Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held a press conferences at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and other issues of the day. CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held a press conferences at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday afternoon to discuss the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and other issues of the day.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO THIS WEEKEND? "We need to win a race is what we need to do. We've been working hard. We tried some stuff at Kansas and California that seemed to work pretty well. We weren't as fast as we needed to be, but the car was handling terribly and we were still competitive, so, hopefully, we can apply some things. It looks like we might not get too much practice today, but we get a little bit of practice tomorrow. This has been a really good track for me. Statistically, we've run pretty well. We don't have a win in the Cup Series, but we've been really close, so, hopefully, we can turn it around. These tracks are what I have the most confidence on. We've got to capitalize and right now we're just trying to catch the Hendrick bunch."
IS THERE A BABY EDWARDS ON THE WAY? "Yeah, that's true. I'm real excited. Kate is pregnant and we're having a little girl and I'm really, really excited about it. It's crazy. You guys that have children know this, but we went in there for the ultra-sound, the first one, and I had seen all the pictures of what the baby was supposed to look like and we were sitting there and all of a sudden she started moving and I almost passed out. It was just wild. We're due in the middle of February, so it's perfect timing. We'll call her Daytona (laughing). I'm real excited about it. It's amazing. Figuring out the gender thing, we had a little bit of fun with that. It was taking long enough. I was hoping it wasn't a boy, but that was pretty exciting. We've had fun with it and Kate's real excited. She's telling people because she's putting on weight, but she's really happy and I'm happy, too."
DO YOU HAVE A NAME PICKED OUT? "I don't know what we're gonna name her. It depends on the timing, I guess, or how Daytona goes."
WHAT'S JACK TALKING ABOUT TO GET YOU GUYS BACK IN VICTORY LANE? "He better stay away from Bob Osborne. What's going on right now, for instance Bob and I, we won all these races last year, we did great and everything was wonderful. It seemed like we could win every week. He's the same guy. I'm the same driver. I feel like we're even better than we were, our capabilities. I don't think changing personnel at that level is what we need to do, and I don't think Jack feels that way. We just have to figure out mechanically what is different about our race car and the cars that are beating us, and that's where it comes in. That's where the problem-solving needs to be done. I don't know about other teams, but I know for the 99 team, Bob Osborne is my crew chief. I would give up almost anything before I'd give up Bob Osborne again."
HOW DO YOU GUYS KEEP THE 48 TEAM FROM WINNING AGAIN? "That's a good question. The simple answer is we need to beat them. A year ago at this time I felt like head-to-head we could beat that 48 team 55 percent of the time. I felt like we were very close, but we had a slight edge on the race track. We obviously had my little wreck at Talladega and my problem here a year ago with the ignition boxes, but I felt like our performance was there. What we have to do is get that back and, even more importantly, we have to figure out what about our operation, our problem-solving, our testing, what allows them to be ahead more in the curve than the rest of us. I think that's what everyone has to look at is we have to figure out what their process is and how they do so well because it's spectacular. Not to take anything away from Jimmie as a driver, but they are always on top of it with strategy, equipment, failure rates, qualifying, all the things that make an entire package they're very good."
THOUGHTS ON GOING BACK TO TALLADEGA IN A COUPLE WEEKS. "I don't know. You guys know how I feel about racing like that. I think that smaller restrictor plates will keep the speeds down. That's probably a good move considering we're already nose-to-tail wide-open the whole time, I don't think that will have a detrimental effect. I think it's a good move by NASCAR. I think making the fence taller and stronger is good. That won't keep parts from flying through the fence, but that could happen at any race track, but it may help keep an entire car out of the grandstands, which would be catastrophic, so that's a good move as well. I know they had talked about moving the start-finish line so that the tri-oval wasn't a corner right before the finish line, so maybe we wouldn't have this type of angular momentum into the fence, but I think anything they can do to make it safer, especially for the fans, is good. I know as a competitor I'm welcoming the race. A year ago, I didn't want to go there at all because I knew the potential for losing points, but, right now, I know the potential for Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin and those guys to lose points, so, greedily, I'm kind of hoping to go there and have things get mixed up and gain some points."
THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLY HAVING TO LINE UP BY POINTS. "It looks like we'll be able to practice tomorrow regardless of what happens today, so I' m not too worried about the race. Qualifying, I'm not certain, but I guess we would start eighth and that's not too bad. I'd hope we could qualify better than that, but my stats probably don't show it here that we would, so, either way, it's fine with me. To me, less track time is probably better for us competitively. I feel like Bob is really good at making decisions based on data without track time, so, either way, whatever happens happens. I slept in so I'm good until midnight or 1 a.m."
CAN THE TOP THREE GUYS MAINTAIN A 3.5 FINISHING AVERAGE? "I don't think so. Based on what could happen, they could do that theoretically, but I think just the way racing works and chance and things like that, if the champions finishing average is under five, to me, that would be insane. Last year, it was 6.1. I think if a team can finish with five as their average, that's unbelievable, so to have three guys stay as good as they are, I think, would be pretty tough, but who knows? It's been amazing. I hope not, I guess."
-credit: ford racing