Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, held a Q&A session. CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR 600 MILES HERE? "Six hundred miles is a marathon of a race. The Coke 600, ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, held a Q&A session.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR 600 MILES HERE? "Six hundred miles is a marathon of a race. The Coke 600, there's always that extra variable of how grueling it is, so it's something that I look forward to. This is what I train for and as long as I'm there at the end, our team has been able to be up front, so it's been a fun race for us. Mentally, it's a tough race, too. When they say, 'Alright, there's halfway.' You're halfway done and you've already run 200 laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway, that's a long night."
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A FAVORITE WITH HOW GOOD YOU'VE BEEN ON THESE TRACKS? "I think our Office Depot team has obviously been great on the mile-and-a-halfs, but everyone is kind of catching up and the competition is real tight right now. Judging from the all-star race with how Greg and Matt were running in the last segment and how we ran in the middle, I think we can be pretty good in this race."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE AFLAC SPONSORSHIP? "I can't talk about the specifics of our sponsorship contracts for a couple of reasons. One, I don't know all the specifics, but I am very, very grateful. Office Depot has been wonderful from the beginning. To have partners like Aflac and Claritin, in light of the economy right now and how tight every dollar is to every person, it means a lot for our team to have the support that we have. It's crucial right now."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HUMPY MOVING ON? "It's good for everyone but Bruton probably because it makes him available to do stuff for other people. He's a guy that anyone in this garage would benefit from his advice -- any team and any sponsor. I'm sure him retiring from this job, he'll never be able to retire because he's too good."
BRUTON BOUGHT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY. WHAT WOULD YOU THINK OF RACING CUP THERE? "I don't care if we go race Cup at Pevely, Missouri. That would be awesome. I love racing. I love the different race tracks, so if it's possible for us to get a Cup race at Kentucky, that's great. It's just another different race track that we go to. The fans in the Cincinnati area and northern Kentucky are awesome. I love racing there myself, so that would be great."
WILL NASCAR'S NEW RULE ABOUT THE REAR OF THE CARS AFFECT YOU? "I don't know exactly what NASCAR is doing to restrict it, but I think, from what I understand, this really doesn't change much of what we're doing. I've seen some of these cars are pretty wild -- extremely crazy on that rear end steer, but I don't think it'll affect us much. It's fine with me whatever they want to do."
WHAT KIND OF RACE TO YOU EXPECT SUNDAY? "There will be a lot of patience on Sunday. I think it was amazing to me that in the all-star race we didn't have a caution and we didn't have any wrecks. I think that the 25-lap runs kind of made it hard to see a lot of passing and racing because for 25 laps you can drive these things white-knuckle and clean air meant a lot. You didn't see guys really searching for other lines. I think in the 600 you'll see a different race because the long runs will get guys running the top and bottom."
WERE NO CAUTIONS A PART OF THE 25-LAP SEGMENTS? "The reason we didn't have any wrecks is not because these cars are real easy to drive because they're as hard to drive as ever. I think it was just one of those nights where everybody did a great job and we had really good racers out there. That was cool."
DOES IT EVER GET BORING IN THE CAR WHEN YOU HAVE TO BE SO PATIENT? "It's never boring in a race car at one of these places -- never. Just because it's hard to pass, it almost makes it tougher because you have to drive really aggressively to get anything done and that makes it more tense and there's a lot more anxiety when you do get around someone because you know, 'Hey, I've got to make this work' because it's really tough to do. For me, some of the hardest driving I've ever done was last Saturday night. We probably just need longer runs to get a good race going."
IS THIS A BIG POLE TO WIN? "Oh yeah. This would be a great pole. That's what we're working on right now is how to get it. This race has the potential to go green for a long time and that leader is gonna be really fast in clean air, so you do not want to start in the back. I've started in the back a lot here and I don't like it. I'd like to start up front. That would be key."
WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE LIKE AS FAR AS ADJUSTMENTS? "It'll be really tough to keep up with the car in this race. It was tough for us the other night in the all-star event, so it's a crew chiefs race, that's for sure."
WHAT'S BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS ON THESE TRACKS? "It's been engineering and hard work. We were way behind at the beginning of last year and picked it up. We got a couple of wins last year and won some races this year. Right now, David Ragan is up on top of the board and he's having a great year. It's just been a lot of hard work and as long as we can keep up that hard work, we won't fall behind like we did."
FORDS HAVE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS HERE. WHY? "I don't know. I hope I can put a Ford in Victory Lane. Ford has been really good to me and I'd like to be a part of their resurgence in the marketplace. I'm sure a victory here would help with that, I'm sure."
HOW IS AFLAC GOING TO MARKET YOU? "I don't know. Right now, I'm focused on winning the championship for Office Depot."
-credit: ford racing