Phoenix II: Pole winner interview

CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st) "It was a good run. The car was very easy to drive. Bob Osborne did a really good job with it. When I saw Kurt's lap, I thought, 'Man, that's fast. There's no way anybody is gonna beat...

CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st)

"It was a good run. The car was very easy to drive. Bob Osborne did a really good job with it. When I saw Kurt's lap, I thought, 'Man, that's fast. There's no way anybody is gonna beat that.' I didn't even ask what AJ's lap was. I didn't want to know, and I still don't know what it is, but our lap was really good. Bob did a good job adjusting for that pickup in speed. We were first in practice, but it was almost three-tenths slower, so for the car to go that much faster and still handle the way it did, my hat's off to Bob. I owe this pole to him."

DO YOU HAVE THE CAR TO END THIS LOSING STREAK?

"I hope so. Everything kind of lined up for us with this pole run. We had a great draw. The car was perfect and we focused on qualifying the whole time. I have run a race trim run yet, so I still don't know what we have for Sunday, but we've been working very hard at our shop to be better and to have cars and performances that earn us trophies. Hopefully, we can end that here. There would be no better place. I love racing here and these last two races of the season, we'd like to go into the winter with a win, that's for sure."

HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO MAKE SURE YOU START UP FRONT HERE? "It's very important to start up front. That's one of the things we've been focusing on is qualifying. We've had three poles, I think, in the second half of the season and I think I've only got seven poles in my career. We've focused on it and it's been working, and it's really important here. I think this track, like almost all the tracks we race on now, track position is just really important and it's because everyone is so competitive and the field is separated by such a small amount, so that first pit stall will help us and that clean air at the beginning of the race will help us, and, hopefully, I can race mistake-free and capitalize on all that."

WITH 8 CARS BEING UNDER THE ROUSH WATCH, IT SEEMS LIKE A BIG BOAT TO TURN AROUND WHEN CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE. IS THAT A PROBLEM?

"I don't know. It appears that way. I don't know exactly. As things change you can't just say, 'Hey, we are this way and we'd be better this other way,' but we'll find out here. If we are producing cars and sheet metal and engines for fewer cars next year, it may be simpler for us to change direction and to maybe adapt to good things that we find. It's one of the things, I've only heard Jack say it one time and he did talk about how much production we do there, and sometimes we all know how it is. If somebody says you have to produce three articles a day, that's a lot different than if you have a couple days to do something really nice. So, for all of our guys, if it gives them a little more time, if it does take a little work load away, maybe we'll have better product and that would be nice."

THE THREE TITLE CONTENDERS ARE FAIRLY FAR BACK. DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE THEM UP FRONT?

"The only thing about this place is it is a relatively short race. It is very difficult to pass here. I think you'll see some pit strategy. I think that the pit strategy will come into play for those guys and their respective finishes. I think their finishes will be determined more on pit strategy here than maybe at other places. Yeah, I expect to see those guys up front. They run well every week. That's why they're in the position they're in, but there are a lot of cars that are fast here. I saw some cars that were fast in race trim, and you might have a surprise winner here. It seems like there are a lot of guys that are fast."

-source: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup