to see who has the best average. I think that the Chase, though, that format is necessary right now because it gives all the sponsors and the people who market with these teams, it gives more people value when the Chase comes around. So, for that reason, I think it will happen soon in the Nationwide Series and it will be good for the long term in the series, I think."
-credit: ford racing