CARL EDWARDS -- No. 60 Scotts Miracle Gro Ford Fusion "The cautions were the biggest thing from the beginning. It was just caution after caution. PK and the guys did such a great job with the car. It ran really well on the short runs and it...
CARL EDWARDS -- No. 60 Scotts Miracle Gro Ford Fusion
"The cautions were the biggest thing from the beginning. It was just caution after caution. PK and the guys did such a great job with the car. It ran really well on the short runs and it went great on the long runs and we just dodged some accidents. The most forgettable thing about the day was getting bottled up and spinning out Kyle Busch. I didn't want to see his day ended like that, so that was a bad thing. But, other than that, the end of the race was great. To be able to hold off somebody as great as Matt Kenseth at a place like this means a lot to me. That made the win very special."
PIERRE KUETTEL, Crew Chief:
"I was real worried about Matt Kenseth. Running in there second, it was nice to finish one-two as teammates. He always has a strong car here, but we got this Moisture Control Ford Fusion dialed in and Carl was able to get out front and stay out there."
JACK ROUSH , Car Owner:
"We really enjoy coming down and visiting with Jeff Byrd and Wayne Estes and all the guys down here. They do such a great job. The fans really see the greatest show, I think, in stock car racing here at Bristol. This is just the greatest venue. You race wheel-to-wheel, 15-second laps, 43 cars on the race track and there isn't a bad seat in the house. It's just wonderful. I was watching the race develop and thinking about what a great time the fans were having all the way through. We had great cars today. Todd Kluever did a good job. David Ragan did a nice job. Of course, Matt and Carl, I thought Matt had the best car, but Carl had the position. They came down pit road and made an adjustment in the tire pressure and PK pulled his magic off there and got Carl out to where he could do his business and stay in front, but it was gonna be a tight race. It was gonna be a really tight race with Kyle Busch there. I thought that Kyle Busch probably had the best car. Certainly if he was able to keep it on the rear tires it was gonna be good. It looked like he was a little loose and making black marks there on the straightaway, but we just go to Bristol and we have such a great time. PK, I know, really did a nice job today and, of course, Carl stuck that backflip. I'm really uncomfortable whenever he does that over asphalt like that. I'm not sure what kind of insurance his mother has on him, but I'm sure I don't have enough."
IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE TO RUNNING ON SATURDAY WITH THE CARS BEING DIFFERENT NOW OR WOULD YOU CONSIDER MOVING AWAY FROM SATURDAY SHOWS?
CARL EDWARDS: "The car is a lot different than the car we're gonna race tomorrow. Today's car that we raced in the Busch Series is significantly different, so, yeah, the carryover stuff is a lot less. The competition and the fun and getting to win races is why I race in the Busch Series. It really wouldn't matter to me if we raced on a dirt track outside on Saturdays, I'd still be doing it. I don't know. My mission this year is to win the championship and that's what I'm focused on in the Busch Series. I don't know what I'm gonna do next year, but I sure am enjoying it right now."
ARE YOU ANY LESS WILLING TO FIELD BUSCH TEAMS WITH THE COT BEING SO DIFFERENT.
JACK ROUSH: "First of all, being involved in the Busch Series and, for that matter, the Craftsman Truck Series gives us a chance to develop sponsors that have got a growing appetite and growing means to do things with. As interesting and as much fun as it is to develop young drivers like David Ragan and Todd Kluever and, of course, Danny O'Quinn and the other folks we've had in our program lately, it's been great to bring sponsors that have got growing needs as well. When the cars were similar as they have been, there has been the perceived benefit of being able to see how the tire would act on Saturday and be able to carry that information to Sunday. But the cars are gonna be dramatically different. The car of tomorrow has got altogether different challenges than the Busch car of today has, so I don't think there will be any benefit there. I was curious to see what Carl was gonna say as to whether or not the only reason he raced on Saturday was to benefit his program on Sunday. If there's a race and we've got time and we've got sponsors, we're gonna go race wherever it is on a NASCAR track. Craftsman Trucks, if we could do all three of them the same weekend I would be happy and I'm sure Carl would like to drive all three as well."
DID MATT HAVE A FASTER CAR THAN YOU AND HOW HARD WOULD IT HAVE BEEN TO GET PAST YOU?
CARL EDWARDS: "I don't know. I think my car was just a little bit faster, but it was starting to get extremely loose on corner entry, so I had to hit the corner just perfect and when I'd have a perfect lap, I could pull away about a car length, and when I'd slip up, he'd close back in about a car length. At that point, though, he was probably making better laps on average, so I guess that would make his car a tick faster, but it sure was fun. There's a lot of nerves in that car with like five to go and he's a car length off the bumper. That's exciting. That feeling and that amount of anxiety and anticipation and excitement when you win, that's what makes this so much fun for me."
KYLE BUSCH WAS FRUSTRATED WITH LAP TRAFFIC. WHAT ABOUT YOU?
CARL EDWARDS: "I thought, for the most part, everybody did a good job. I can understand Kyle's frustration. There were one or two guys in particular that were extremely tough to pass and if they weren't so competitive it would have been comical. I didn't understand exactly what they were doing, but that was probably the source of his frustration. I thought for the most part everybody did a really good job. I also want to comment on NASCAR letting Kyle and I come in the pits the second time around because they threw that flag while we were passing the pit opening. I thought that was a class act of them to do that. They could have just as easily said, 'Well, you guys are gonna just have to deal with it,' and that was pretty cool that NASCAR helped us out there."
HOW MUCH HAS THE WINDOW OF INGENUITY CLOSED FOR CUP TEAMS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS? THE BOX IS GETTING SO MUCH SMALLER NOW.
JACK ROUSH: "A lot of young people that come, and, for that matter, people in their middle age that come to own teams like I did in my forties, really saw the chance to be inventive and to have a strategy maybe that would find loopholes in the rulebook -- to do things that other people hadn't thought of. To be able to invent things and put things in combinations that were different, but today NASCAR doesn't really want you to do that. They want you to have an IROC-type car, just like everybody else's car, and leave it for the drivers to settle. For the teams like I do, that have got great drivers, I guess it doesn't make a pound of difference either way, but it's not as interesting to me. If they'd set the rules at the beginning of the year and let you find holes and make things that were different than anybody else's part, and put them on your race car and use them until the time rolled around for the next calendarization of a revision of the rulebook, it would be great. Looking at five years ago, I don't know what the numbers are but I'm gonna pick a number and I'm gonna say we had 20 templates for our car. Today we've got 100. It's five times more complex and it's gotten increasingly complex every year. They've got this egg crate on the front end, an egg crate with a hydraulic mechanism -- maybe it's electric in winch -- but then they've got such an inspection crate envelope for the outside of the car that there's not nearly the room for the crew chiefs who would look at the car and talk to the car like Harry Hogge did and go out and have a conversation with the car and talk to the wind and go out and make its magic work. You can't do that today. Everybody has pretty much got the same car. After practice today, after happy hour, we sat and we talked with the engineers and the crew chiefs and there isn't the reason to have the cars different as there has been in the past. If you understand what the best car is -- a Chevrolet, a Ford, a Dodge or a Toyota -- you put that package of springs and shocks in it and the drivers will be able to drive it. The good drivers will be able to drive it with good effect, so, yeah, it's definitely given the race teams a lot less opportunity to really do things different and better. I think there's gonna be pretty much one package that's gonna be best for every one of these tracks we go to and the sooner people get on it and the sooner they're able to adopt it, it's gonna work regardless of manufacturer and, to me, that won't be as interesting as it's been in the past, but that's the way it is."
Continued in part 2