This Week in Ford Racing August 2, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, will have a busy week leading up to Sunday's Brickyard 400. After competing in a Ken Schrader exhibition race...
This Week in Ford Racing
August 2, 2005
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, will have a busy week leading up to Sunday's Brickyard 400. After competing in a Ken Schrader exhibition race during the middle of the week in Pevely, Mo., Edwards will race in the USAC Silver Crown, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races in Indianapolis. He recently spoke about the week ahead.
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus
YOU'RE COMPETING IN FOUR RACES THIS WEEK. ARE YOU READY? "I'm pretty excited. I get to run the USAC Silver Crown race, and we went to test up there with a Ford engine in the car and that's got me really excited. Those engines have been dominant, so I'm looking forward to that. But first I'm going to run an exhibition race in Pevely, Missouri, for Kenny Schrader and it's going to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. I got to do it once before and it was a really successful event and raised a lot of money for them, so that will be fun. Then we head to the next day and run the Silver Crown car on Thursday. The only thing I don't have a ride for is the truck race on Friday, but we're gonna run the Busch car Saturday at IRP and the Cup car on Sunday."
THAT SEEMS LIKE AN AWFUL LOT, BUT IT'S SOMETHING YOU ENJOY, ISN'T IT. "I ran a World of Outlaws Late Model race in Lebanon, Missouri, last week on dirt, so I just like racing. It's fun. The reason I started racing is because I enjoy it and it's fun. It's not for any other reason than that. I just like it."
AS A GUY WHO GREW UP IN THE MIDWEST, DOES THIS TRACK AND THIS RACE HOLD GREAT SIGNIFICANCE? "Oh yeah. It's obviously one of the most prestigious races you could participate in and to win it, I don't even know how big it would be. I think it would rank right there with a win at the Daytona 500. I know our guys would really enjoy it and it would mean a lot to everyone on the team. For me, as a driver, it would just be the coolest thing in the world. So we're gonna go there and think about points for the first three-quarters of the race and work on getting into the Chase, but I'm telling you, if there's a chance to win that race I'm gonna do whatever I can to try and win that race."
HOW DID YOU LIKE YOUR INDY TEST? "I really enjoyed the Indy test. We actually took this car (Pocono car) and ran it a few laps there. Indy, to me, is a lot like Pocono with the way you drive the race track, so I really look forward to that race. I tell you how excited my crew chief, Bob Osborne, is about it. He says that is the number one race he wants to win, and I usually walk the race track for the first time but nobody will go with me because it's so long. But he walked the whole 2.5 miles with me, on foot, around Indy, and just the way he looked at the grandstands there and the way he talked about it, I have a feeling our whole team is gonna put a lot of effort into the Indy race."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN? "I learned a lot of things at Indy. The coolest part about that test was Kurt Busch was there with us and he really helped me pick up a ton. We went out there and I ran what I thought were fast laps and they said, 'Hey, you're only two seconds off.' And I thought, 'Oh my gosh.' So I went down and talked to Kurt and he helped me a ton. It's such a big place that you can pick up speed in spots that I didn't really think about and that's gonna be good. I think having a teammate there is gonna be key."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR POSITION IN THE STANDINGS? "We gained ground on points last week and the week before that, so we're looking forward to this stretch run. For me as a driver, I think I've learned to become a lot better points racer over the last couple of months and, hopefully, I can apply that stuff and not have bad luck. If everything goes perfectly, I think we can solidly be in the top 10. I feel like our performances have been way better than our finishes. We've had some incidents, whether I caused them or they were bad luck, we've had some stuff happen that has kept us from being as high up in the points as possible."
INDY IS ONE OF THE LAST UNKNOWNS FOR YOU AS FAR AS TRACKS BECAUSE YOU GOT IN THE 99 AT MICHIGAN LAST AUGUST, RIGHT? "Yeah, Indy and Watkins Glen are the only two tracks I haven't run at yet. Once we get past those it will be kind of interesting to start going back to these places for a second or third time. I think we should just get faster and faster, so I'm pretty excited about it."