Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ford, fresh off of his two-victory weekend last week in Atlanta enters the Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway as the leader in the point standings for the first time this season. Edwards, who...
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ford, fresh off of his two-victory weekend last week in Atlanta enters the Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway as the leader in the point standings for the first time this season. Edwards, who visited Nashville's victory lane in 2003 with a truck series win, talked about his week following his first career Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series wins.
CARL EDWARDS-60-Charter Communications Ford Taurus
WHAT ARE THOUGHTS ABOUT COMING TO THIS TRACK A WEEK AFTER CAPTURING YOUR FIRST BUSCH AND CUP WINS? "I love this race track. It's a lot of fun and it's really neat to race on, especially at night. I know the truck race was a day race here. I'm pretty excited to run this race tomorrow. I think it's going to be neat."
THE TROPHY FOR WINNING THE RACE IS A GUITAR. CAN YOU PLAY THE GUITAR? "I can play the guitar just enough that people ask me to quit playing. That guitar would be awesome. The guitar that we won in 2003 is probably the neatest trophy I've ever got."
HOW HAS THIS WEEK BEEN FOR YOU? "It's been a lot of fun. The neatest part of that win last week has been from hearing everyone, and all of the folks that have called me up just to congratulate me. It's been a little overwhelming, but it's been really neat and a lot of fun. It means a lot to me that everyone is so excited and they're truly happy for me. I think that's the most rewarding part of that win."
NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST BUSCH AND CUP WINS, DO YOU APPROACH THE RACES ANY DIFFERENTLY? "For me, whatever I've been doing to this point has been working pretty well and I don't think any different. It's all just a great feeling of accomplishment. In pursuit of that feeling, I think I'm just doing the same thing that I've been doing and working just as hard or harder to try to win more. I don't see any reason why I should change really anything."
HOW LONG DID YOU RELISH THE CUP VICTORY LAST WEEK? "I hate to say this, but to be honest with you, the real true feeling of total excitement and disbelief lasted for about that victory lap, and by the time I got back to the start-finish line I had already thought that we're going to Bristol and we're going to have work to win another race. That's how racing is. You get to race every weekend which is a Godsend on weeks after you run poorly, but you're only the race winner until the next time we race. I'm aware of that. That win is always going to be with me and it's always going to be something very special to me, but it's just one step."
HOW MUCH OF THAT MOMENTUM FROM ATLANTA IS CARRIED INTO THIS WEEKEND'S EVENT? "You see that happen all of the time, and I'm aware of that, and the only way a win could affect you negatively is if you change your process, or if you change the things you do to go out and win. There's no reason to rest on a win. I think you should take it for what it is. It's a result of a lot of hard work and it's a great result, and if you expect that result again it takes the same process to get there. For me, that's something that I'm very conscious of and always have been since I started racing. A win doesn't change anything; you have to continue to not let that get in the way. I can see how you could rest on it a little bit too much and have a little bit too much fun celebrating or get a feeling that you're better because of it, but that's not the case here. I understand what it is."
IS COMPETING IN TWO SERIES FULL TIME BEGINNING TO WEAR YOU DOWN? "Not at all. I love racing. That's why I started racing because it's the most fun thing in the world. To me, getting to drive a race car is as good as it gets and I'm getting to the point now in the Busch Series and the Cup Series where I really feel comfortable in the race cars, so there's really not that nervous tension before a race now. Now I can get into the race car and truly love it and it's a blast. The more races I can do the better. That's the part that I love."
YOU SEEMED TO STRUGGLE WITH YOUR BACK FLIP AFTER SUNDAY'S 500-MILE RACE. "I watched that flip from Sunday and that was really ugly. I actually worked on it a little bit this week at the gym. I think I'll do the next one a lot better. The flips are easy. You just have to actually put some effort into them. I didn't put much effort into it Sunday. I was just so excited about the win that I was like, 'It's no big deal, I'll just flip.' They'll be better than that, I promise."
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR THE BACK FLIP? "Tyler Walker gave me the idea. I heard a rumor that he's been working on something better than the flip that's he's going to one-up me when he wins his first Busch race. He may be bluffing, so I'm not going to step my program up just because of that. I'm going to wait to see what he does and then hopefully we'll have a little battle there. That's fine with me."
HAVE YOU EVER FAILED TO COMPLETE A BACK FLIP? "I almost missed on Sunday, but, no. It's pretty simple off of the door from that height. I did miss once when I was playing racquetball with my buddy. I was being an idiot jumping off the wall and doing a flip. I went right on my head and that was pretty ugly. That's the only time that I really thought I was going to hurt myself."
HAS ANYBODY EXPRESSED CONCERN WITH YOUR CELEBRATION? "If the fans like it, it's just something I want to do. If I don't feel like doing it I won't do it, but, man, if I feel like doing it I'm just going to do it. I think it's just a fun way of showing how excited I am to win. And it's pretty cool; the kids like it a lot. Some old women really like it a lot. I don't know what it is, but they sit there and say, 'I just love that back flip.' It's fun to see the reaction of some of the people that really like it."
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT OLD WOMEN LIKE THE BACK FLIP? "Somebody was telling me the other day that their 80-year-old grandmother was so excited about that win and that she really liked the back flip. I can't remember how the story exactly went, but essentially, this woman was really, really excited about it and I thought that was really cool to have an 80-year-old grandmother out there stand up in her living room chair. That says a lot about our sport and that's a pretty cool day."
HAVE YOU EVER THANKED JEFF BURTON FOR THE CHANCE YOU GOT IN NEXTEL CUP? "I thanked Jeff Burton long before Sunday. Jeff Burton was a guy that I felt like him and I had a lot of parallels to the way we approached things and the way we looked at racing. He helped me a ton from the very beginning when I first started at Roush. He even spotted for me at Loudon in 2003. He took it upon himself to stand up there all day. He was funny because he was so excited about it. He was going along, and I've had a lot of spotters, but I never had one cheer for me on the radio. I passed somebody and he cued up the mike, 'All right. Way to go.' I thought there was a wreck and he's just screaming in the microphone. He's a cool guy and he's been very supportive of me. We talked a lot about it when that was going on, when he was moving to the other team and I got to drive the 99 car. We're on really good terms and I have a tone of respect for Jeff Burton."
HAS IT SUNK IN YET WITH HOW MUCH YOU'VE GONE THROUGH IN THE PAST THREE YEARS? "For sure. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities that I've had, and some of the good fortune that we've had is a little bit eerie with just how well things have gone. I'm aware that that's not normal, and that I've been very lucky. I've really tried to appreciate every minute of it and not take it for granted. This is as good as it gets in the profession that I'm in, so this is awesome."
YOU WON HERE IN THE TRUCK SERIES. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RUN FOR THE WIN AT NASHVILLE? "I think this track because it's so straightforward and smooth, and there seems to be one fast line from what I can tell, it takes a perfect car setup. You have to really value practice sessions and make sure you set the car up perfectly, and it's going to take really good pit stops. I think that if another guy is really good and he's in front of you, it's going to be hard to pass. I know that's what it took when we won that first truck race here. Our truck was just perfect, so that's what we're searching for these practice sessions. We're putting a lot of value on these practice sessions and a lot of effort."