Ford Richmond Friday Advance (Edwards)

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond International Raceway)
Friday, April 26, 2013

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Geek Squad Ford Fusion, is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into this weekend’s race.  Edwards held a Q&A session after Friday’s final practice session to discuss his hopes for Saturday night.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Geek Squad Ford Fusion – “I drove Christopher (Wooten) to school this morning in our Fastenal Ford, which has to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”

American Muscle

CHRISTOPHER WOOTEN, High School Student – “It was definitely the coolest thing I’ve done.”

CARL CONTINUED – “And it wasn’t like a make-believe-thing.  I picked him up at his house in a race car that they somehow made street legal and we drove it 15 or 20 minutes to his school – through traffic, stop lights.”

CHRISOPHER CONTINUED – “Traffic didn’t prove to be too much of a problem for us.  I think we were about 35 over the speed limit the whole way, but that’s OK.”

CARL CONTINUED – “And there were police involved, but they were on our side, so that’s good.”

CHRISTOPHER CONTINUED – “That’s always good for the police to be on your side.”

CARL CONTINUED – “This vision I had of driving race cars on the road involved police, but it wasn’t the way that they were helping us in my vision.  But that was fun, so I’ve already had a pretty good day.  Our car is pretty fast and I’m now prepared to answer any questions you guys might have.”

CHRISTOPHER CONTINUED – WHAT WAS IT LIKE GOING TO SCHOOL WITH CARL EDWARDS IN A STOCK CAR?  WERE THEY PREPARED FOR IT OR DO YOU SURPRISE SOME PEOPLE?  “I think we got some interesting looks on the way.  I was hoping no one was gonna wreck in front of us because we’d go by and they’d be looking out the window to our side and not looking at the road, but it was definitely something that I’ve never done anything anywhere close to what we did today, and it was just an incredible experience.”

CARL CONTINUED – “I noticed a lot of young ladies waiting for you there when we showed up.  That was pretty big.  The firesuit really helps a lot.  He wore a firesuit.  That’s like a magnet.”

CHRISTOPHER CONTINUED – HOW DID CARL DRIVE?  “I think after being in the car with my dad for a few years there’s not much worse you can do from that, so we did a little bump-drafting too with, I think, the media camera in front of us.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – “Yeah, we only bumped one car, but I think it was a rental.  It’s all right.  There was one Toyota that was really slow that got in our way with the cops, so we got them out of the way (joking).  Anyway, we’ve got to thank Spinmaster for putting that on.  It was really cool.  It was a sweepstakes and we do a lot of things like this, you guys hear the announcements every week, but Spinmaster makes all the really neat scale cars and the basher series that’s a lot of fun, and they put all of this on.  We didn’t know it was gonna end up being this much fun, but it was very cool, and we got some free RC cars out of it.

CHRISTOPHER WOOTEN CONTINUED – “All the people from Spinmaster and Revolution and even NASCAR set up this really cool weekend for us and I just can’t thank everyone there enough.  It’s been really cool meeting Carl and it’s just a great weekend so far.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – WITH MATT BEING STRIPPED OF HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SPRINT UNLIMITED NEXT YEAR.  DO YOU FEEL YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THAT SPOT SINCE YOU WERE RIGHT BEHIND HIM IN QUALIFYING LAST WEEK?  “When I saw the news I texted Mike Helton right away and I said, ‘All right, cool, we’re in the shootout next year, right?  We got the pole.’  And he sent back, “LOL!”  I didn’t think it was that funny, but he thought it was funny.  I think Robbie Reiser proceeded to ask him and then Jimmy Fennig and he got a good laugh out of it.  Here’s the thing.  From what I’ve heard about the infraction, if it’s 2.7 grams – one connecting rod – I personally don’t feel like that makes a difference on the race track.  I get the spirit of the rule and that they have to draw a line from NASCAR’s perspective, but it’s like what Jimmy said after we talked about it.  He said, ‘We’ll get a pole and earn it,’ so I’m not gonna sit here and lobby and say we should get credit for the pole and Kasey should get credit for the win and shake up everything because that’s not what NASCAR has done historically, and I think that would start a snowball that would be hard to manage.”

DO YOU THINK PEOPLE IN THE GARAGE ARE LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDER AND BEHIND THEIR BACK IN BEING MORE CAREFUL THESE DAYS?  THAT’S TWO MAJOR PENALITIES TO TWO MAJOR TEAMS.  “Yes, I will guarantee that everyone is.  I don’t want to end up with a penalty like that and I saw when this penalty came out a lot of people referenced the penalty that we received in Las Vegas – I think it was 100 points in 2008 for our oil tank cover.  That one was a really tough one for us because we simply had a bolt fall out and we ended up with this huge penalty.  I believe, I don’t know all the details, but I believe in my heart that’s how the Gibbs folks feel.  I don’t think they went out and said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna gain this big advantage here.’  And I think all of us are on guard and we realize that NASCAR is very, very serious about staying within the rules and the spirit of the rules and that they’ve definitely gotten everyone’s attention in the garage.  So we will make sure, along with everyone else, that our car will pass inspection every race and, at the end of the day, as bad as it is to get these big penalities – and I might eat these words a week from now – but this is what you want as a competitor is you want someone to make sure that the field is within the rules all the time and they are sure doing that.  Those are serious penalties.”

HOW IS YOUR CAR AFTER PRACTICE TODAY?  “Our Best Buy Fusion is pretty good.  We’ve had really good races here and we’ve had very poor races, and it’s just a knife edge on handling.  You have to be perfect and it’s a balance here.  The corners are so tight.  The braking zones are so difficult and we’re just trying to manage our setup so that we can have a really solid race.  We had one really good race here last year and then I had that super-duper restart and that didn’t work out, but I’m hoping we have a car like that and I think it’s gonna be pretty good.”

SPEAKING OF THAT SUPER-DUPER RESTART.  A YEAR LATER, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?  “The way NASCAR has been handling out penalties, I think it was perfectly fine.  Everything was great and I’m just glad to be here (laughing).  No, that was a miscommunication and it was bad, but as bad as that night was, and as frustrated as I was, we talked about that night from a performance perspective a lot today and if we can run like that and if we can be in that position again, that would be great.  So I guess I look back on that night and, yeah, it was frustrating but we also ran pretty well, so that’s good.”

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