No Place Like Kansas For Native Son Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards desperately wants to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Returning to his hometown track this weekend, the Columbia, Missouri, native says he would pick a win at Kansas if he could only win one race on the circuit. Edwards explains why a win there is so important, if he puts added pressure on himself to perform, and what it is like to go home to race.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion
YOU ARE ON RECORD SAYING THAT A WIN AT KANSAS WOULD MEAN AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE TO YOU, THAN A WIN AT DAYTONA. WHY?
“Yeah, a win at Kansas would be huge. It is so close to home and there are so many people that come that are friends and family and we’ve won the Truck race there which was huge. That was a huge victory, but to put our Ford in victory lane at Kansas in the Cup race would be spectacular. I think I would spend a lot of time up in the grandstands after that one for sure. That would be pretty cool.”
DO YOU PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOURSELF TO DO WELL THERE BECAUSE YOU WANT IT SO BADLY?
“I put a little more pressure on myself, I suppose. Actually, I take that back, it isn’t more pressure but the reward would be bigger. Every one of these races is huge, but to win there would simply be spectacular.”
WE HEAR STORIES ALL THE TIME OF ATHLETES IN OTHER SPORTS DEALING WITH TICKET REQUESTS AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE WHEN THEY GO HOME TO PLAY. DO YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT? WHAT IS THAT DYNAMIC LIKE?
“I have a lot of folks come, but a lot of them just go buy a ticket and don’t ask me. They know over the years that we only have so many passes and everybody is really cool about it. It isn’t distracting at all. I have a great group of people who support me.”
THIS IS THE LAST RACE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY BEFORE THEY REPAVE IT. THAT IS A SPECIAL PLACE TO YOU. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE CHANGES?
“Yeah, like I have said, there would be no bigger win on the circuit than Kansas for me. If I had to choose winning one race throughout the year, that would be the one I pick. The amount of pride that I would have winning that close to home and in front of so many people that are friends of mine and people that have helped me would be huge. We have had some pretty good mile-and-a-half race cars and we get two shots at it each year. That race for me, whether it is right or wrong, I will put as much emphasis or pressure on myself as I can to go win there.”
HOW ABOUT THE CHANGES COMING THERE?
“I don’t know. I haven’t heard the plan. I don’t know if they are just repaving it or if they are going to reconfigure anything so I don’t have an opinion on that yet.”
YOU ARE COMING OFF A 1.5 MILE TRACK AT TEXAS TO ANOTHER AT KANSAS, BUT WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT?
“Well Texas and Kansas are a lot different. Kansas is a lot flatter and it’s a smoother line and you drive a little differently there. For me it is home. That would be the biggest win on the schedule for me. There is no bigger race than Kansas for me.”
THE NEXT FOUR RACES ON THE SCHEDULE ARE ALL DIFFERENT TYPE TRACKS. WHAT IS YOUR FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK OF THOSE TRACKS AND THAT STRETCH OF RACES?
“I am pretty nearsighted on these things. I don’t even know what is after Kansas to be honest. I focus on Kansas and trying to win that and then once that race is done I will focus on the next one and move on.”