Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, scored his third victory of the season last Sunday at Dover, but his car failed the post-race heights inspection and NASCAR subsequently docked him 25 points, and he dropped from third...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, scored his third victory of the season last Sunday at Dover, but his car failed the post-race heights inspection and NASCAR subsequently docked him 25 points, and he dropped from third to sixth in the standings, 28 points behind the leader. He talked about the penalty and the chase for two championships prior to today's qualifying session.
ON THE PENALTY. "The thing is, it's done, they've penalized us, and my job is to drive that race car, and try to go out and do the best job I can and not worry about it. As much as I disagree with it, I just have to go do my job."
DOES THE PRESSURE GO UP DURING THE CHASE? "This is the Nextel Cup series, there's pressure to perform every week. There is more to gain and more to lose in the Chase, but I think if you try and change the ways you've been racing, and things like that, that's bad competitively. Yeah, it hurts a little more when you have bad day and it feels a little better when you have a good one, but the process is the same."
SPECIFICALLY, WHAT DO YOU DISAGREE WITH CONCERNING THE PENALTY? "I've tried to think of an analogy, and it's a lot like if you had a basketball team and went out and scored a certain number of points and then penalized you after the game for all of our guys were a little bit shorter from the other team. Do you know what I mean? It's, like, really didn't help 'em out. Don't really understand the penalty. I believe from my research and Geoff Smith's, we are the first people ever to receive a points penalty for the rear of the car being low at a downforce track. There are other cars -- there was one car, in particular, that was low after a qualifying race at Daytona in the rear, one of the only places that that would help you, and they didn't receive any points. So, it's kind of interesting. I don't really understand it. Everyone in NASCAR has told me that they agree that we did not have an advantage and that there was no intention to make the car low, so it's just a little bit hard to understand why there was points penalty."
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO SEE NASCAR DO? "It would've been nice if they would've just done what, from what I understand, they've done in the past at downforce tracks, and say, 'Hey, good job. Glad you could run the race like that, and we'll move on. We're talking about an eighth of an inch, so it's an awfully stiff penalty, but that's what it is. I like racing here. I feel like NASCAR does the best job they can to be fair. I just think they got put into a box here, into a position, and they had to make a penalty and call that makes no sense just because of the way the rule was written."
YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN BOTH THE CUP AND BUSCH CHAMPIONSHIPS. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HISTORY? "Listen, there's probably not a five-minute window that goes by in the day that I don't think about winning both championships in one year. That would be the ultimate achievement, I think, in American motorsports."
THIS IS THE HOME TRACK FOR BOTH YOU AND CLINT BOWYER. "It does feel a little bit more personal, racing here. I look at the stands, right now, and I look at the fans lined up at the fence, and I'm trying to pick out people I know -- and there are a lot of people I know here. I think for Clint and I, it is an opportunity to just have a killer weekend. That could be killer."
-credit: ford racing