Pocono II: Edwards, Martin - Ford interviews

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, will practice at Pocono today before traveling to Pikes Peak for the Busch Series race. Bobby Gerhart, and not Frank Kimmel, will qualify the Cup car tomorrow, so Edwards will be ...

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Office Depot Taurus, will practice at Pocono today before traveling to Pikes Peak for the Busch Series race. Bobby Gerhart, and not Frank Kimmel, will qualify the Cup car tomorrow, so Edwards will be forced to start from the rear of the field on Sunday. Edwards spoke about his cross-country trip and hopes for the weekend.

CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus

THOUGHTS ON BOTH RACES THIS WEEKEND. "This whole week has been awesome just leading up to coming to Pocono. Obviously, I love racing here. That was just great how we ran here at June, and running our Charter Ford at Pikes Peak. I've had the chance to race a couple of Silver Crown races there and I love that place. We are gonna start at the back of both of them. We're gonna miss qualifying in both series and, heck man, it's 500 miles here. I don't see why we couldn't run just as well, but it's gonna be tough."

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR COMING THROUGH THE FIELD? "My strategy for the remaining races before the chase in the Cup car is just to go easy - don't damage the car, prepare for the end of the race. I have this habit of driving like a maniac as soon as the green flag drops and it's great sometimes, but it's either hit or miss. You can't take too many chances, so what I'm gonna try to do is just be there. I know our car is good enough to win the race. If we're there at the end, we can do it." WHAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST PROBLEM SINCE YOU WON HERE? THINGS HAVE KIND OF SLIPPED A BIT. "We've just had bad luck. The Sonoma wreck was something that literally I could not avoid that one. We had a tire failure at Chicago with what I thought was the fastest race car at the place. We were the first tire to go bad in the race, so I just didn't see that coming. And then the Daytona wreck was just bad luck, so at least I don't have the same mistake repeatedly. It seems like every time we wreck or something happens it's something new, and I feel like that's what this season is for. This is my first full season of Cup racing. The expectations changed from me and from the press and from everyone else when we started winning races. It appears from the outside like we should not make any mistakes, but every week I'm learning. I'm just glad to be back here at Pocono. In a way, I'm grateful for all of these things that are happening. Even though they're bad, I don't think I'll make the same mistakes twice. I think for the rest of my career we're only gonna get better and better. I'm pretty excited."

IS IT THE SAME CAR YOU WON WITH THIS WEEKEND? "Yeah, it's the same car. I don't know if we've changed a nut or bolt or anything on it. We plan on running pretty well here. I think we're gonna be pretty good."

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Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Viagra Taurus, is seventh in the point standings going into Sunday's Pennsylvania 500, but the main topic of conversation continues to be his status for 2006. He spoke about his plans for 2006 and how he hopes the situation with Jamie McMurray is resolved.

MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus

DOES IT DISTRACT YOU MUCH KNOWING YOU MIGHT BE BACK HERE NEXT YEAR IN A CUP CAR? "There's a lot of distractions right now with that only being one of them."

FELIX SABATES SAID HE WAS GOING TO PICK UP JAMIE'S OPTION FOR NEXT YEAR. YOUR THOUGHTS? "That's what I'd do if I was them."

THAT WOULD PROBABLY PUT YOU BACK IN THE CAR NEXT YEAR. "Well, I think we have to wait and see what happens. That's what I think."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING ASKED TO MAYBE STICK AROUND ANOTHER YEAR? "I committed to do it, so I guess that's what everybody is wanting to know."

WHAT WOULD YOUR IDEAL PICTURE FOR NEXT YEAR BE? "Jamie McMurray in the 6 in '06. Jamie is, in my opinion which doesn't mean much, probably the most sought after driver in the Cup garage, and we're fortunate enough to have him signed up for '07. That's where we're at. We'll see what happens. If it's '07, then it's '07 and I'll drive the car."

DOES THE SALUTE TO YOU TOUR CONTINUE INTO NEXT YEAR? "We're gonna continue doing exactly what we're doing. It could be opening day at Daytona that I step out of the seat in February. You don't know. Nobody knows. All I know is it's easier for me to do this for the team, who has really been responsible, and for Jack Roush, who has stood by my side when I built my NASCAR career. He and I did it together. We made the 6 car together and I'll hand it over to Jamie McMurray."

THERE WERE A RASH OF TIRE PROBLEMS IN JUNE HERE. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT DAY? "Left fronts went flat. We had the same problem at Indy last year, but people didn't notice as much. We had the same problem back at Indy in '04."

WHY DO YOU THINK IT HAPPENED? "It's harder to tell on left fronts. On right fronts you can see it coming with temperature and with air-pressure - you can see it coming. You don't see it coming on left fronts, but, obviously, it's from being aggressive with your tires."

ARE YOU CONCERNED IT WILL HAPPEN THIS WEEKEND? "We didn't have any trouble, so maybe I should be concerned but I'm not."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Jamie McMurray , Bobby Gerhart , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush , Mark Martin