Chicagoland: Edwards - Friday media visit

Chicagoland: Edwards - Friday media visit
Jul 13, 2010, 6:52 AM

Carl Edwards heads into Saturday nights race at Chicagoland Speedway clinging to the 12th position in the Chase standings. In five career races in Chicago, Edwards has posted a third place finish (2008) and led 15 laps of the 2009. Edwards talked to ...

Carl Edwards heads into Saturday nights race at Chicagoland Speedway clinging to the 12th position in the Chase standings. In five career races in Chicago, Edwards has posted a third place finish (2008) and led 15 laps of the 2009. Edwards talked to media members about the second half of the season, tweaking the Chase, LeBron James and more.

WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET AND HOPE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE 2010 CAMPAIGN? "We had a pretty good practice session just a couple of minutes ago and we are searching for victory. We would love to get our first victory here. It would be a great way to kick of the second half of the season. We have got to perform over the next few races as a team to secure our spot in the Chase. With as much progress as we feel we have been making and as hard as we have been working, it would be for not if we didn't make the Chase. We are working hard on that and hard on winning the race. I like this race track and it seems that the Goodyear tire will be cool to race on because of how it is rubbering up the race track. I think the line is going to move around a lot and its going to be a really dynamic race in that respect. Hopefully we can have a good run."

YOU GOT A COOL BIKE FOR WINNING AT ROAD AMERICA, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THAT? "Yeah, when we won the race at Road America, Harley Davidson was nice enough to donate a really nice motorcycle to the winner. I made a deal with Lonnie Clouse before the race that if we won, we would auction it off on and use the proceeds to go to Back 2 Back Ministries to help his orphanage in Mexico. As much as I want to take that bike home and ride it, I think it would be really neat to auction that off and make some money for Lonnie. I think the plan is to auction it off in October, so that will give me some time to ride it I guess, maybe get some photos of me on it. People might not want me to ride it I guess, it might make it worth less."

THESE TRACKS USED TO BE ROUSH FENWAY'S BREAD AND BUTTER, WHAT IS MISSING? "If you look at how Kasey ran in his Ford at Michigan, we are hoping that as a group we can all kind of go toward that and run well here because there are some similarities. It is a little different than some of the other mile-and-a-half tracks, but it is pretty close to Michigan. It is hard to just point to one thing. We have multiple engineers trying to figure out that exact question. We have to go out there and show that we can do it. Hopefully we will have a good run. My practice times today were as competitive as I have been at a mile-and-a-half for as long as I can remember. I had a really good practice and I feel really good about it."

NEXT WEEKEND IS A RARE OFF WEEKEND FOR THE SPRINT CUP SERIES, IS THAT ENOUGH TIME TO GET THINGS TURNED AROUND, USING THAT ONE OFF WEEKEND? "That is a good question. I hadn't thought of it that way because I run the Nationwide series so for me it is kind of the same. I think it allows our guys, especially coming off a race like this where we have some ground to make up, to go back and see the stuff we tried and see if it worked or not. In a way, I think it gives the guys a much needed break mentally as well. I don't think they need to work any harder. They are working as hard as they can but I bumped into one of my crew members who was excited about taking his family on a little vacation next weekend. I think our guys need that; they need to be able to walk away and come back and look at things a little differently. I think that is really important."

LAST WEEK THERE WERE CHANGES TO THE CHASE TALKED ABOUT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT AND HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? "That is probably the question of the day, maybe of the year. I have heard some wild stuff. I think it comes down to the question of do you want the champion to be the driver and the team that has performed best on average through the whole season, or do you want a really dramatic final race? Racing, I believe, is in a unique position in sports where after a weekends race everybody is ranked right there. It is not subjective. You don't have to go back and have people vote on who is best this week or whatever. It is right there with your finishing order. To me, the true way to crown a champion is who finishes best on average throughout the whole season. Now, racing is complex and there are a lot of things that can go wrong so it would be nice to have a mulligan or two. I just see the potential, even now, to have a guy who wins 30 races in a season and is not the champion. How would you deal with that? I guess there is always that chance, but if you start going down that road it just comes down to that question. Do you want the best team and driver of the year, or do you want it to be dramatic?"

WHICH IS TOUGHER, GOING CROSS COUNTRY LIKE YOU DID A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO OR PACKING EVERYTHING WITH THE TWO SERIES' INTO TWO DAYS LIKE THIS WEEKEND? "I really like the schedule this weekend. It is good for all the teams, crew members and drivers. It makes it a lot easier for me to bring Kate and the baby and go for a couple of days, rather than being there for four days. I don't exactly understand the economic impact this weekend versus longer ones, but it sure is nice to come here and race and then go to the next one."

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING BACK TO GATEWAY, YOUR HOME TRACK, NEXT WEEKEND AND ARE YOU PLANNING TO RIDE YOUR BIKE FROM COLUMBIA? "Yes I am looking forward to going to Gateway. Those wins there to me are it. There are no wins that are bigger. Those wins there are as big as any of my Cup wins. I have a lot of folks that are going to come out to the race there, folks that don't get to go to the races a lot, but are good friends of mine. We are going to ride our bikes, it is about 200 miles and we have a pretty crazy crew coming. The first part is going to be a charity event. We are going to leave from Walt's Bicycle Shop in Columbia, Missouri, and we are going to ride a really neat ride down to the Missouri river where we will have a bunch of folks help raise some money for a friend of mine that needs help with some hospital bills. I am hoping a lot of people help us. It is fun to sit on a bike and ride through all that farm land and stop at all the little towns. We have a really good time."

LAST WEEK BRIAN FRANCE MENTIONED THAT THE NASCAR DEMOGRAPHIC IS GETTING OLDER. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW TO GET AND KEEP A YOUNGER DEMOGRAPHIC IN THE SPORT? "I don't know the answer to that. There is a lot of psychology and marketing involved though. I like things simple. I like things to follow history. I like tradition. Racing is cool and here is the deal. We race at 200 mph and there is always something that can happen. It is dynamic and exciting. I have this overwhelming feeling like we are trying to make this championship some big dramatic thing. Every race we go to is a big deal. It means the world to me to win a race, so I think the drama is there and it is there every week. It is every team versus every team every single week. We aren't the same as basketball or football and we don't have to be. It is okay to be different. We can have our own unique way of doing things and our tradition has been very successful. It is an honor to be a part of this and it will be no matter how they do the points system, I just believe that simple is good."

ARE YOU AND KURT OKAY AFTER LAST WEEKEND? "I think so. What ended up happening is that I thought Kurt was trying to wreck me and when I went down to talk to him it was obvious that he thought I was trying to wreck him. I think that is just restrictor plate racing. We were both just racing hard and ended up running into each other. I don't foresee there being any lingering issue. I was just trying to figure out what was going on."

WHAT IS YOUR THINKING OF THE LEBRON JAMES STUFF LAST NIGHT AND THE ONE-HOUR SPECIAL? "I don't know. I don't know enough about LeBron James really. I am trying to think of something clever to say. That was pretty amazing how big of a deal that was. It was pretty interesting. I caught myself watching this morning to see what all went on. Far be it for me to try to judge him for what he is doing. He seems to be doing a pretty good job."

-source: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards