Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, sits sixth in the point standings and trails leader Jimmie Johnson by 247 points. He spoke about returning to Texas and a track he has had great success at over the years, after Friday's first...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Subway Ford Fusion, sits sixth in the point standings and trails leader Jimmie Johnson by 247 points. He spoke about returning to Texas and a track he has had great success at over the years, after Friday's first practice session.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR ATTEMPTS TO GET BACK IN VICTORY LANE HERE AT TEXAS. "Well it has started out great. I think Greg, Matt and I are 1-2-3 right now after the first practice. We are all very fast in qualifying trim, so hopefully we can qualify well. I am not sure if they are still giving away that shotgun for qualifying, but it would be really neat to win that. I feel like we have a good draw and a good shot at it. I haven't run any race trim in practice yet, but Greg and Matt did and they look very fast. Hopefully we can run like we have run here in the past. That would be exactly what we need right now."
HAVE YOU EVER DRIVEN AN INDY CAR AND WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN DOING THE DOUBLE? "I have talked to a couple of the Indy Car guys very briefly about what it is like to drive those cars. I would love to be able to do it. That would be a great challenge and something that I think would be a lot of fun. I don't think that it would be smart for a guy like myself to just go over and try to run that one race. I think you would want to test and do all that stuff. If it were possible and if I had already won a Cup championship and there was no risk of messing up my season with injury, then I would definitely jump at the chance to do it. That would be something I would love to do."
ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT ROUSH FENWAY AS A GROUP ISN'T HIGHER UP IN POINTS NOW AND HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED ANYTHING THAT IS THE REASON FOR THAT? "The biggest thing is that our performance has not been where it needs to be. We ran really well there for a stretch, but we have yet to have dominant race cars. In this sport you have to have very fast race cars to make up for the days like we had at California. If you take California out of the mix and just put us in our average finishing position there, we would be like 100 points higher as a group. In general I feel like we are doing a very good job with what we have at the race track. We are slowly trying to make the performance of the car a little better and if we can do that we will be good. I think gone are the days where you find an advantage and just dominate. I think it is all about who runs really well and doesn't have any trouble. In my head, that is where I see it. If we can just run a little better and have some good luck we will be alright. You can't run like we are running and have a little bad luck and expect to be in the top two or three of points."
WITH THE ECONOMY HOW IT IS NOW, DO YOU FIND YOURSELF CONSIDERING SPONSORS THAT MAYBE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE FIVE YEARS AGO? "I think everybody in the sport has had proposals that come by where you say you don't think it fits your brand or the brand of the team. I have been very fortunate to represent folks that make products or deliver services that I believe in. There have been some sponsors where I have said I would rather not participate in that, but I don't know if that would really change for me considering the economy. I haven't gotten to that point. I feel like we still have a really healthy group of sponsors. I think the thing that we talked about at Charlotte with Avon coming on, that is somebody that is right now outside of the sport. They are looking at it and thinking that it is a good spot to be and that is a good thing, which is a good sign. What has gone on with the recent elections and stock market and stuff has given people some more sunshine. For us, like I said, we haven't gotten to that point yet. I feel like the sponsors I have I believe in and don't have to compromise my integrity or anything to do something that I normally wouldn't do."
HOW DO YOU SEE THIS THING PLAYING OUT WITH THREE GUYS SEPERATED BY 38 POINTS. DO YOU THINK DENNY AND KEVIN HAVE A CHANCE? "I don't think anyone can predict how this is going to end. It is too close right now between those guys. Past history would say that Jimmie will probably pull it off, but I think Denny still has more wins that anybody and he has done a really good job. He won this race in the spring and Phoenix is one of his best tracks and Homestead, nobody knows what will happen there. We will be running in the daytime, which will be a little bit different, so I think it is up in the air. I think it comes down to who has a mistake or a part failure or something. It could come down to the last lap of the race at Homestead, which would be pretty cool I think."
DO YOU LOOK AT DENNY HAMLIN AS A THROWBACK TYPE OF DRIVER, HAVING COME FROM A TRADITIONAL, SOUTHERN, LATE-MODEL ROUTE TO GET HERE? "I don't know. I don't know enough about how Denny grew up racing or him personally. I don't know enough about him to really put him in a group or label him as something. He is a good race car driver. He drives his heart out. I know that he raced late models and things like that in the Richmond area, but that is kind of the extent of what I know about him."
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT RUNNING FOR OFFICE? YOU ARE PRETTY POLISHED. " No way! I have spent enough time in Washington to know that job is way too scary for me. There is no way I could do that."
NOT EVEN AT THE LOCAL LEVEL AS MAYOR OR SOMETHING? "No. What little I know about politics is that it seems like it would be the toughest job there is and I don't want anything to do with that. I did run for class President one time. I did alright in elementary school and not so well in high school. I couldn't do that, no way."
IT SOUNDS LIKE ONE OF THE NATIONWIDE OPTIONS FOR NEXT YEAR MIGHT BE ALLOWING THE CUP GUYS TO RUN THE RACES WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP. HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING MORE? "What have you heard, I haven't heard anything for a month or so."
THAT IS ALL I HAVE HEARD, THAT CUP DRIVERS COULD RUN THE SCHEDULE BUT NOT RUN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. "I don't know. I hope we can run for the championship. I am a principal based person. It seems odd to make rules that keep certain drivers out, based on where they race. I always think back to if I want to go race at my local dirt track they don't treat me any differently. Right now Brad is doing very well, but I am not dominating or anything like that. I hope we can run for the championship and do what has been done historically. To me the greatest achievement in NASCAR would be winning both championships in one year. That would be spectacular. I don't know if it will ever happen, but it would be a neat opportunity."
ARE YOU GOING TO RUN NEXT YEAR? "I have committed to running the full thing, but I am going at it like I can run for the championship and I believe my sponsors are too. I don't know exactly how it is all going to work out. I think I might be the only full time Cup guy potentially doing it. It would be nice to be able to do it, but I don't know what is going to happen. It is kind of funny that nobody is saying anything about it. It would be nice to know."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TREVOR BAYNE COMING OVER TO THE FORD CAMP AND JUMPING INTO THE 21 THIS WEEKEND? "I noticed when I went over to sign in this morning that Trevor's name, it looked like he was the first guy to sign in on the sheet. You can tell he is ready to go. I think he is a great guy. I am really glad he came over here because he will help our team. He is good enough that he could be part of the future of Roush Fenway racing. Hopefully he has success like he should. I think running this Cup car will help him. The more he can run the Cup car the better he will be in the Nationwide car. It helped me a lot when I started running it. It changed the way I drove in the other series."
-source: ford racing