Carl Edwards announced that he has re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing -- a multi-year deal that will keep him behind the wheel of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion. In addition, crew chief Bob Osborne is back this week after completing his ...
Carl Edwards announced that he has re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing -- a multi-year deal that will keep him behind the wheel of the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion. In addition, crew chief Bob Osborne is back this week after completing his six-week NASCAR suspension. Edwards spoke about those issues after Friday's practice session at Richmond International Raceway.
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
WHAT'S YOUR CONTRACT STATUS?
"I signed my contract yesterday, so I'm staying with Roush. I looked at everything and I talked to everybody and, for me, the number one thing is looking into the future and saying, 'Where can I win the most races and have the most success?' I was honored at the people who I got to speak with and I just feel like for me personally this is where I want to be for the near future and we got it done. It's good. I'm real happy about it. It's a huge relief. It really wasn't that painful. Geoff Smith and I get along really well and we just pretty much sat down and he's really easy for me to deal with. It took us about a week-and-a-half of going back and forth with just little things and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world for the contract I got."
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO NEGOTIATE THIS YOURSELF -- WITHOUT AN AGENT?
"It's really neat. If I was dealing with someone that I didn't trust or that I felt like I couldn't just kind of air everything out with, then I'd probably have to have an agent, but dealing with Geoff from day one has been very easy at Roush for me, so it was really pretty simple. Besides, I feel like I know what I need more than anyone else. I know what I want to make me happy and this is cool. I'm very excited about being involved with Ford, too, because from what I understand about their corporate culture right now, they're on their way up and it's gonna be good here so I want to be a part of that. I want to help out."
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ROUSH THAT'S WHAT YOU WANTED?
"There are a few things. Robbie Reiser running the place, that's a big deal for me. More and more I'm understanding how important that is. Things we've been doing with this car of tomorrow to make it better, I feel like it's very efficient how everyone is working and it's making the cars faster, and I feel like our engine program has a lot in the near future that's gonna be great. Plus, my pit crew, I've struggled since I've been here with changing people and having different pit crew guys, and I feel like finally with Robbie managing that I've got a group of guys that are going to be really good over the next three years. I kind of know everything and where it's headed. We're winning right now and I think it's gonna be better, so that kind of made it easy for me."
HOW MANY YEARS?
"I'll just say it's multi-year."
"A week is a long time around here (laughing). It's a great contract. It's a dream contract for me and I'm really excited about it."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE BOB BACK?
"It's good to have Bob back. To have Chris Andrews and Robbie Reiser on the box and have Bob back at the shop working, I think it showed the depth of our team, but its definitely good to have Bob back. We won a lot of races together and at least Robbie won't be calling me Matt on Sunday's, so it's good (laughing)."
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU COMMUNICATE WITH BOB ON A WEEKEND?
"First of all, Bob and I are friends, so we talk about everything anyway, but all day Friday, Saturday and then on the radio Sunday you end up talking to that guy that's sitting on the box and I didn't realize until Bob was gone how well we communicated -- all of the little things. He could tell from the inflection of my voice about how I felt about certain things, so that chemistry that everyone always talks about, now I really understand it."
HOW MUCH DID YOU COMMUNICATE WHILE HE WAS GONE?
"We communicated a lot while he was gone, but when he's not right there it's a big hindrance. That's a serious penalty to not have your crew chief, but I tried to communicate as much as I could."
WHAT WAS THE CRAZIEST THING YOU DID AS FAR AS COMMUNICATING WITH HIM?
"I don't know what the craziest thing was, but I'd call him in the middle of the night. I woke him up a couple of times. I was just thinking about stuff for the race on Sunday and one time I called him and it had to be 11:30 or 12 o'clock there and he was dead asleep and wasn't very excited about that, but when he's that close like he is here, I can go ask him anything. It's hard because you think about it all day and then something will pop in your head."
HOW WILL YOU ATTACK THIS TRACK?
"The number one thing to attack this place is to run well in practice and to work really hard today, and we figured out a lot of things. Now it's up to the engineers because we're practicing in conditions that are completely different to what we're gonna race in, so as a driver you go and do the best you can, but this is really a crew chief and engineers race as far as the setup is concerned."
SO THIS IS A GOOD RACE FOR BOB TO BE BACK.
"Oh yeah, this is a good race for Bob to be back. Chris Andrews is doing a great job, but for Bob to be here and for us to get back in the swing of it is good. It's definitely good that we got this penalty out of the way so early in the season. This could be a terrible thing leading up to the chase."
HOW HARD IS IT TO WIN THESE RACES?
"It's really hard to win these races. That's why everybody is so excited when they do. We had spectacular cars on those mile-and-a-halves starting and then Kyle has done a great job. It's like you can get on a roll, but then it's real simple to lose it. It's really hard to stay on top of this sport at this level, that's for sure. That's why those wins are so special."
HOW DIFFERENT IS THE CAR THIS TIME FROM LAST TIME?
"The tires are a little different. We were so good here last time that it's frustrating they changed them, but they changed them at Phoenix as well and we adapted to that, so I'm hoping that by the time we get to the race, we can look at all the data we've picked up in the last couple of hours and we'll be fast. But anytime you come with a different tire, it kind of throws you a little bit of a curveball."
ARE YOU ABLE TO ADJUST ON THE TRACK OR LOOK AT THE DATA FIRST?
"You have to adjust, but a tire change is tough sometimes because it makes your car do different things in the middle of the corner and off the corner. Right now, this tire is extremely loose off the corner for me, so I almost feel like a broken record. Everytime we go out I say, 'Hey, that's better, but it's still too loose off,' so it's hard to decide how far you want to go to change for that tire."
WHAT DOES THE CAR FEEL LIKE?
"In the middle of the corner the left-side tires will chatter a little bit -- just a real high-frequency chatter, and then off the corner the rear end just steps out and it's really loose, so you really have to be delicate with the throttle. It looks like Mark Martin is really fast. I'm sure there's some combination you can get that will work with it, we just don't have it quite yet."
DOES THAT FIT HIS STYLE?
"Oh, yeah. Mark can grind it out on the bottom of a race track and make his car work as good as anyone, so I think he's gonna be really tough."
-credit: ford racing