Dover II: Edwards - Friday media visit

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win here at Dover International Speedway and comes into this weekend's event seventh in the point standings, 95 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. He held his...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win here at Dover International Speedway and comes into this weekend's event seventh in the point standings, 95 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. He held his weekly Q&A session Friday morning before NSCS practice.

WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON WHAT HAPPENED TO CLINT? "I don't understand what they did. Does anyone know what the exact problem was?" THEY SAID HE WAS LOW ON THE SIDE OF THE CAR. "I don't understand exactly what measurement was out, so until I can know what measurement was out, it would be foolish to talk about it. I've heard a lot of people talk about it, but I don't think anyone knows what happened."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTION TO BE RUNNING GOOD AGAIN AND BE AT THE HEAD OF THE ROUSH GROUP IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE? "It feels really good to be running the way we're running. What we have to do is run that way over the next nine races. If we can do that, then it's gonna be really good. Loudon has been our worst track statistically and if I didn't mess up and slide up into Denny, I think we would have had a pretty good day there. So going forward, I think here at Dover, Kansas, California and all these places we've got a lot to look forward to."

IS THERE ANY REASON WHY YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO CONTINUE THIS KIND OF PERFORMANCE? "The only thing that will stop us is making mistakes or having failures. Mistakes are easy, especially with the way everybody is racing. Everyone is racing so hard. You've got to raise your game and then parts failures and stuff like that, you've just got to try to live right and say all your prayers before the race and then hope for the best."

IT SEEMED A LOT OF TROUBLE LAST WEEK WAS ON RESTARTS. DOES THAT WORRY YOU HERE? "Dover has more grip. The tire seems to grip a little bit more. There at New Hampshire, the problem on the restarts was everyone's cars were so loose, there was no grip in the track. That's part of what makes it fun, but also makes it really dangerous on the restarts. I think that's why you saw each time we had a restart there would be chaos."

TWO YEARS AGO AT THIS RACE GREG WON, MATT WAS SECOND AND YOU WERE THIRD. IS THIS A BENCHMARK RACE FOR ROUSH FENWAY? "Two years ago Greg won the race. He won the first two races of the chase, Matt finished second and I finished third here at Dover. That felt pretty good. I remember getting out of the car and thinking, 'This is alright. One of us is gonna win this championship.' I know we're not up there leading the points right now, but we're all close enough that if we can have that form again, if we can get back to that, I'd say we have just as good a chance this year. So that does feel good and I like running here at Dover, for sure."

ONLY FIVE CHASERS FINISHING IN THE TOP 10 LAST WEEK. DO YOU THINK A DRIVER CAN MOVE UP BY JUST RUNNING TOP 10 THAN IN THE PAST? "That's interesting. I didn't think of it that way. I remember, maybe it was 2008 and some other years, but it felt like the top 10 or 12 guys finished in the top 10 or 12. I didn't realize that until you said it, but I guess the fact that there are so many cars running well, guys that aren't in the chase, that can fill up some of those top 10 spots. It might be more important just to be consistent than it has been in year's past, so, yeah."

YOU HAVE A NEW CREW CHIEF IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES THIS WEEKEND. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT LOSING DREW? "I didn't lose Drew. We've got a deal. I get Drew back. Drew is going over to work with David Ragan and I think that's gonna be a good move for our company. David and those guys have done a really good job, but they haven't had that spark to get them going. I think Drew going over there and working with the team and Donnie Wingo being receptive to it and kind of partnering up with Drew, and then Donnie's ability to look at the rest of our team kind of fills that spot we don't have right now. All of that is good, and I've got Mike Beam on my pit box in the Nationwide Series, so it looked like one of those moves we could try for the last eight or nine races of the season and really nobody loses. Everybody has a chance to win and that's pretty cool to have that much depth."

SO WHEN YOU SAY YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIM BACK, WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT? "My plan is for Drew to crew chief the 60 car next year. Now, if he goes over there and lights the world on fire with David, then it would be hard to get him back, but, right now, that's the plan. Donnie Wingo right now has kind of taken the place where Jimmy Fennig was, where he was kind of overseeing everything that we're doing around the teams. I feel like we lost something when Jimmy left that position, so for Donnie to do that and Drew to be able to work with David and see if they can spark anything, and then me to work with Mike Beam, who has been developing our Nationwide stuff for the last few months, it just looked like a pretty good move. But Drew is not gonna be going anywhere else. He will either be on that 6 or the 60 as far as I'm concerned."

WHAT DOES THAT SAY PHILOSOPHICALLY ABOUT THE WAY JACK DOES STUFF? "I think it shows that we're not willing to settle. Even when we're making progress we're not willing to settle for second best. Jack and Donnie Wingo and David Ragan all want the best for that 6 UPS team and myself included. All of my guys on the 60 team, we're all sacrificing by being okay with Drew leaving and going over there, so I think it says a lot about the organization. For me, in the last two years, I've seen more of that. You can shake things up and everybody raises their hand and says, 'Alright, I'm in. Let's do this,' and that's pretty cool."

HOW FAR DO WE NEED TO GET INTO THE CHASE BEFORE WE SEE WHO HAS A REAL SHOT AT THIS TITLE? "I think we've got to get about five races in to see who has a shot at the championship. You're gonna find out after five or six races. There are gonna be guys that weed themselves out and there are gonna be guys that stand about the rest. I think until five or six races in, I don't know who is gonna be leading the thing. Heck, this week in the middle of the week we shook up the points because NASCAR made a ruling, so you just never know what's gonna happen."

DOES IT FEEL LIKE YOU DODGED A BULLET WHEN YOU FINISH 11TH, LIKE LAST WEEK, AS OPPOSED TO 30TH OR 31ST? "If before Loudon you would have offered up 11th for me and our team, we probably would have taken it instead of running the race. We ran really well in the race. We ran top two or three most of the day, so being 11th was a little bit disappointing, but looking back on it, that's okay. Yeah, it's frustrating to see other guys finish in front of you and know they got a little leg up on you."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE FEELING? IS IT A SENSE OF RELIEF? "When I saw Tony Stewart run out of fuel, that changed my perspective on the day. Here I was thinking, 'Man, Tony is gonna come out of this thing with the points lead by winning the race,' and then he runs out of fuel 60 seconds from winning the thing. That made me realize that it's not over until it's over. You just count your blessings. I was like, 'Whew, we made it.'"

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin