CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Finished 1st) TALK ABOUT THE EARLY-RACE INCIDENT. "I don't know how to explain the feeling. I didn't know exactly how that was going to turn out. I was pretty sure that that was going to be a very bad...
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
TALK ABOUT THE EARLY-RACE INCIDENT.
"I don't know how to explain the feeling. I didn't know exactly how that was going to turn out. I was pretty sure that that was going to be a very bad day after that first-lap incident. I don't think it was anyone's fault; we were both racing probably just a little bit too hard. Dennis (Setzer) got loose, which happens when you're inside of a guy. We hit the wall and I have to hand it to my Superchips crew. Cowboy (Kevin Starland, crew chief), we argue an awful lot, but he's a heck of a crew chief; he keeps me in check. They did an unbelievable job. They put the truck back together. They were setting the toe-in out on pit road and we almost went a lap down at one point, but my Superchips guys are unbelievable. I just can't believe we won this race, it still doesn't seem real."
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WIN IN FRONT OF A HOMETOWN CROWD?
"It's unbelievable. I'd be lying to you if I told you I didn't cry after the checkered flag. I grew up in Columbia, Mo., and raced out of my dad's old Volkswagen shop and then out of my mom's garage when he kicked me out of there. I just never in a million years thought that I'd get to race here, so to win here and see that crowd's reaction was unbelievable. I thought there was something wrong with my truck when I was pulling down there to stop and do a back flip because I heard this noise. I shut the engine off and it was the crowd, so that's pretty unbelievable."
KEVIN STARLAND -99- Crew Chief
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING AFTER THE FIRST-LAP INCIDENT?
"I'll tell you what he told me before the start of the race. He said he wasn't going to touch nobody out there, and that lasted for a half of a lap. But, things happen out there and you have to be ready to overcome whatever situation is presented to you. Our guys, we constantly, Carl forces me to have meetings every week and talk about how we get better in situations to repair our truck. Actually, Carl gave us a little bit of training last week that helped us for this week. I'm just real proud of the guys, and Carl did a really good job. I have a hard time keeping him calm because if he gets anywhere close to the lead, he just wants to get out there. Everything just worked out. It started out bad, but we just kept fighting. We have an attitude that we just never give up and we never gave up."
"Cowboy has a strength training program for us every morning. We work out for about 45 minutes. He also has a mental toughness regime that we all follow. It has to do with listening to the same Bob Seger album every morning when we workout on this little radio. I'm telling you, if you don't think that will make you mentally tough, I have news for you. Cowboy is really into condition and I think that paid off today."
YOU CLOSED WITH 34 POINTS OF THE LEAD TODAY.
"We got really lucky there, but I'm telling you, points are not an issue right now. We're just going to go out and run as well as we can and not have such dramatic days as today, but have finishes like this."
TALK ABOUT THE FINAL 15 LAPS WITH BOBBY HAMILTON STALKING YOU FOR THE LEAD.
"I'm just trying not to self-destruct at that point. I wanted to win so badly that I put a lot pressure on myself, so I was singing songs to myself and talking to Josh Baysinger on the radio a little bit and just trying to relax. It's so hard for me to do that as a driver, but I think Josh really helped me. Cowboy came on and joked around with me a little bit. When Bobby Hamilton got behind me there, I knew he was really fast, so my heart starting beating then, but somehow the truck was just perfect. We could run a lot faster than we were at the end. I was just kind of babying it in case we had a restart."
HOW DID THE LACK OF PRACTICE AFFECT THE RACE PACE TODAY?
"I hadn't thought about it like that, but I think what you saw today, all of the incidences and the trucks that weren't handling good were probably a result of that small amount of practice we had this morning. A 30-minute session in completely different conditions, it won't tell you a whole lot. I have to hand it to my crew. They put three completely different spring packages in the truck and let me pick my favorite one. It seemed like we had all of the time in the world, so I don't know how they did it. I was going to point out that Cowboy has this unbelievable ability to strategize and give me the best truck at the end that I can have. I've kind of stepped on my foot a couple of times and ruined that opportunity, but Cowboy always gives me a race-winning truck after the last pit stop, and then it's up to me. I have to hand it to him, I don't know he plans that so well, but it works out."
DID THE TEMPERATURE PLAY A FACTOR TODAY?
"It was a little bit cooler there today. I think the track temp got pretty high there towards the end. I'm not certain what the ambient was, but I think it might have made a little bit of a difference. It still got pretty warm. I was hoping for a really, really hot day. We've worked really hard, both Jon Wood and I, and I think that's paid off a little bit on these hot days. It was hot enough."