Ford Texas 1 Friday Advance (Carl Edwards)

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion, spoke with members of the media after final Cup practice Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway.

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Fastenal Ford – THIS HAS TO BE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS WITH YOUR SUCCESS HERE. TALK ABOUT COMING TO TEXAS. “It is a fun race track for me and for our team. I was just telling the folks from SPEED out there that it is nice to come to a track where if during practice you are slow or have trouble qualifying or are slow during the race, you know you can fix it and you can go out and win. We have that confidence. It is nice to sit in a race car and know that we can do this. Since we practiced we are pretty confident with the car where it is. Greg (Biffle) is pretty good, Matt (Kenseth) is pretty good and our Fastenal Fusion is pretty fast so we will see how qualifying goes here. Qualifying later in the evening, there is a lot that can happen with the weather. We feel like we have a pretty good shot at the pole though. We are having fun and hoping we can get our fourth win here. That would be big.”

WHAT WAS YOUR OPINION ON WHAT AMANDA BEARD WROTE ABOUT YOU IN HER BOOK AND THE FACT THAT SHE WROTE ABOUT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?  “I thought about that a lot and I couldn’t really come up with a good explanation or answer for you guys because I truly didn’t know what to think about it. I guess all I can say is that I considered us friends and I didn’t realize that she had all those problems. I would have done anything in the world to have helped her with those. As always, regardless of what she writes in her books and things like that, if she ever needs something from me I would be there to help her out. I don’t know what else to say about that.”


American Muscle

DO YOU DISPUTE ANY OF THE THINGS SHE WROTE ABOUT YOU? “Absolutely but I wouldn’t know where to start. I don’t know if I am supposed to talk about the psychology of feelings and opinions when you have a relationship that doesn’t work out or if I am supposed to talk about the strategies to sell books or whatever. To be honest with you guys, it is just weird. I don’t know how to address things that I don’t even remember happening. That is tough. It is pretty far out there out of left field for me.”

KANSAS IS NEXT WEEKEND AND THE LAST ONE BEFORE THEY CHANGE IT. THAT IS A SPECIAL PLACE TO YOU.  “Yeah, I have told you guys this, there would be no bigger win on the circuit than Kansas for me. If I had to choose winning one race throughout the year, that would be the one I pick. The amount of pride that I would have winning that close to home and in front of so many people that are friends of mine and people that have helped me would be huge. We have had some pretty good mile-and-a-half race cars and we get two shots at it each year. That race for me, whether it is right or wrong, I will put as much emphasis or pressure on myself as I can to go win there.”

HOW ABOUT THE CHANGES COMING THERE?  “I don’t know. I haven’t heard the plan. I don’t know if they are just repaving it or if they are going to reconfigure anything so I don’t have an opinion on that yet.”

THERE IS A CHANCE IT WILL BE PRETTY WINDY HERE TOMORROW. DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY AT ALL?  “Well, it has been kind of windy all weekend so I don’t know if it will change the approach to the race. It does make a difference though. You stay conscious of it and want to be careful not to ask for a chance because it is the wind that is making the car do something. These cars are big enough and heavy enough and when you get in a pack they create their own little mini environment so the wind isn’t a huge factor.”

HOW STUNNED WERE YOU LAST YEAR LEAVING TEXAS IN THE FALL EXPECTING THAT YOU OR ONE OF YOUR ROUSH TEAMMATES WOULD WIN AND THEN TONY COMES UP WITH THE WIN. HOW DID THAT AFFECT YOU?  “It didn’t have a major affect but it did let us know that Tony and his whole team had a really good mile-and-a-half program. We knew that we would have to bring our A game to Homestead and as it turned out that was all true. Those guys were really fast at Homestead and they forced us to do everything we could and I think that gave everybody a glimpse, looking back on it, of how insane that Homestead race was going to be and how competitive it was going to be.”

ROUSH HAS A REALLY STRONG RECORD HERE. ALL OF YOU HAVE WON RACES AND YOU HAVE WON SEVERAL. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GUYS SHOULD WIN HERE, ONE OF YOU, AND HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THAT GIVE ALL THREE OF YOU? “After this final practice I feel like our Roush cars were very good. I don’t feel like anyone was better. It would be big for us to get a win for Ford and for Roush and get this thing rolling. We have been running better for longer than we have since I have been here. This has been good and I don’t know that we need to rack up some wins but it sure would be nice. It would feel good.”

IS IT TOUGHER FOR AN UNDERFUNDED TEAM TO COMPETE HERE?  “I think this track is very tough. Just like a lot of the mile-and-a-halves this one requires everything to be right. You have to have a big engine and good pit crew and qualify well. Running at night, you have to be able to adjust the car and make it handle when the conditions change. All those things are tough and I think that this race, even just the race itself as it goes on you get to see who has their ducks in a row better than other guys.”

THE RACE HERE IN THE FALL AND ALL THE BUILD-UP AND PROMOTION OF IT, DOES THAT ADD ANYTHING NOW LOOKING BACK AT IT. WAS IT MORE FUN? “Yeah, that whole battle was something I value having been through. It taught me a lot and was exciting and I made sure a couple times those last few weeks to stop for a minute and think about how neat it was to be a part of. It is hard for a racer or competitor to do because you have to be so in the moment. I think after having the battle in 2008 with Jimmie (Johnson), the battle in 2005 with Jimmie and Greg, I am better now to enjoy those things and say that this isn’t normal or stuff that is going to happen all the time. I think that the whole thing was pretty neat. Obviously it would have been neater if we would have won but I tell you, going through something like that and being a part of it teaches you how to be a stronger competitor and how to control your energy and focus on the right things. I value all of that.”

I KNOW YOU ARE A VERY PRIVATE GUY SO I AM CURIOUS IF YOU HAD ANY HEADS UP THAT THERE WOULD BE ANYTHING ABOUT YOU IN THAT BOOK AND HOW YOU FELT ABOUT A PAST RELATIONSHIP BEING OUT THERE?  “I appreciate you asking the questions but the hard part is to even talk about it because it just really caught me off guard and is kind of sad in a way for me to read that. It made me feel a little bit sad for Amanda that she was going through all that. No, specifically when I heard, actually someone told me a long time ago that she was going to write a book and I thought, ‘Good for her that is awesome.’ All the correspondence we have had between 2006 and now has all been good. Like I said, I considered us friends. I want to be very clear that I am not going to stand up here and bash her or say bad things about her because I didn’t know all that stuff was going on. She is a mother and a wife and someone that I cared about. If down the road she ever needs something from me, she’s got it.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GOING BACK TO THE WHITE HOUSE THIS WEEK AND HOW COOL IT WAS LAST TIME YOU WERE THERE?  “Boy, I would really like to be the one standing there next to the President with my Sprint Cup trophy. I guess we are a couple spots closer. It is nice that the President it taking time to honor our sport and to honor Tony and the other championship contenders. I think that is pretty cool and I know that his wife, she had a really good time, the First Lady did at the race in Homestead. It will be neat to go there. I think it is really important for all of us, everybody, to learn as much as we can about the political system and the leaders of our great country. There is so much to take in when you go there and for people that have been to the White House you know that you have a preconceived notion of how things are. TO go there and see it and stand in a room that so many great people have stood in and to hear them tell the stories and see the artwork on the walls and the history of the place is spectacular. I don’t know as much about that history as I should but it is always something that spurs me to go learn more. I think that as an American that is really neat to go do.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SUSTAIN AN OPTIMAL LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE YEAR AFTER YEAR?  “Physiologically, whenever you go through something real stressful there is a lot of anticipation and either victory or defeat, there is that wind down period and I think that everybody has to avoid that happening and to avoid suffering from that you gotta be pretty mentally tough and have people around who realize that success and achievement are not stuff that happens once, it happens all the time. That is what these great teams do. If you look at Jimmie Johnson and those guys, I think they are the model of performance in sport, under pressure constantly. It is not easy but it is simple to get yourself wound up for one thing and go do it and then exhale that it is over. To be able to do that year after year is very tough. I think our sport particularly is tough because every event is so big and there is only one winner. Week to week to maintain that level of performance takes a lot of discipline.”

HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT SPORTSCENTER SET YOU ARE SITTING AT RIGHT NOW? “It is kinda nice. I hope Samsung is getting lots of airtime. They have been really good to the sport and great to me and been a huge sponsor. I think it is really cool to spice it up a little bit.”


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

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