Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, will be making his 100th career NASCAR Nextel Cup start this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway -- which was also the site of his very first series start (Aug. 22, 2004). In five...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, will be making his 100th career NASCAR Nextel Cup start this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway -- which was also the site of his very first series start (Aug. 22, 2004). In five career starts at Michigan, Edwards has three top-five finishes. This season, he has finished 15th or better in 10 of the last 12 races, and is in seventh place in the points standings.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
DID YOU LIKE THIS TRACK RIGHT AWAY? "Yeah, I love this place. It's two miles, it's fast, I got to run my first Nextel Cup Series race -- I guess this weekend is my 100th race; I didn't know that until I saw it on ESPN the other day. It's just a fun place to race."
WHEN YOU MADE YOUR DEBUT, YOUR ROUSH FENWAY TEAMMATES HAD BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL HERE. DID THEY TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT THE TRACK BEFORE YOU GOT HERE? OR, WAS THERE SO MUCH GOING ON THAT WEEKEND THAT IT PROBABLY GOT LOST? "There was a lot going on my first weekend when I came here to race. I just told Bob, it's cool, we're almost three years after my first run, and it was with Bob Osborne and now we've won some races, and we come back here feeling like we can win this thing, it's definitely fun."
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM YOUR SERIES DEBUT? "We had the Justice League car. It was a fun event. I'll never forget that day -- strapping into the car, when they said, 'Gentlemen, start your engines.' It's a dream come true, to be in Nextel Cup Series competition. I've learned a lot since then. I think I'm a much better racer. Just, hopefully, we can have another good run here. This is a place we come back here again real shortly, this type of track is one we need to run well at to be good in the championship race, so it's an important track."
DOES THIS TRACK CHANGE A LOT BETWEEN THE TWO RACES? "It doesn't change a lot between the two races, it changes a lot throughout the day. Turns three and four changed a ton from just an hour and a half ago when we started practice, so it takes a real smart crew chief to keep the car dialed in all day."
ON HOW THE DRIVER CHANGES AFFECT ROUSH FENWAY. "Roush is a great team. I think we've got five great drivers and five great teams, and our job is to just go beat everybody else. And how everybody else aligns themselves is fine with us as long as we can keep pace and try to win."
YOU'VE BEEN CLOSE THE LAST FEW RACES. "We need to win a race. We're running great in the points, the season's been great, we've led, I think, three or four of the last races we've been to, and practices was awesome. Race trim is really good. This could be a place that we could do it at. I think of all the tracks, we would have no better chance at any of them than at this one."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO GREG BIFFLE (WHO WON AT MICHIGAN IN '04 AND '05 IN A CUP CAR, AND WON IN '99 AND '00 IN A TRUCK) ABOUT THIS TRACK? "I don't talk to Biffle about this track specifically, but you watch his tapes and look at his notes of the weekend."
WHAT DOES IT DO FOR THE SPORT IF THERE'S A TEAM THAT DOMINATES? "The thing about this sport is that there's always going to be teams that find something and have an advantage for a while, and then don't. In 2005, there were times when I was running sixth and I was the last Roush car in the field. That's amazing. I think it's always going to go like that. It seems to be more and more a function of technical things, the engineering and the way you place the people in those capacities. If you find something nowadays, if you've got four or five teams that can utilize new technology or something like that, they look real good. To me, it's about the deeper part of the sport, about how you set things up at the shop, how your engineering plan is."
-credit: ford racing