Daytona 500: Edwards Friday media visit

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, will start 11th in Sunday's 50th running of the Daytona 500. CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion ON FRIDAY'S PRACTICE. "It's good for us to go out here and get any...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, will start 11th in Sunday's 50th running of the Daytona 500.

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

ON FRIDAY'S PRACTICE. "It's good for us to go out here and get any practice laps we can. We've got to balance it with the craziness that's going on out there and the risk of tearing a car up. So, we practiced. We ran two sessions, just enough to feel some things out. We're going to finalize things tomorrow." HOW'S THE CAR? "It runs well. I'm real happy with the Office Depot Fusion. It's fun. It's slippery out there. It's making it pretty exciting to race."

ON THE CONDITIONS AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE DRIVERS. "The slicker, the bumps there are, and the more cars are sliding around, that makes it racing. That's what's fun."

WITH THIS PRACTICE SESSION, ARE GETTING CLOSER TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? "I felt like in our Duel we were pretty fast. I made some bad decision, but learned a lot and made it back up to fifth, and I felt like our car was real strong, so this practice, we worked on a couple of little things. And I think we're going to be real competitive. I think it's going to be one of the most competitive 500 I've been a part of, just because of the way the cars are handling. It's going to make it a real close race, so I hope we're on top."

DO YOU LIKE YOUR CHANCES? "I always like my chances, man. We've worked really hard to this winter. We've got a great car, and the way we ran in the 150, that kind of boosted my spirits a little bit. After qualifying I was a little down, but being out there racing, it made me feel better about it."

WITH SPEED WEEKS, YOU GET A NUMBER OF OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING AND THE DUELS TO GET A HANDLE ON YOUR CAR. "Yeah, the Duels are great. The Bud Shootout was great. Just any track time we can get right now, just because this essentially an unknown. So, any track time is good, and I'm learning a lot every lap we're out there."

THIS IS A RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACK. WITH EVERYBODY HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THEY'VE GOT STARTING NEXT WEEK AT CALIFORNIA? "Right. Obviously, we race four times on tracks like this throughout the season, and the other 32 times we run at more standard race tracks, so this is definitely part of it and we have to be good at this, but the meat of the season will be race tracks like we're going to the next couple of weeks. So, we're really focused on that. I think we're going to do pretty well."

HOW DID PRACTICE GO FOR YOU OUT THERE? "Testing was great. We tested great."

ON THE FORMER CHAMPIONS BEING HERE FOR THE 50TH RUNNING OF THE DAYTONA 500. "Being the 50th running of this race, that's big with all the guys here, that have been successful here and have won races here. That's huge. Those guys have seen it all, and we're doing anything new to them. It's cool for them to be here. That means a lot to us."

WHAT WILL YOU DO THE NIGHT BEFORE THE DAYTONA 500? "Everybody always asks me that: 'What do you do before the 500?' I don't have my Dish Network set up yet, that's getting set up today, so hopefully I'll have some television to watch. But mostly just try to relax and not think too hard about it. Once you get to a certain point in the evening you've got to quit thinking about racing; otherwise, I'll never go to sleep."

YOU GOT TO GO TO THE SUPER BOWL. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? "I got to go to the Super Bowl. Under Armour got me some tickets. That was a pretty amazing experience for me. I can't remember the last time I sat in the stands at a big event, and I just got to take it in as purely a spectator. It's huge. It got me excited to come here and run this race because it's a lot of the same atmosphere and feeling. It made me realize what these fans experience here at the Daytona 500. It's very cool."

NOW THAT YOU'VE WON A NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP (NATIONWIDE IN 2007), DO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TREAT YOU ANY DIFFERENTLY? "No, no. Heck, no. I've got a great group of friends and family, and I get to spend some time them. Nobody's ever treated me differently. My close friends and family don't treat me different from they ever have."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards