Fontana II: Edwards - Friday media visit

Carl Edwards sits inside the top-12 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings going into Sunday's Pepsi 500. He addressed the media after Friday's practice session at California Speedway. CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot...

Carl Edwards sits inside the top-12 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings going into Sunday's Pepsi 500. He addressed the media after Friday's practice session at California Speedway.

CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

FOLLOWING UP ON LAST WEEK. "All of that stuff doesn't matter. We're here to race and the racing has been pretty good. It's been real good, I think, and I've just been having a good time with it."

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT BEING ON PROBATION? "No, I don't worry about being on probation. I just have to be a little extra careful not to let my emotions get the best of me. It will be good practice, I think."

WERE YOU MAD ABOUT ANYTHING YOU DID AFTER THE RACE? "No, I felt pretty good about how everything went down last week."

YOU DON'T REGRET IT? "No, I don't regret anything. I did what I felt was best at the time and that's fine. In the grand scheme of things looking back on it, I don't even think there was really anything that was that bad about last week. I thought it was just real good hard racing and what happened afterwards is stuff that happens at every short track all around the country every week. The only bad part about it is just tearing up race cars when you don't need to. That's the only bad part."

YOU MENTIONED RICHMOND AND WHAT KYLE DID TO YOU. WHY DOES IT MATTER? "I'm not gonna answer that because I think I explained that pretty well in my explanation of how things went after Saturday night. I don't really want to get into it any deeper."

WHAT KIND OF PROBATION IS THIS? "I think it's just probation. I don't know exactly what type we're on yet. This is just the first week of it."

HOW STERN WERE THEY IN THE HAULER? "I just spoke with Robin Pemberton. I didn't go to the hauler. The way it works is no one can predict everything that's gonna happen, but this is NASCAR saying, 'Look, you've got to take it easy.' That's the way I take it, like, 'Don't go out there and do something really stupid.'"

HAVE YOU HAD MANY ISSUES WITH KYLE BEFORE? "I feel like we really have been good competitors. When he's won this year, I've congratulated him. When I've won, he's congratulated me, and that's why all this stuff this week, I kind of just got a chuckle out of it because I know deep down that what he says doesn't matter to me and what I say doesn't really matter to him. What really matters is we race well on the race track, so I'd say that we'll be fine."

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO THE SAILORS COMING THIS WEEK? "I'd just like to tell all the sailors thank you. I got a chance to visit the USS Enterprise and what they do for us is a huge sacrifice. It's very cool and I hope to get out there again on one of the ships. It was a blast."

THOUGHTS ON THIS RACE? "This race should be pretty good, so stay tuned. It's a fun race track. It's gonna be really slippery and a lot of fun."

WHAT DOES PROBATION MEAN WHEN YOU'RE ON THE TRACK? "As a driver, you should never let your emotions get you. You should never go out and do something stupid, but we do -- all of us do -- so probation is just one of those things. It will be the crew chief in my ear, Jack making sure that we don't go out there and do something dumb and that's what probation does -- just make you take a minute before you do something."

BUT IT WON'T CHANGE THE WAY YOU RACE? "No, the racing will be the same, but the stuff afterwards might be a little more subdued." HOW IS THIS TRACK FROM A PHYSICAL STANDPOINT? "It's pretty physically demanding, but, really, when your car is good here, it's two miles and it's actually an easy track. The hard part here is the heat. That's the hardest part."

HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHERS PHYSICALLY? "I'd say this one is easier than a lot of the tracks if your car is good, but if you add in the heat and if your car is not just quite right, this place can be pretty tough just because the cars move around a lot. Really, I think of all the tracks, we probably have the hottest conditions in the car here -- at least for the first part of the race."

IS IT FUN BEING IN A COMPETITION LIKE THIS WITH KYLE? "It's very cool to have our team running so well, to be on top of our game, and it's really fun to have somebody like Kyle that's so fast. There have been a couple of races where it's like either me or him, and I think that brings out the best in a lot of people. For us, it's been a lot of fun. Like I said, if it comes down to just him and I for the championship, that would be fine, but I have a feeling some of these other guys are gonna have something to say about that."

JIMMIE JOHNSON WOULD LIKE TO BE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOU GUYS. HE SAID YOU HAVE ON THE WHITE HAT AND KYLE HAS ON THE BLACK ONE. "There are no hats. We're all really doing the same thing. We're all racing as hard as we can every race. There have been races where I was so mad and so angry afterwards, and there are races where you're happy. It just kind of depends on how everything falls as to what hat you're wearing that day." WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE SERIES? "The Nationwide Series has been awesome. It's been real competitive. You've got guys like Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and you've got guys like Jeff Burton and Jimmie Johnson that run. It's a great series and I think it's as competitive as it's ever been. I still don't like the tapered spacer. I wish we had more horsepower because it makes it a little more fun to drive, but it really has been a good series this year. I think it's been great."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RICHMOND? "It's a fast track. I wouldn't say it's really a short track. If you're running the bottom it's a short track, but if you're running up top, it's just a tick different and aero starts to matter. It's fun, though. I like Richmond. I'm just glad I don't have to be real stressed out about making the chase going there. That's awesome to go there just to have a good time."

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BUD SHOOTOUT CHANGE? "Wasn't that great? You get a pole. I was so pumped to be in the Bud Shootout and now that doesn't really even matter now, so I think the Bud Shootout -- probably the folks that are in it this year with the new way they have the rules set up is probably better, and it's probably gonna be a better field. Really, you have guys that run amazingly well that don't get a lot of poles. I don't get a lot of poles. Matt Kenseth doesn't get a lot of poles, so I think it will be cool to see the Bud Shootout made up of the guys that run well in the points."

HOW MUCH TRUST DOES A DRIVER HAVE TO HAVE IN A SPOTTER? "A spotter is extremely important. Jason Hedlesky does a great job for me. I think Schrader is the one who said it the best, he said, 'It doesn't matter what that spotter says, you're still the one driving the car.' So it's really difficult if you rely on the spotter all the time and you don't check your mirrors. You can get yourself in a bad spot."

HOW DOES A DRIVER AND SPOTTER FIND COMMON GROUND? "It's just like any relationship, you develop it over time. Jason Hedlesky and I have been together for at least three or four years now. On the Cup side this is his first year, but we've been doing it in the trucks and the Nationwide stuff, and, really, it just takes a while. I know by the way he's talking to me and know what he's saying what he means."

HOW DANGEROUS IS JIMMIE FOR THE TITLE? "We talked about it this week -- my trainer and I. We were kind of going over the guys that were really gonna be tough and it goes without saying -- Jimmie Johnson has proven that he can do it when it matters. I think that's one of the guys you're gonna have to beat. You're gonna have to beat Jimmie to be the champion."

HOW WILL THIS RACE BE DIFFERENT AT NIGHT FROM THE SPRING? "This race will be a little bit different, but, this race changes a lot over the period of the race. That's the biggest thing about this track is when we start the race, this track will be totally different over the last 40 laps because when the sun goes down, it cools off, the grip level goes through the roof and your setup kind of changes and everything. So it makes it a real technical race."

SO YOU NEED TO RELY ON YOUR CREW MORE? "The crew chief is huge in this race to make the right adjustment because that track is changing the whole time."

IS IT BY DESIGN YOUR HAULER IS NEXT TO KYLE'S THIS WEEK? "It's just the way the points work out. Hopefully, they're by one another for a long time. I'd like to be this far up in the field every week."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson , Jason Hedlesky , Carl Edwards , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano