This Week in Ford Racing 2004-06-08

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 F-150, had a dominant truck last weekend in Dover, but an untimely caution flag cost the Roush Racing driver a chance at the victory. Edwards bounced back from the misfortune, ...

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 F-150, had a dominant truck last weekend in Dover, but an untimely caution flag cost the Roush Racing driver a chance at the victory. Edwards bounced back from the misfortune, however, by posting a 14th-place finish, and closed the gap in the points standings to first-place Dennis Setzer to 20 points. The truck series makes its first of two trips to Texas Motor Speedway this season for Friday's O'Reilly 400K, a track where Edwards posted two top-five finishes last year.

CARL EDWARDS -99-Superchips Ford F-150

YOU ARE CURRENTLY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT AS THE SERIES HEADS TO TEXAS THIS WEEKEND. HOW DIFFERENT OF A SITUATION IS THIS FROM LAST YEAR? "The only real championship hunts that I've been in before were at the local dirt track. We've gotten off to a good enough start this season that now the focus is on winning races and hopefully the championship. Dover is the perfect example. As soon as we ended up getting caught in the pits and under the yellow flag, Cowboy (Kevin Starland, crew chief) came across the radio and said, 'Hey, now we're in survival mode, let's think about the championship hunt and get every position you can, but don't panic.'"

ROUSH RACING HAS WON THREE NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH TWO DRIVERS - MATT KENSETH AND GREG BIFFLE. HAVE YOU GONE TO EITHER OF THOSE DRIVERS FOR ADVICE? "Not so much advice. I haven't really gone around and asked anybody anything, but I've just taken note of how Matt Kenseth won the Cup championship last year through a lot of consistency and always being there at the end. I paid attention at the banquet last season watching Travis Kvapil's year in review, and it seemed like the common theme was that he was always there at the end and always finishing races. He finished every lap but one lap. One of our goals this season is to finish every lap of every lap at every race. So far we've finished every lap but one this season, and that's one thing we're pretty proud of. I'm approaching it a little differently than last year. I'm not taking as many chances on the race track and I think those things will kind of help at the end of the day. I'm always frustrated if we don't win, but if we can make the most out of each race as far as getting the most points we can even if we're having a bad day, I'm learning that that's OK, too."

YOU FINISHED SECOND IN THE O'REILLY 400K AT TEXAS LAST YEAR, A RACE WHICH TURNED AROUND YOUR SEASON. TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT THAT RACE HAD ON YOUR PSYCHE. "Dover last year was the lowest point of my career. I hadn't proven myself at all. We destroyed two trucks and that was just a really bad weekend. We went to Texas the next week and it was neat because I assumed everyone would be down on me, but no one said anything negative, everybody was really positive and that made me realize that it could only get better. We went to Texas with a fresh outlook and finished second, and that was an awesome run and it really turned our season around. I'm excited about going back to Texas where we tested there. Cowboy and I found some good setup stuff that we're going to use for the race, and I really plan on running well there."

YOU SEEM TO HAVE A STRONG BOND WITH YOUR CREW CHIEF, KEVIN "COWBOY" STARLAND. "I couldn't ask for anything more because right now Cowboy is awesome. We're so different that it yields great results. He's really calm and collected, organized and a great planner. When we go to a test or a race he has everything planned out, all of the changes he wants to make. He makes lists for everything. He does a great job organizing the deal, and I'm the exact opposite. I get off on a tangent and want to try all of this stuff and we usually end up meeting in the middle and it works out well."

YOU MENTIONED AT THE CHARLOTTE RACE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO COMPETE IN MORE RACES NEXT SEASON. ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR VENUES WHERE THE TRUCK SERIES DOESN'T COMPETE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO VISIT? "I'd really like to go road-course racing. I think that would be a lot of fun. Some of the tracks, I'd just like to go there twice in the course of a year. I really like Dover and I always wanted to race at Rockingham. We test at Chicago and that's a place I think we need to take the trucks and race. The thing is just to run more places. A lot of these places, I just wish we went there twice, like Phoenix, Dover and even to go back to Daytona would be awesome."

THERE ARE LESS AND LESS NEXTEL CUP DRIVERS TRYING TO PULL THE CUP-BUSCH DOUBLE AS THE SEASON PROGRESSES. IF GREG BIFFLE WERE TO MISS A BUSCH START, DO YOU WANT TO FILL IN FOR HIM? "I'd love to do it. I'm up for running a race anywhere, it doesn't matter to me. I'd like to race as much as I possibly can. If that opportunity comes up, I'd jump at it, but I haven't been told that he will stop pulling double duty."

IS THERE ONE PARTICULAR DRIVER AT ROUSH RACING THAT HAS BEEN A MENTOR TO YOU DURING YOUR TENURE? "Really, they've all been nice to me. Any time that I have any questions, I can go to any of them and they all treat me really well. For instance, I hadn't talked to Kurt Busch for months and I went over to him in Dover and talked to him about that race track the morning of our race. He was standing there in his driver's suit in the middle of practice talking to me for five minutes giving me great advice. They're all great and I think they've all been through what I'm going through and they're willing to help and I appreciate that."

-ford-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Dennis Setzer , Carl Edwards , Travis Kvapil