Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts/Aflac Ford Fusion, will make his 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Dover International Speedway in this weekend's Autism Speaks 400. In 11 starts at the one-mile track, Edwards has one win, five ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts/Aflac Ford Fusion, will make his 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Dover International Speedway in this weekend's Autism Speaks 400. In 11 starts at the one-mile track, Edwards has one win, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Edwards scored his only Cup win here in Sept. '07 and has led 297 laps at the Monster Mile. Edwards stopped by the media center to discuss his finish at Darlington, and his frustrations so far this season.
CAN YOU START BY TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT DARLINGTON? "You know, Darlington was probably our biggest struggle of the year. We have had a lot of meetings this week to figure out how to make the car the very best we can coming into here. I think we have a pretty good car, but we will find out for sure here in a minute. This track has been very good for me and Greg (Biffle) and Matt (Kenseth) over the years, so hopefully we can have a good run."
SIX RACES IN WITH THE SPOILER, HAS ANYTHING CHANGED IN TERMS OF HOW YOU DRIVE THE CAR? "It is a little different, but not as much as we thought it would be. It is hard to point at just one things and say it is different. We obviously haven't quite figured it out. There hasn't been an ah-ha moment for us with it. We are still trying to get a better handle on it."
ONE OF THE MOST SURPRISING STATISTICS MIGHT BE THAT YOU HAVE ONLY LED TWO LAPS IN SPRING CUP, IF YOU CAN GET UP FRONT AND LEAD LAPS, HOW WOULD THAT HELP WITH MOMENTUM FOR YOU? "It really isn't about momentum, it is about having our car fast enough. When we got done at Darlington, I felt like I did a better job, worked harder and drove smarter than some of the races I have done. If we can keep doing that, but get our car faster we will be fine. It isn't the engine and it isn't the actual car. It is getting the set-up right and if we can get better there then we will lead laps and win races. It is hard to explain to people that when the car is good it is easy. When the car is bad it is a lot of work. It felt good to run well at Richmond, and if we can run that well every week we will win some races, but we have to start running that well each week."
MUCH HAS BEEN MADE OF JOE GIBBS RACING POSSIBLY CATCHING HENDRICK, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT AND WHERE DO YOU GUYS THINK YOU ARE IN THAT FOOTRACE? "We are not in that footrace right now. We are trying to catch up and get a handle on things right now. If we can consistently run top three or top five, like the Gibbs guys seem to be able to do, they yeah. They seem to be very capable of competing every week. We were like that in 2008. The amazing thing is that the Hendrick cars are able to do that every year and people make runs at them. I guess in a way, for the Gibbs guys to go out there and put pressure on them is good. We aren't good enough every week to be in that race right now."
THE DAYTONA NATIONWIDE TEST IS NEXT WEEK. ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO DRIVING A MUSTANG? "Yeah, that is going to be a lot of fun. Those Mustangs look great. I think that is one of the best things NASCAR had done in awhile, letting us run those cars. I would love to be the first guy to win in a Mustang in a NASCAR race, that would be really neat."
WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU THAT YOU AREN'T GETTING FRUSTRATED? "I am very frustrated. We are all very frustrated. I have always believed that if you are frustrated about something, there are productive ways to use that. You won't see Bob or myself or my guys yelling or throwing things out of frustration because we want to be constructive with our energy. Man, it is frustrating though. I wish we were faster, we just aren't. We are working on every other aspect though and hopefully once we figure out whatever it is we are missing then we will be screaming fast."
WHEN YOU OVERLAY YOUR LAPS WITH THE HENDRICK OR GIBBS CARS, WHERE ARE THEY BEATING YOU PHYSICALLY ON THE RACE TRACK? "I haven't seen an overlay of a race lap. Sometimes those are frustrating to look at, but right now our cars are hard to drive. You go in a corner and I can't make the car do what I want it to do. When I relay that to Bob, he isn't able to change the car the way I want it to change. That come from the set-up we are running. It isn't as simple as just lowering the track bar or putting some wedge in. It is tough. At Darlington for example, the car would be loose, tight, loose, tight ... it was all over the place. It makes things very difficult. If you look at a guy like Jamie (McMurray), it shows you a guy that can go from a situation where you don't like the feel of a car, to a spot where you are very fast. On one hand it is very frustrating to me , but on the other hand it gives me a big light at the end of the tunnel. If we can just make the thing drive well, then I can run that well too."
-source: ford racing