Ford Loudon Friday Advance (Carl Edwards)


LENOX Tools 301 (Friday Advance)

July 15, 2011
American Muscle

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Carl Edwards enters the first race of the second half of the season in second place in the Cup point standings with just eight races remaining until the Chase begins. Edwards talked about his strategy the remainder of the season, the pressure felt chasing a championship and much more with media after the first practice session Friday afternoon.

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Aflac Ford – CARL, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON AND YOUR TEAM STRATEGY GOING FORWARD TOWARD THE CHASE?   “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. I am excited about this award and my Tissot watch. It is very cool. Randy told me we were going to be doing this but I had forgotten about it until we walked in here. It is a huge honor. What was the question again?”

JUST TALK ABOUT THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON.  “Okay, the second half of the season for us is about getting wins. It is about going out here and being aggressive and getting those bonus points going into the Chase and having a little bit of fun. We have worked really hard to get to this point in the season and be in the position we are in to have had the win there at Vegas and to be where we are at in points, so now we are trying to go out there and get some more victories which is fun. That is the whole point of what we do. It is nice to not be looking backwards over our shoulders right now but to be looking forward. That is fun.”

ALTHOUGH ENGINES AREN’T AS IMPORTANT HERE AS A LOT OF PLACES, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENTS THEY MADE TO THE FORD ENGINES THIS SEASON?  “It is funny, when you talk about engines; it is interesting which tracks they are really important at. Doug Richard a long time ago told me at Martinsville, ‘You know everybody does all this qualifying stuff for Daytona but if you look at the lap times at Martinsville in qualifying, every thousandth of a second matters there.’ That really stuck with me and I have noticed that these engines have made a difference at every race track. I think it is a huge thing for us to have the FR9 everywhere. I think at places like this it is just as important as anywhere else and maybe even more because the RPM range is so wide and we are so slow in the middle of the corners and fast at the end of the straightaways. I think it is important here.”

HOW MUCH EFFORT IS BEING DONE BACK AT ROUSH FENWAY TO WORK ON THINGS FOR THE CHASE?  “There is a lot of effort going into the Chase and a lot of things we are working on now that we hope to apply then. I think that is what a lot of the teams are doing, they are working hard right now to try things you want to try that you think might work. Once the Chase comes it is really difficult to take something new and unproven to the race track. Now is the time to be working on all that stuff and we are working on it pretty hard.”

HOW MUCH STRESS DO YOU FELL WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GOING ON, INCLUDING CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS, BECAUSE YOU DON’T REALLY SHOW MUCH STRESS. IS THERE SOMETHING WE AREN’T SEEING HERE?  “I think as competitors we all put ourselves in position where we want to do the very best we can all the time. There is always that pressure there. People ask a lot about pressure and do you feel pressure to do this or that. I think I can probably speak for most of the drivers in the garage that we are very self-motivated and the pressure is from within. Those things you just mentioned, running around from race track to race track and back and forth in the garage relieves some of the pressure and gives me an outlet. I just got out of the Cup car and practice didn’t go as well as we wanted and didn’t run that super fast lap that we thought we would run and I am frustrated about it. Now I get to run over to the Nationwide car and go out there and slam the pedal down and it takes my mind off of it until qualifying. I guess there is a lot of pressure and stress and things going on, but all the running around and stuff I do is exactly the right medicine for it.”

CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE TWITTER COMMENTS MADE BY GOLDEN TATE ABOUT JIMMIE JOHNSON AT THE ESPY AWARDS?  “Yeah, I saw that last night and I thought that was hilarious. I thought it was pretty comical. I personally would invite anyone, including Golden Tate, or anyone who thinks that Jimmie Johnson isn’t an athlete to come out and compete with him in just about anything. He might not be able to lift as much weight as those guys but I have followed Jimmie Johnson on a motocross track and watched what he is able to do and a lot of people don’t realize how much of an athlete he is. I thought it was interesting.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THIS STILL COMES UP AFTER ALL THIS TIME?  “It is the perfect topic to debate because you don’t have to be an athlete to drive a race car. You don’t have to be an athlete to be the best golfer. I would argue there are positions in football where you don’t have to be that great of an athlete to do well. It is just like anything. There are people in this garage that are very, very good athletes. Tony Kanaan in the Indy Car Series, I would put that guy up against anyone in an endurance endeavor like bicycling, running or swimming. I think until someone goes and tries something, I think it is extremely arrogant to knock it. That is the bottom line. You can watch professional table tennis and say, ‘Wow, that is no big deal,’ but I know we have all tried to play ping pong and there is no way we could play at that level. Everywhere things are difficult. I mostly thought it was comical. I read the comments and things and it was pretty funny.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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