Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Charter Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series, was part of a Raybestos Rookie of the Year mid-season press conference in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center Friday. He spoke about his performance...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Charter Taurus in the NASCAR Busch Series, was part of a Raybestos Rookie of the Year mid-season press conference in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center Friday. He spoke about his performance so far this season.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 60 Charter Taurus
TO WIN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN BUSCH IS IT GOING TO TAKE BEATING REED TO DO IT?
"Yeah, it looks like - other than Martin Truex - it's gonna be a rookie race for the championship. We've had a lot of fun this year. Reed is an awesome competitor. One thing we look at as our Charter team is Reed. We worry about him because I know how much experience he doesn't have, and I think the second half of the season is gonna be tougher in that respect. I think he's gonna be faster in the second half of the season, so we're just doing our best. We did miss the Federated Auto Parts 300 in Nashville. That was a little bit frustrating, but I think it would only make the championship more special if we were able to win it and miss the race. That would be cool."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT BUMP DRAFTING HERE?
"As long as you don't wreck it's awesome. Everything works great."
CAN YOU USE ANYTHING TONIGHT FROM PRACTICE SINCE THAT WAS IN THE DAY?
"For me, personally, I know our car didn't have a lot of grip. I'm going to speak to Mark Martin before we qualify. I don't know how the track is gonna change really, but I think it will be different."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL SCHEDULE THIS YEAR? IS IT WEARING ON YOU AT ALL?
"No, it doesn't wear on me. The only thing the travel has made a little bit difficult is when the races are far enough apart - like last week in Milwaukee to Sonoma - we missed the happy hour, an hour-and-a-half at Sonoma, and I think that set me back just a little bit. I think in my first year and my first time at some of these race tracks - Sonoma being one in particular - it was really difficult to miss any practice. Right now, I'm at the position where I'm trying to decide what I want to do for next year. Do I want to run full-time in the Busch Series and the Cup Series again? We're trying to get through these weekends and take stock. For me, I feel great physically and mentally I think it's fine, it's just the weather and missing practice - things like that - make it a little bit tough to be at the top level in both series."
WAS IT BIG TO GET BOTH PRACTICES IN TODAY?
"Yeah, that was good. With the way the weather is and stuff, it's awesome that NASCAR scheduled it that early in the morning so we could get it done."
ANY IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT RACING AT NIGHT HERE?
"Not really. I think it's just gonna be one of those races, like all these restrictor plate races, unless you have a really dominant car it's difficult to run at these places for me in the Cup Series. It's not easy, but it's simple enough to get yourself up to the middle of the pack but then it's like, 'Wow, what have I done? I'm driving around in the middle of this thing,' and it's nerve-wracking. It's hard to decide whether or not to lay back and try to avoid the wreck that way or just go as hard as you can. Other than that, it's an awesome sight and it's a beautiful place to run at, so it would be cool to run well."
DO YOU LIKE THE FACT THAT ONE WEEK YOU'RE AT A ROAD COURSE, THEN A RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACK, AND THEN AN INTERMEDIATE PLACE?
"Yeah, I like that way the schedule is structured. It's fun to have variety and have things change every week. I think that's exciting and keeps things from becoming monotonous. Even if you have great success at an intermediate track and a short track is next on the schedule, it's still fun to go there because you had a great week last week. It goes the other way, too. Like last week, I was so looking forward to the road course, but we had a bad week there and as much as I'd want to go run another road course right away, it's cool to be able to come to a restrictor plate track because it's just something different. I like the adventurous part of racing - going and doing new things and seeing new places, going to different tracks. To me, it wouldn't be near as much fun if we ran all the short tracks in a row and then all the intermediate tracks. That wouldn't be as cool."