CARL EDWARDS -60-Dish Network Ford Fusion (Finished 1st) "That was a blast. The car was so great in practice. The Dish Network Fusion was so awesome that I felt really confident going in. I felt like it was our race to lose, and then they...
CARL EDWARDS -60-Dish Network Ford Fusion (Finished 1st)
"That was a blast. The car was so great in practice. The Dish Network Fusion was so awesome that I felt really confident going in. I felt like it was our race to lose, and then they dropped the green flag and we went backwards like a rock. I was really nervous there for a little while because I thought we must have missed something. PK (Pierre Kuettel, crew chief) and the guys did a great job of regrouping. I was feeling pretty rough there and they made the car a lot better. They made some pretty good-sized changes for this place and the car got better. The right-front wheel kept coining loose, and I don't know if it was because it was chattering and it was making it loosen up, but I told them, I said, 'Man, I think the right-front's falling off.' We pulled in the pits, and they said that sure enough it was. That happened one more time and we got a lucky pit break, and at the end they took some extra time and got the wheel tight. We came out third because of that, but the car was so great that I took my time and it made it pretty simple to get back up to the front. I can't thank my guys enough for having such a great car and being able to respond to the adversity today."
"I'll never forget that night. We came down here and I felt like we had a car that was as strong as the car was today. We were leading the points and we were rolling around and they said, 'One to go. One to go to the green.' If they would have thrown that green flag, we would have got the points, but as we were going into one it started raining and they didn't throw the green. That was a tough one. That really hurt. I didn't realize how bad it hurt us there until the end of the year came around and we really needed those points. Racing doesn't ever owe you anything, but it sure does feel good to run as well as we have lately here. It's such an awesome facility. I was looking around today and I can't believe how nice this race track is. We pulled in, and I brought two folks with me that hadn't ever been to this track and the first thing that they said, 'Is this track new? It looks nice and the track is beautiful.' That's the long version. I love racing here for a lot of reasons, but that night, you're right, it was a rough one."
"I don't know that I've ever raced on a day this cold. Maybe on a local race track - the ice breaker in the springtime when it's the first time out - sometimes it's pretty cold. This is a pretty chilly day to race. I guess it's awesome to know that that many fans came out on such a cold day. For us, we're probably the most comfortable folks in the house on a cold day."
"The cars are usually about 40 or 50 degrees warmer than it is outside. It was nice in the car. It was great. It's a great day to be a race car driver as far as comfort."
"I don't have any general goals to beat records. The goal that I have every day is to be the best race car driver that day. If we run 30th, that's what we do, but if we win the thing, that's what we can do. I guess, no. It's awesome to have our year compared to Kevin Harvick's last season because that was just amazing. Like everyone else, I couldn't believe how well they ran. Hopefully we can run that well this year."
"I just really enjoy racing. We had a little circle down the street that we rode our bicycles around in the dirt, and I would run 100-lap features by myself just imagining that I was racing, as a kid. I think that's what a lot of these guys - guys like Kenny Schrader and Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon and all these guys - I think they really enjoy driving. I think we're the happiest when we're driving race cars. That's nice of my competitors to have respect for that. I have a lot of respect for them. It's neat. I was thinking about it with a couple of laps to go: I'm leading this race at a beautiful race track and it's a holiday weekend and I'm doing exactly what I love to do and people are paying me for it. I feel very fortunate and I truly enjoy it."
"My thoughts going into Texas as far as the Nextel Cup season is concerned... We have had a spectacular season so far in the Busch Series. The Cup season, I feel like we have a lot of ground still to make up there. I feel like our Office Depot team can be a lot better. I can do a little bit better. My pit crew has been working really hard. Bob Osborne and our new engineer have been working really hard. The thing that I'm nervous about in the Cup Series, I don't know if this Car of Tomorrow is going to be good for us or not. I can't quite tell yet. I definitely am excited to go to Texas with the success that we've had there. Hopefully we can continue to run in the top 10 and make the Chase, and by that time be good enough to make a rally for the championship."
"I wasn't too sure. I've seen Jason Leffler do some amazing things. I used to hang around the No. 2 truck and kinda help them out in the summers when I was really young. I got to see him drive and how great of a driver he is. You never know. You never know if on that last stop if they made some adjustment and that he was going to be screaming fast. I knew that we were going to be all right when he started getting held up behind that 20 car and he couldn't get by him, the lapped car. That gave me a lot of hope. At first, he got out there and I thought this could go a couple of different ways and hopefully we're fast."
PIERRE KUETTEL, Crew Chief
"We were a little worried about the wheel deal. We thought we were pretty confident coming into this deal. I was a little surprised that the car was that tight, but I guess it was so cool and it had cooled off a lot more than I thought, and we were just kinda really plowing in the middle. We made some pretty wholesale changes with air pressure and the car came back to life. Once that happened, Carl got back pulling through there, I think, on that second stop after we freed it up, he just came right back up on the leaders. It was looking pretty good. Then we had the incident with the wheel. We're going to go back and research that and find out why that happened. It happened one more time after that. It was about after 40 laps. We caught a break on that last caution and it was only 40 laps from the end, so we knew we were pretty good to go; we spent that little bit of time. We lost two spots in the picots, but as good as the car was, we knew he was going to make it back."
"No, not really. We were pretty fortunate that yesterday the temperatures were relatively close to today. Like I said earlier, I must have missed it a little bit because I couldn't believe that it was as tight as it was in the first part of the run. Luckily we were able to adjust that with air pressure and get right back to where we were."
"He's not pushing the button when he's screaming. He's always said, 'I'm always yelling inside this car. You should hear what I say before I push the button.' He was pretty calm today. Like I said, I think he got a little bit down on that first part because we were so tight, and we were so good yesterday, but once we made those adjustments and the car came back around he was full focus again. He was all right."
-credit: ford racing