Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session after Friday's practice at Martinsville Speedway. Edwards is fifth in the NSCS point standings. HOW IS YOUR CAR? "We spent most of practice working on race trim.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, held his weekly Q&A session after Friday's practice at Martinsville Speedway. Edwards is fifth in the NSCS point standings.
HOW IS YOUR CAR? "We spent most of practice working on race trim. We're watching that radar thinking that it might rain qualifying out. I haven't really seen what's supposed to happen tomorrow, but they say it could rain all of practice out, so we wanted to make sure our race setup is good. I'm glad we worked on it because it's not that great and we need all the time we can get."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ALL-STAR 10-LAP SHOOTOUT FORMAT? "A 10-lap shootout for about a million bucks, that should be really interesting. I know I'm gonna drive like hell. That'll be fun. I think the fans want to see that. I think a shootout like that will be really neat. Hopefully, it's exciting for the fans. That's what that race is about. It's a fun event. It's no points, a million dollars, and a lot of excitement."
IT WILL BE THE FIRST TIME TO DO THAT WITH THE NEW ASPHALT. "Yeah, hopefully that asphalt has aged a little bit and hopefully it's getting better and better. Nobody wants to see a breakaway, where the guy in the lead takes off and I think the older that asphalt gets and the better we set these cars up, the better the racing will be there. Let's hope it's a track where you can run right by the fence or right down by the bottom and get some good action."
ARE YOU TRYING SOMETHING WITH YOUR SHORT TRACK PROGRAM THAT IS DIFFERENT? "As a group, Roush Fenway had a terrible week last week performance-wise. Greg Biffle was pretty good, but, other than that, I thought we were all just mediocre. I don't know exactly how different this car is from the last time we ran here. The last time we came here we were real fast. It was a second or third-place car all day and finished third, so, hopefully, we're as good as we are, but we haven't specifically gone off on a path saying, 'Hey, we're gonna try all this new stuff.' We're just trying to make sure we've got this setup so at the end of the year when it really matters, we're fast at these places."
YOU SAID LAST WEEK YOUR MAIN GOALS WERE WINNING THE TITLE, WINNING AT MARTINSVILLE AND WINNING A ROAD COURSE. CAN YOU EXPAND ON THAT? "The three goals for me this season, I mean, this season would be the perfect season if we won two races and a championship and those two races would be a Martinsville race and a road course. I think for me as a driver those have been the two most difficult things to master. I'm far from being a master here at Martinsville and I feel like I'm getting better at the road courses. The wins at those two places would mean the world to me."
WHAT MAKES THIS PLACE SO DIFFCULT? "What makes this place so difficult is it's the small things, the very tiny things that make you faster. When you say, 'It's loose in the center,' it's only loose for a second-and-a-half or seven-tenths of a second. Where if you go to a place like Atlanta or California, they're a lot simpler to diagnose your car because you're sliding through two or three seconds of it being loose or tight and it's really easy to relay that to your crew chief, so here it's very precise -- everything happens about twice as fast as it normally does and that's what makes it tough for me."
IT'S JUST REPETITION COMING HERE? "Yeah and then getting into a groove. Bobby Hamilton gave me some great advice here about just trying to get into a groove and using all your senses to not make mistakes and then relax. I've been working on that everytime I come back."
YOU'VE GOTTEN PROGRESSIVELY BETTER HERE THE LAST FOUR RACES. WHY? "I felt like I won the last race. Jimmie won and I think Dale Jr. was second and we were third. I was so pumped about that. That felt really, really good. It felt like a victory, so the things I've been working on are just the little things. I always tell everybody that it appears like this is what I grew up on, this size race track, but a dirt track this size drives like a mile-and-a-half pavement track. Everything happens slow. There's a lot of moving around in the corner. This short track pavement racing is something that I hadn't really done until I got here to this level of the sport, so it's been really difficult to master."
ARE YOU AWARE OF THE NFL POSSIBLY BUMPING UP AGAINST THE DAYTONA 500 WITH THE SUPER BOWL? "I don't know if they would do that, would they? That would probably split the marketing dollars, plus I like watching the Super Bowl so I hope they don't do that. We'll see. I doubt that would happen."
ARE YOU INTO MARCH MADNESS AND YOUR MISSOURI TIGERS? "I let my Dish Network card expire. They sent me a new one and I haven't put it in yet, so my dish wouldn't work last night. I spent forever on my phone trying to find the game. I was calling my wife and she was giving me updates and although I feel asleep, they were ahead by 13 or 14. So we play Uconn and that's crazy. To be Big 12 Champions, if we made it to the Final Four it would be crazy. I can't even imagine what it would be like if we were national champions. I've followed it more this year than ever. I got to go to the MU-KU game that was at MU and that was so cool. It was a last-second shot. The place went insane. That's a huge rivalry. Clint (Bowyer) wouldn't text me back after that, but, other than that, everything was good."
DID YOU FILL OUT A BRACKET? "I didn't fill out a bracket. My wife filled one out. She had a big group and she's like 26th right now, so she's pretty proud of that. I'll fill one out next year. It's fun. I never watched any sports. I was always racing. I didn't pay attention to anything and now I can watch it and I understand more of what they're going through, I understand the focus it takes, so it's more fun to watch."
ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE BURTON A HARD TIME WITH DUKE GOING OUT? "I'm a Mizzou fan. I barely know what they're up to. I don't even know where Duke is at."
-credit: ford racing