Continued from part 1 Q: I think you said at one point that the guitar in Nashville was probably the coolest trophy that you guys get all year. Saying that, were you a bit surprised what happened with what Kyle did after the race last ...
Continued from part 1
Q: I think you said at one point that the guitar in Nashville was probably the coolest trophy that you guys get all year. Saying that, were you a bit surprised what happened with what Kyle did after the race last week?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, really I don't even want to talk about that. It doesn't affect me. I think that's just the way in general. You know, I don't really have anything to say about that.
Q: Carl, I wanted to asking something. With the attorneys saying that Mayfield was on an illegal, dangerous drug when he was on the track, now we know it's meth, how does that impact you as a driver, knowing you are driving against somebody on the track with an illegal drug in him?
CARL EDWARDS: Is it certain that he was on meth?
Q: I mean, that's what the drug test said. That's what the attorneys are saying that's what the drug test said. All I got to go on now.
CARL EDWARDS: Here's my take on that. Either one of two things has happened. Either he was using meth or he wasn't using meth. If he was, then he's already out of the sport, he's not in a racecar, and he's got bigger problems than racing, and we should try to help him out with that, because he's a good guy.
Number two, he's not on meth, and he didn't use any meth, and we sure as hell should not be talking about it because that's extremely destructive to someone's life and their public image.
So I don't think, I just don't have anything to say about it. I don't think it's right that there's all this speculation going around. I think either way, whether it's case one or case two, Jeremy Mayfield has always been a really good guy to me and I hope he gets through this and comes out of it with a positive life.
Q: But do you worry? The fact before this year somebody could have been on that and they wouldn't have been caught, you never had reason to suspect him, I guess.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, let me put it to you this way. In the Cup Series especially, I've never felt like I've been racing against people that are incapable of racing at this level. Most of the time I feel like I'm the idiot out there. I feel like I'm in somebody else's way or I'm screwing up. I always look up to these guys I've raced against, Jeremy included, for their level of talent and how good people have been on the racetrack.
Man, I mean, you know, I guess what I'm saying is I never got out of the car and said, Man, that guy is dangerous or I feel like something is crazy here. I do believe what NASCAR is trying to do with their drug policy is good. I think that nobody would say it's all right to race on the racetrack with somebody that's impaired. And I think NASCAR's trying to do their best. You know, I feel good about it.
I don't know if I'm answering your question. Is that kind of what you're thinking, or...
Q: Just a whole thought on what it's like to know that there could be something with an illegal drug in their system, and you don't have to be specific to Jeremy.
CARL EDWARDS: I mean, you go through life. I mean, you don't know when you go in for surgery, you don't know if the doctor that's cutting you open has some sort of personal problem. I mean, you don't know. I mean, that's life. All you can do is do the best you can.
But I do not want this to be taken out of context. I don't know what Jeremy did. I have no clue. I definitely don't want to be in the boat with all the folks that are, you know, saying he is definitely using a certain drug, because I don't know how they test for it, I don't know what goes on. I'd rather wait and see what happens.
Q: Jeff Gordon mentioned the other day there's a difference between Kyle Busch fans and Dale Jr. fans. How would you characterize the difference?
CARL EDWARDS: Man, I don't know. That's a good question (laughter).
I don't know. You've probably seen more of them. You know, I've signed autographs for people wearing Dale Jr. hats and shirts, and I've signed autographs for people wearing Kyle Busch hats and shirts. They all seem like pretty nice people to me.
I think in a way, not in a way, it is definitely good for the sport to have people that are polarized on things. You know, I think that's what you've got right now there. You've got some people that you're going to have to put up those fences like the soccer stadium, some fans sitting on one side and some fans sitting on the other. That's good for the sport to have people passionate about it. As far as the fans, they pick their allegiance and they stick with it, and that's pretty cool.
Q: Are you still planning on competing in St. Louis at Gateway?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, for sure. I'm planning on winning.
Q: You said the 18 car in the Nationwide Series has been unbelievably fast. He's even got a more demanding schedule than you in terms of competition. Do you think that might catch up to him by the end of the year?
CARL EDWARDS: I sure hope so (laughter). I can use all the help I can get. You know, really, though, you're talking about how demanding the schedule is, whatever. But once you get to the track, once you're racing, it's not tough. I mean, that's the part that all of us love to do. It's all of the peripheral stuff. You know, if you're coming out of an appearance somewhere or a production day that goes late or something, and then you got to travel before a race, if you're tired when you already show up to the track, that's when they start to become demanding. But once you're at the track, I mean, it's good.
So, you know, when you look at people's schedules, you could say, Hey, Carl Edwards has got a tough schedule. But, you know, there's guys out there that do more appearances and have more going on at home and are probably putting out more energy than I am, just not at the racetrack.
Q: We're looking forward to having you back to Montreal. I wanted to ask you, one of the greatest pieces of footage out there on YouTube is of you, talking about banned substances in people, driving down this backstretch in Montreal with your arm out the window with a mop, trying to clean your windshield.
CARL EDWARDS: Wait a second. What is your connection here (laughter)?
Q: We're wondering what you were on driving in the rain in Montreal. I wanted to ask you about this mop. Number one, that's a sponsorship opportunity that has to be explored by someone on your team.
CARL EDWARDS: I'm sure they have. I don't know, though.
Q: Was that mop given to you? I understand it was given to you to defog the windows inside in the event the rains came.
CARL EDWARDS: Yes.
Q: Further, will you have a wiper installed for this summer just in case?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I think Jack was a little bit disgusted with the fact that I was trying to clean the grime off the windshield with that little thing that I had, that mop. So, yeah, he's made sure that windshields are mandatory in racecars at the road course races.
That was a really fun event. That was supposed to be something to use to wipe the fog off the inside of the windshield. As the race went on, the outside of the windshield got this layer of grime and kind of, you know, like dirt and, you know, oil and whatever on it. Man, that thing worked great. It wiped it right off. It was good.
My wife and I were just talking this morning, I can't wait to come to Montreal. It's one of the most beautiful facilities we go to. And the people there are great. The city is great. We don't have a tough race that weekend so I'll have more time to go out and see things. I can't wait to come.
Q: That was the first points race that NASCAR has run in the rain. It was practically a monsoon. How difficult was it? You literally were working blind out there, weren't you?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, but when they dropped the green, I remember telling my spotter, I'm going to lay back, tell me where they're wrecking here in turn one and I'll do my best to avoid it. We ended up running this race. Everybody did a great job. It was unreal how well it went.
I thought it was good. I didn't have any issue with it. I wish we did it more often. It was something that was different and fun. I think if we did it enough, we'd all have systems in place so we could see a little better. That was pretty wild.
Q: Carl, fans I think really want to talk about not smashing guitars and not Jeremy Mayfield, they want to talk about the racing this weekend. I think sometimes we get so tied up talking about all the things that surround our sport, we kind of miss talking about what it's like going to Michigan to race. It's such a wide track. I wonder if you could talk about how you think the double-file restarts will apply there and how you look at that racetrack.
CARL EDWARDS: The double-file restarts, that's going to be interesting there. I hadn't thought about that. I hadn't really thought about that. Michigan is, for the drivers, one of the most fun ovals we go to. It's a lot like Atlanta. Even though it's shaped like California, it's different. You know, you can run all the way across its surface, you know, from the white line up to the wall and be fast. And I think that, you know, the speeds there, the different grooves and all that make it, you know, one of the most exciting tracks you can drive at.
As far as the double-file restarts, I don't know which lane I'd pick at Michigan because you have such a long straightaway. You've got a quarter mile or whatever before you get to turn one. And I have a feeling it's going to look like Talladega. You know, once everybody gets past that start/finish line, there's going to be drafting partners spreading out, you know, all the way down the apron, all sorts of craziness.
If we were to have a restart with 10 laps to go, that is probably going to be one of the most exciting finishes, at least one of the most exciting starts, I don't know if you actually finish the race, but one of the most exciting starts we could have. I think it's going to be cool.
Q: I've seen you over the last couple weeks and you seem so calm, even though you're working hard at getting a win and you're traveling back and forth. How do you do that, not seem stressed at all as you look at the logistics of the travel?
CARL EDWARDS: The travel has become a lot easier. This is my fifth year of doing it. We've got pretty good systems in place. You know, last week I let Jack, I didn't let him, he offered, and he was nice enough to fly me back and forth. That made it a lot easier. I didn't have to flight plan, worry about fuel, all this stuff.
I've just got good folks around me. And really, you know, even though we haven't got off to a blazing start, I have this inner confidence right now that our team on the Nationwide side and the Cup side are really going in the right direction and I feel pretty good about it. I'm just having fun. This summer stretch, this is the best part of the year. It's the one I enjoy the most. I mean, doing the stuff like Michigan to Kentucky, Sonoma to Milwaukee, you know, having fast racecars, that's what this is all about, kind of the adventure of it. This is the most fun part of the season really.
Q: And Kurt Busch said he relishes this part of the season because you got to be in shape and it shows who's not wore out. Maybe you have an advantage.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, that's a good point. You know, we were testing yesterday in Virginia. The thermometer said it was a hundred degrees in the pits where we were working on the car. We talked about that a little bit. It's gonna be a hot summer. These cars, they're as competitive as ever and it's a challenge. You know, I have to agree with Kurt there. This is kind of what it's all about. It adds another dimension to the competition and I think that's good.
Q: Who do you think is the driver to beat this week, especially with Tony Stewart running so well?
CARL EDWARDS: That's a good question. Michigan has this, you know, ability, you know, there's the chance at Michigan that there could be a real surprise, you know, because the track is so big and so fast that if a driver and a crew chief can hit on something that really works, you know, they could go out and dominate. I mean, you look at some guys who have been real fast at these big tracks and haven't got a win, guys like Brian Vickers, Juan Montoya, David Reutimann, guys that have been kind of right there at all these big tracks, it's hard to say.
I guess my answer is I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if we saw a first-time winner or someone who hasn't won yet this year. I hope it's a Ford, because that's a fun place to win if you're a manufacturer.
HERB BRANHAM: Carl Edwards, we appreciate it, pal, you spending some time with us today. Best of luck this weekend at both Michigan and Kentucky.
CARL EDWARDS: Thanks a lot, Herb. Thank you, guys, very much. Have fun with Leffler.