Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is in sixth place in the points standings heading into this weekend's event. Edwards has a win and two top-five finishes in four career starts at Pocono. Edwards also won the Nextel ...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, is in sixth place in the points standings heading into this weekend's event. Edwards has a win and two top-five finishes in four career starts at Pocono. Edwards also won the Nextel Prelude to the Dream dirt-track race at Eldora Speedway in Ohio on Wednesday. The field featured many NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
WITH RACING HERE AND IN THE BUSCH RACE IN NASHVILLE THIS WEEKEND, WHAT DO THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? "We're going to qualify this Office Depot Fusion, and then I think [Greg] Biffle, myself and a couple of other guys are going to hop in a helicopter, go over to Nashville, practice the Busch car over there and then come back tonight, practice the Cup car tomorrow morning, and then we go back to Nashville and race, and then come back here and race here on Sunday."
SO, YOU'RE GOING THERE AND BACK AND THERE AND BACK... "We are -- unless the weather's bad in Nashville. It's looking kind of close there. But it's fun, really. Everybody acts like it's some big deal. It's not, really. It's not like I'm pedaling a bicycle there -- I get to ride in the back of an airplane, usually they have food; it's pretty fun."
IN TERMS OF RACING, WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF TRAVELING BACK AND FORTH? "The bad part about doing back and forth is you can get held up somewhere -- you could have trouble with the airplane or something and you might not get here until 6 or 7 in the morning on Sunday. But, even then, that's not the end of the world. The good part is that you get to have fun and go to try and win a race in Nashville in the Busch Series, and get to travel around in helicopters and do all that stuff. It's a blast."
WHAT ABOUT THIS TRACK IS CHALLENGING? "Everything about this track is challenging. Get the car set up right, that's the first thing. It's really hard. And then driving the car is a challenge around here. There's three different corners, and there's bumps. It's a pretty neat track. I enjoy it. We came here the first time, we won a race here; I've loved it ever since. We've had a lot of bad luck here last year, but it's one of my favorite race tracks -- this and Darlington. They have character. You don't have to run a certain line and you don't have to run the perfect springs or whatever, as a driver you can move around and slide the car and do some stuff."
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PENLATIES ASSESSED TO KURT BUSCH? "I don't know. I didn't see the incident, so I can't really say."
GETTING ASSESSED 100 POINTS, WHAT DOES THAT STATEMENT MAKE? "A hundred points is a big penalty. It's big. You fight for every five points you can get, every three points. Making the chase could come down to one point, so it's a huge penalty."
HOW MUCH FUN WAS ELDORA? "Eldora was a blast. Got to race dirt Late Models against some of the best drivers in the world, and got to win the thing, and the crowd was awesome, and it was all for a good cause. That's as good as it gets."
GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, HOW MANY TIMES WOULD YOU LIKE TO RACE IN A DIRT RACE LIKE THAT, EVEN AT A SMALLER SCALE? "I'd love to dirt race every night of the week, but the problem is the schedule. I used to dirt race a lot more, and now we've got great things going on with the Busch Series, the Cup Series, and as I learn how those deals need to come together to be successful, I spend more and more time working on them and thinking about them, and less and less time dirt racing. I don't get to do as much as I'd like now, but at some point in my career I'd really like to do what [Ken] Schrader does and have a dirt car and just be able to run 15 or 20 times a year, that would be awesome."
DO FORESEE THAT MORE AND MORE CUP DRIVERS WILL GET INVOLVED IN THIS? "Next year, I bet there will be 35 of them there. I sure hope there is. When Tony [Stewart] asked me to do it, I thought of it, really, as just another dirt race. I didn't really realize until I was coming in for a landing at the airport, there was a crowd of people lined up, watching the airplanes land, there was standing room only at the race track, the fans were going crazy. The pay-per-view thing was spectacular. When we got done with the night, I realized it isn't just another dirt race; that's a really awesome event."
-credit: ford racing