Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus, finished 33rd in last night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Edwards flew all night across the country and arrived back in Dover early Sunday morning. He ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus, finished 33rd in last night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Edwards flew all night across the country and arrived back in Dover early Sunday morning. He spoke about his trip after the driver's meeting.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus
WHAT TIME DID YOU GET BACK TO DOVER? "I feel good. I think we got here about 6:30 this morning and parked about a mile away. I was trying not to wake up too much during the walk, so that I could just go to sleep. It was like when you wake up in the middle of the night and you tell yourself not to wake all the way up so it will be easier to go back to sleep. That's what I did. I kind of did the zombie walk over to the motorhome and went to sleep around 6:45 and got up at 10 o'clock, and I feel good. My mom and I slept on the plane a little bit, too, so it was alright."
LAST NIGHT DIDN'T GO THE WAY YOU HAD HOPED. "No, the motor blew up. I think we had ourselves set up for a pretty good finish. We had a set of stickers left and I don't think a lot of guys did. We were really, really good on stickers and our plan at that point was just to hold our position and drive around to save our tires for that caution, and I think we would have been really good."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Finished 32nd)
"I thought, really, a right-front tire was starting to go down and we discussed whether we wanted to pit or not to pit and kind of made a decision that we needed to pit. I got it slowed down OK, I thought, and when I got on the apron it looked clean but it was real slick from that other car blowing up earlier, and I just lost control of it. It was just a dumb mistake. My right-front tire didn't have any grip and I should have thought about that because I think I hurt a tire and it wouldn't turn on the track. Then I got loose and it wouldn't turn at all and I just couldn't get it stopped."
IS THIS ONE OF THE TRICKIER PIT ROADS ON THE CIRCUIT? "Yeah, but I slowed down at the same spot I usually slow down on the track, but I just think between the first time everybody pitted under green, and a little bit of sand on pit road, and my right-front tire probably getting wore out, I just didn't have any traction."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I have a great race team here with Pat and all the Viagra team. We fought hard for that one. I really thought the race was on with that last restart, but, boy, I found out what the 12 really had. We fought for that one and we finished second today because we have such a great team on pit road and good guys. We've got a great engineer in Wally Brown and a great car chief in Todd Zeigler and Pat Tryson - it's just a great, great team and it's a privilege to drive for 'em."
DID YOU HAVE TO ADJUST ON THE CAR MUCH TODAY? "We had to adjust early, but the last three stops we didn't touch it. We got it right about halfway through and that was all we were gonna get out of it."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 20th)
"I don't know what went wrong with those last set of tires. It felt like we had like 60 pounds of air in them or something. I was just bouncing all over the place. I don't know what happened. It felt like I was just sliding all around everywhere just bouncing, I mean even down the straightaway I was bouncing."
WHY DID YOU PIT LATE? "We thought we had a flat tire. Those last set of tires we put on bounced around real bad. We thought we had a flat, so I came in and changed rights. We're trying to find out. We might have had an equalized tire, so we're gonna look through it. It's a shame to have a top six or seven car and make it all the way to the end and then have a set of tires that didn't agree with us. It's just one of those days."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PENALTY? "I was just hauling butt to get to pit road and it was slicker than I thought. I knew if I hit the brakes I was gonna spin out and do what Matt Kenseth did, so I figured on taking the penalty and not wrecking the car. That was just my fault because it was slicker down there than I thought."
BUT YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT THAT. "Oh yeah. When I hit the brakes I started getting sideways and said, "I ain't worried about getting on pit road. If they catch me, they catch me. If they don't, they don't,' but it was better than wrecking the race car at that point in the race."
HAVING A GOOD CAR, DOES THAT KEEP YOU PUMPED? "Yeah, we're like 100 points out. I want to get through Talladega and then we'll start talking about it because if we have problems at Talladega, we'll be way too far out. That's a wild car race and anything can happen. If we can go down there and run all 500 miles, we should be fine."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Finished 5th)
"It was a good points day, but we didn't have enough on our program to compete for the win. It just seemed like our car wouldn't run on the long, long run. We could go on the short run for a certain distance, but the car just didn't adjust well today. We'll have to go back and look at our notes."
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED WITH A TOP FIVE? "Definitely. It was a great run for us. The Roush/Yates engine pulled well down the straightaway, we just missed the handle to balance the car out for a win. It's just a good day for us to finish where we did and be second in points. It's a great start to our chase for the cup." HOW WAS THE CAR? "The car was fine for the first 10 laps and then it would get tight. Hat's off to Newman, they did a great job. We competed with them for a while, but he was fast. It was a great job for our team as well. Mark Martin did well and I was happy with the way we were able to balance off our run, too."
WAS YOUR CAR BETTER ON A LONG OR SHORT RUN? "The short run is the only prayer we had, so this long 65-lap run at the end of the race hurt us, but to come away with a top five is great. We just missed the Nextel bonus by one position. I was trying to hold off Jarrett, but I couldn't do it."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 4th)
"We had a good car today. This UPS Ford ran well all day. We had one section there on the long green-flag run where I guess we wore both front tires out. I couldn't get it to turn and we lost a lot of ground. We made good adjustments on the stop then and on the last caution Mike made a couple of adjustments that really brought the car to life. I'm happy with that. It's a brand new race car and now we've got two cars that run really good and we'll be running them most of the rest of the year."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 18th)
"It was an OK day for us. We started out so tight that we were just trying to catch up all day. There at the end we were actually getting closer, but we needed to be like that the first run. Blaney was real fast yesterday with it set up like that, so I think we have a little bit different driving style. At the drop of the green it was just tight and I knew we were gonna be in for a long day there, but they salvaged a pretty good run out of it."
ANY FATIGUE FROM THE TRAVEL? "It was a long race, but I feel great. No problems."
WHAT ABOUT THE WEEKEND OVERALL? "It was a long one. We went all the way out to Vegas and blew up a motor and finished 33rd and, today, I really love this race track and we wanted to finish a little bit better than this, but to salvage an 18th out of it was pretty good."
WHAT DO YOU TAKE OUT OF HERE? "A lot of lessons about racing. When you have long green-flag runs like that it's really easy to lose a little bit of time racing with somebody too hard. I'm trying to learn how to race really smart and I caught myself racing with guys too hard a number of times throughout the afternoon and losing some time. We never got a yellow, so you don't get to catch back up. That's just the difference between racing at this level and other levels."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Keep It Genuine/Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 12th)
"We just missed it a little bit all day. We were just a little bit too tight. We tried to get the car free and got it too free one time. We just couldn't get the front end to bite as hard as we needed to, but it's a lot better than we've been. We raced to 12th and the pit stops were good all day, so it's definitely a lot of progress that's been made. The stops were good and the strategy was good. We never really did anything to upset the car and we've had that problem in the past, where you try to fix something and it gets really bad. We loosened it up one time a little bit too much and it didn't kill me, but we gave up a little bit of track position. But the pit stops were good and everything was good. Like I said, we just missed it a little bit but in this day and time if you miss it a little, it's not hard to get lapped."