Post Race Winner's Press Conference DREW BLICKENSDERFER - No. 60 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion - crew chief CARL EDWARDS - No. 60 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion - driver HOW DID THINGS LOOK OUT THERE FOR YOU TODAY? DREW BLICKENSDERFER: "Bobby [East],...
Post Race Winner's Press Conference
DREW BLICKENSDERFER - No. 60 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion - crew chief
CARL EDWARDS - No. 60 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion - driver
HOW DID THINGS LOOK OUT THERE FOR YOU TODAY?
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: "Bobby [East], he was real nervous yesterday and today. This is an opportunity for him. It's a tough situation to be a driver who's trying to prove himself, that he can drive and he can go out there and do it. But at the same time [he] knows, ultimately, his job is to just give feedback and not damage the car. And that's a fine line. To go really fast, you have to be on the edge and Bobby did a good job of that. He was nervous and we worked and talked through it. He gave us great feedback and kept us in a basic standard short track mode for us. The four springs, shocks and sway bars and stuff from all the short tracks we've had with Carl are real, real close. So, we knew a basic thing and Bobby helped fine tune that in for us."
THE WIN TODAY GETS YOU WITHIN 116 POINTS OF CLINT BOWYER. TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE EXPERIENCE TODAY.
CARL EDWARDS: "It was fun all day. I had a great time. I forgot to thank Bobby East on TV in victory lane there. Bobby East and his father have done a lot for racing and today they did a lot for us. Bobby couldn't have had the car any more balanced. It was just classic short track stuff, a little bit tight in the center and a little free off. We did some air pressure and got it as good as we could. That sure says a lot of Bobby East to be able to run that whole race and not turn a screw on the car, really. We just made a couple of air pressure adjustments. [I] Had a really good time. Drew's call early on to pit and then we stayed out and got that lucky caution for us was a genius call. It put us in a position to really put everybody a lap down or two laps down as it was. That was awesome. I don't know if it was that much fun for the fans, but it sure was great for me to realize that we only had to race five or six people for the rest of the day. I just can't believe that last restart. Reutimann was all over me and all he had to do was bump me out of the way and that would have been a lot different race. If I ever wear another guy's t-shirt, it will be a David Reutimann t-shirt. That was amazing how clean he raced me at the end."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CALL AND WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND IT?
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: "A lot of the calls you make that turn out that good have to be lucky. The thing that I learned over the last couple of years crew chiefing cars from the good wins, the Jimmy Fennings, the Robbie Reisers and the people like that, that make good pit calls, is you weigh the pluses and minuses. You err to the plus side as much as possible. There wasn't any negative for us, at all. If we came in and pitted and I knew that the people behind us were going to pit and we were running 19th, we'd come out the same spot with four tires. And that's what happened. I knew people, based on last year, were worried about track position and they didn't want to come. If we had 30 or 40 lap fresher tires and just happened to go long, which it did, we would be in a much better position situation than they were. To have it go out that good, there was obviously luck involved in that. Just weighing the pluses and minuses, there were more pluses than there were negatives to that."
DID YOU FEEL THE TRACK OWED YOU ONE BECAUSE YOU HAD A CHANCE CLINCH THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
CARL EDWARDS: "No, no tracks can ever owe you one. I definitely looked forward to it because of how well we'd run. We've run really well. We had the race where Harvick and I had a battle with a green-white-checkered and we had a right rear tire with a hole in it and he got by me and that one was hard to swallow. Man, I wanted to win that race. For me, this place is special. I ran my very first stock car race, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race here for Mike Mittler. That was a huge day for me. It's so strange now to look back on that race. I remember that thing being the biggest marathon. I could hardly take my helmet off afterwards, I was so tired and worn out and spent. This was really where my career in NASCAR started. So to come back here and leave as a winner is very special."
NOW THAT YOU'VE WON THE TROPHY, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GETTING THAT PARTICULAR TROPHY?
CARL EDWARDS: "I've never seen that trophy. I never really realized how neat it is. A bronze Elvis is about as cool as it gets. That's pretty neat. I'm very excited to win that trophy. I didn't know how neat it was until they brought it up there."
YOU CAUGHT A LOT OF POINTS TODAY. WILL YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE PRESSURE UP? WILL CLINT NEED TO MAKE ANOTHER MISTAKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT?
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: "Yeah, that team is good. They're really good. And we've talked about that all year. We've won five races since I came over here and we've only gained 140 points on somebody. We wouldn't have thought that. Their bad days aren't bad. They finished 16th or 15th or something today. They're a really good race team. You're probably gonna have to have another day like this for us to beat them, I think. Our goal is to win every single week. And until it gets within 15 or 20 or something at Homestead, we don't points race. You go out there and until there's five to go, you're trying to win the race and then you judge it during the race, trying to scale back and say, 'How can we salvage points?' It will probably take a hiccup from them, and a hiccup from them is finishing 10th. They are that good of a team. We'll try and win the next three races and then if they have a hiccup and finish 10th, then we'll make it a battle maybe."
WILL CARL RUN THE FULL SCHEDULE AGAIN NEXT YEAR IN NATIONWIDE? WILL YOU BE BACK WITH HIM? OR IS THERE A CUP SERIES IN THE FUTURE FOR YOU?
DREW BLICKENSDERFER: "No, I'm going to be back with Carl next year. We talked about it this week, actually, Carl and I did. The 60 car is a premier job. You would be crazy to want to go somewhere to change this. And I don't. I love working with Carl. I love working with the 60 guys. Running every single week is fun as a racer. And getting to do it with him is pretty special. So, yes."
CARL EDWARDS: "Well, Jack will steal him sometime, if he keeps doing this good."
AS THE CHASE HAS GONE ON, DOES THIS TAKE SOME OF THE STING OUT OF IT?
CARL EDWARDS: "Anytime you win a race, it's great. Our performances in the Chase have been spectacular. We've run really well. A couple of our results, two weeks in a row, we lost a total of about 200 points. So, this is a very fickle sport though, especially when it comes down to points. Things can change dramatically very quickly, so yeah, this is a good win. We've got a great race car over there in Atlanta. We were fastest in both practices. Like Drew said, it's going take Jimmie Johnson and those guys having probably two bad days out of the last four to catch them. But, yeah, it feels good to win. That puts a little spring in your step."
WHAT'S THE CAR DOING FOR YOU IN ATLANTA?
CARL EDWARDS: "I'm real excited about tomorrow. The car was real fast today. It was real fast and the balance wasn't even that great. Bob [Osborne, crew chief] is gonna work on it a little bit and it should be really good. I hope it's like it was in the spring where it's just a dominant car. Essentially, we have to go win the next four in that series to get where we need to get. But I couldn't be more excited about it. Atlanta is a blast. This is one of the most fun weekends of the year. Racing here is fun and the track surface; I hope they never repave it. It's perfect. It's slippery; you can slide all over the place and have a lot of fun on the tires. And Atlanta is the same way. It's a really great race track, both of them."
THE NEXT THREE CUP RACES ARE GREAT FOR YOU, BUT THEY'RE ALSO GREAT TRACKS FOR JIMMIE. HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT?
CARL EDWARDS: "Things always work out how they're supposed to, one way or another. All we do is go run as hard as we can. If we can win the last four and Jimmie finishes second, he's still going to win the championship, but if we can do that, we'll have done our part. Definitely Talladega was a bad deal. That was something I really regret having that happen at Talladega. At Lowe's though, we did our jobs. We had a dominant car, a really fast car, at least, and that was just one of those racing luck deals for both ignition boxes had trouble. The point of all that is, is that can happen to anyone. That can happen to Jimmie. We just have to go do our jobs and have fun doing it and that way we win no matter what."
WAS THERE A POINT DURING THOSE LAST 10 LAPS WHERE YOU WERE BRACING FOR DAVID [REUTIMANN] TO TRY AND MOVE YOU OUT OF THE WAY?
CARL EDWARDS: "Oh, yeah. The last two laps, I'd drive down the corner and I was just painting the bottom of the race track. Just running right down there by the grass in [turns] one and two and the rumble strips in [turns] three and four and just bracing for the hit. I knew he was going to run into me just a little bit and move me out of the way and he didn't. For the win, for him not to touch me, I can't see myself ever rationalizing laying a bumper on him in my career after this. He earned a lot of respect from me."
HE WONDERED IF YOU WOULD EVER DO THAT TO HIM.
CARL EDWARDS: "Yeah. I won't now. I might have, I don't know. Drew told me his guys were built him up telling him, 'He'd do it to you.' He [Drew] said he was scanning the radio and I thought, 'Oh, man, please don't.' I don't know what would have happened but now I surely won't. He's got the free pass from me."
-credit: ford racing