Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, won at Michigan three races ago for his first victory in the Cup series since he won four times in 2005. He is currently seventh in the standings, and is within 100 points of third place.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, won at Michigan three races ago for his first victory in the Cup series since he won four times in 2005. He is currently seventh in the standings, and is within 100 points of third place. Additionally, Edwards is dominating the Busch Series this year, with four wins and leading the standings by nearly 800 points.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
CAN THE TWO RACES AT DAYTONA -- THE 500 IN FEBRUARY AND THE PEPSI 400 IN JULY -- BE COMPARED? "Any time you race on the same race track with the same type of car it's going to be pretty similar, but right now, the way the restrictor-plate racing is here, you're very close here at Daytona to being able to hold it wide open. So, if it's a little cooler, and in the July race you're racing at night, it get a little more racy, it kind of changes the way this race works out just because you don't need quite as much downforce, the cars don't get spread out quite as much."
SHOULD THE BUSCH SERIES BE CHANGED TO THE CARL EDWARDS SERIES WITH THE WAY THINGS HAVE GONE FOR YOU THIS YEAR? "The Busch Series is going great. It's a lot of fun, and I'm trying to enjoy it while I can, because this is the third full season where I've run the Busch Series and we haven't had a season like this yet. So, I'll definitely enjoy it."
WHAT'S YOUR SECRET? "The secret right now to our success in the Busch Series is just great people, great race cars and a lot of really, really great luck, that's been the key. I don't want to jinx it or anything, we just have to keep doing what we've been doing, and hopefully it'll turn out like it should."
LATELY, THAT SUCCESS SEEMS TO BE SPILLING OVER INTO THE CUP SERIES, TOO. "The Cup car has been great. This Office Depot team has been doing a great job. Last week was really frustrating to be right there racing the leader and have the car fall off the jack, but we still rebounded and finished 13th. We've got a strong team, and if we can maintain that kind of perseverance through the Chase, it's going to awesome."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BACK AT DAYTONA FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON? "I don't know if this is one of the most exciting places to come to as a driver, because, really, there's not a lot you can do. You come out here and do the best you can, and you're going to end up either in a big wreck or you're going to have a blast and it's going to be fine. So, to me, I try to just enjoy it and put all the stress aside, and I'm pretty excited about this weekend."
FOLLOWING YOUR 2006 SEASON, HAD SOMEONE TOLD YOU IN FEBRUARY WHEN THIS SEASON STARTED THAT BY THE TIME THE SERIES RETURNED TO DAYTONA YOU WOULD'VE PICKED UP A WIN, BEEN SOLIDLY IN THE CHASE AND DOMINATED THE BUSCH SERIES, WOULD THAT ALL HAVE SOUNDED PRETTY GOOD TO YOU? "That would've sounded great to me, but I know how tough this sport is and it doesn't take very much to really look like you're performing badly -- you can have some bad luck or be a little bit behind on your engineering, and you can look terrible. So, it's really tough to have to the good fortune and have the good races, but this is where we would've wanted to have been last year, it's just that we're very fortunate to be here."
YOU WERE IN THE TOP 12 BEFORE THE WIN AT MICHIGAN. DID THAT VICTORY CHANGE ANYTHING AS FAR AS THIS TEAM IS CONCERNED? "I don't think that win changed anything except for it's just a huge burden, a huge relief -- it's a burden that's gone now. You carry around that losing streak, it kind of wears everybody down, so it's great to get a win and move on."
HOW DID THAT DROUGHT SPECIFICALLY AFFECT YOU? "Just like everybody, I love winning. You know, to win the races, that's what it's all about. It's the greatest feeling in the world to win in Nextel Cup. To not win for so long, it's frustrating. The hard part is to go to every race with the same mentality that we did in 2005 when we were winning, it seemed like, often. So, that was the hard part -- to just really truly believe that we could win every weekend when you're not winning. That's tough, but that's what it takes."
HOW DO YOU DO THAT? HOW DO YOU CONVINCE YOURSELF EACH AND EVERY WEEKEND? "The trick for me is to make sure that I have good people around me. My crew chief, Bob [Osborne], knowing that I have a crew chief and a team that can win. And as long as you have good people around you and you have everything that you know that your need to win, then you just have to ignore anything negative -- and that's the key, it's just to do everything you can, know that you've done everything you can and accept whatever comes."
-credit: ford racing