CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? "We're coming off a string of top 10s and we've been running very well. I feel like we have a pretty good car for qualifying here, but we'll see how fast it is in a...
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? "We're coming off a string of top 10s and we've been running very well. I feel like we have a pretty good car for qualifying here, but we'll see how fast it is in a minute. We go out second. I don't know if that's good or bad, but I just have to try and not hit that curb in the tunnel. I hit it just about every time I qualify here, so I'm hoping to get a good lap in and give the guys something that they deserve. Really, our focus today is on Jack and we're all wishing him a speedy recovery. It sounds like he's doing very well considering the circumstances, so that's all of our focus today - Jack."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO JACK AT ALL AND HAVE YOU EVER LANDED AT OSHKOSH? "I haven't spoken to Jack. That's the greatest thing in the world to see him walk out of that airplane. It's like they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, so we're just glad he's okay. I have flown into Oshkosh a couple of times in my jet and it's amazing. They get more planes in and out of there than anywhere I've ever seen, so it's very tight quarters and there are a lot of planes stacked up one behind the other, all at varying speeds, so it's a high-pressure situation for the guys controlling from the ground and for the pilots."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SECRET PENALITIES NASCAR HAS HANDED OUT? "I don't know what's going on with that. I guess I know as much as you guys know. I don't know how much the penalities are or who they've been give to and what they're for. I just don't know."
DOES IT WORRY YOU? "No, it doesn't worry me. I think like most of the guys I give my opinion on things. It's not gonna change what I do or how I speak, but it is a reminder to everyone to consider the fact that we're all in this together. What's good for NASCAR on the whole is good for almost all of us individually. Whether the fines have actually happened or what they're for how much they're for, like I said, it's just a reminder that we're all involved in this sport and we've all got skin in the game."
WHAT'S IT LIKE NOT SEEING JACK HERE TODAY? "I won't miss Jack yelling at me telling me what to do this weekend (laughing). But Jack is a guy who can drive a race car, he can tune the engine, he can build anything, he can help the crew chiefs with setups, so we're definitely gonna miss him here at the race track. But I have a feeling as tough as Jack is and as dedicated as he is to all of this and all of us - and all of you guys for that matter, just the whole sport - I think he'll be back real soon. I don't see him missing too much time at the race track."
DOES IT MAKE YOU THINK TWICE ABOUT FLYING AND HOW OFTEN YOU DO IT? "Flying is inherently dangerous. You're defying gravity and it's complex, but I think until we really know what happened - I mean, I don't know what happened. I've flown in there. I'm as close to the situation as anyone. I'm a pilot and I still don't understand exactly what happened. I think it'll be really interesting to see what Jack has to say and how what went down went down. You've got to take safety really seriously. The Cessna Citation that I fly is serviced by the Citation Service Centers. We make sure that everything is up to snuff all the time, but it is a reminder, I think, to all of us. All of us fly on private planes at one point or another and we're all going all over the place, and it's a reminder that safety is more important than being there on time or any of the things we usually worry about."
YOU JUST HAD A PUBLICIZED FINE. IS IT STRANGE TO HAVE SOME FINES PUBLICIZED AND OTHERS THAT ARE KEPT SECRET? AND YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT BEING FINED FOR WHAT YOU MIGHT SAY WHEN YOU GET OUT OF THE CAR, DO YOU? "I haven't been fined. I've been fined a lot, but we all know what they're for and I know what it's for. Like I said, I really don't know what's going on. Are the fines $50,000? Is that what the deal is? Anyway, I don't know. I'm learning this at the same time you guys are, so I don't know exactly what to say about it. My take on this in the way I perceive this is that NASCAR is wanting to send out a reminder that we are all in this together and we need to make sure we're all pulling the rope in the same direction. I don't know how that will all snowball and what that will turn into, but I think that's the intent. I don't know. I'm nervous to say anything (laughing)."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW GATEWAY HASN'T REQUESTED ANYMORE RACES? "That's sad, to me. I know from my part and Justin Allgaier, and all the guys who go there and do the best we can to raise awareness in that area of the race and to make it an exciting race, I know it's very frustrating for all of us that, for some reason, we haven't had the success there fan-wise and attendance-wise that we want. I remember one of truck races I was in where trucks were sliding down the back straightaway sideways and we had six green-white-checkered restarts - one of the most dramatic finishes ever - and we've had some really dramatic Nationwide races, but I'm not smart enough to understand why that track wouldn't succeed. It is a little heartbreaking. I like racing there a lot."
HOW SHOULD THE MEDIA HANDLE ALL THIS STUFF? SHOULD WE BE CHEERLEADERS OF THE SPORT OR NEUTRAL? "I don't know. That's a good question. First of all, if I did know and I told you, you're gonna do whatever you want anyway (laughing). I don't know. I do think, and this is not me taking sides or anything like that, I think we all have to remember that we're all involved in this sport and we've got to go out and do the best we can. I've criticized this sport and the decisions just like anyone else, but I guess we all just need to remember that. You guys have to do whatever you have to do, but I do also think that honesty is always the best policy, so you've got to call them how you see them."
-source: ford racing