Edwards Wins Sprint All-Star Race Pole

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Sprint All-Star Race Qualifying (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
Friday, May 17, 2013

Ford Qualifying Results


American Muscle

1st – Carl Edwards

3rd – Greg Biffle

5th – Joey Logano

12th – Brad Keselowski

14th – David Ragan

17th – Marcos Ambrose

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 DeWalt Ford Fusion – “We wrecked our car in practice when an axle fell out, so we had absolutely zero practice getting onto pit lane at all and I just did what I thought I saw from watching the practice the guys did earlier.  Obviously, I couldn’t get it whoa’d up, but I had never driven that car before those two laps and I guess the brake bias wasn’t quite right and I just locked the right-front and that was it.”

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “It was fun.  We should do that all the time (laughing).  It was a lot faster than I thought it was gonna be out there.  There was a lot more grip out there than I thought and I would have done things differently if I knew that, but, overall, the guys did a good job.  They did what they had to do.  I slid through my box just a little bit, so we came back and I think we lost about a half-second, but I’m sure I cost them that much, but the guys did a good job.  I’m proud of it and I had a lot of fun.”

WHAT’S THE SENSATION COMING OFF THE BANKING TO PIT ROAD AT SPEED?  “You’re digging, for sure.  You can’t see where you’re turning in because it’s around the corner and there are all the campers, so you can’t see.  As soon as you see it, you just go and guess.  I went, ‘Oh, there it is,’ and I just went to the gas.  It was entertaining to say the least.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “I’m still shaking a little bit, but I tell you what, it was a lot of fun.  My guys worked so hard and this is a team sport.  They jumped over the wall and did a great pit stop.  I got on to pit road super-good, and our car was a little tight on the race track.  So I think we’re close, but a little bit of work to do.  We all gave it 100 percent and came up a little short, but we’re proud of where we’re at right now.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE COMING DOWN PIT ROAD?  “Going down pit road 160 miles an hour is pretty intimidating, let’s say that.  If you think about stopping in a parking space at 160 miles an hour, when do you start stopping?  That is very, very difficult to judge and you have to judge it perfectly.  If you weigh on the side of caution, everybody beats you, so you have to push it to the edge to where you think you’re gonna stop at the last second and that’s what I did and got stopped at the last second.  We got beat by just a tiny, tiny bit and we’ll see in the race what happens.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 34 CSX – Play It Safe Ford Fusion – “It was a lot of fun.  That’s the first time I’ve ever been on pit road that fast and probably left a little bit out there.  We didn’t get a good qualifying lap in in practice with the oil down of the facility and just didn’t get a good lap in, but I’m proud of our CSX team.  That was a lot of fun.  We’re respectable and in front of a few of those guys and look forward to tomorrow night.  It should be fun.  I don’t know how good we’ll be in the first segment or the second or the third or the fourth or the fifth, but we’re gonna have some fun and try some different things.  Obviously, we’ll try to run as hard as we can, but also learn some stuff for next week.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion – AFTER QUALIFYING LAPS. “That’s pretty good.  If I did it 10 times, I don’t know if I’d go faster than that, so I’m real happy with it.  I hope it’s the pole, but if it’s not we can win this thing from second or third.  I’m real happy with this race car and real happy with our qualifying effort.  So for Fastenal and for Ford and all the guys that are on the car it’s really cool.  My pit crew was awesome.  That’s really neat to come screaming down to those guys because I know that I’ve got the fastest pit crew in the garage.  It’s pretty cool.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE – WHAT WAS IT LIKE GOING DOWN PIT ROAD LIKE THAT?  “It was petrifying.  First of all, I don’t know if you guys noticed in practice, but it was insane.  I mean, it felt like a war out there or something.  It was crazy.  Everybody was trying to practice and there was really no oversight or management of all of us, so that was pretty crazy.  And then real qualifying came and all everyone was talking about was how fast Kurt Busch was coming onto pit road in practice.  So when he set that qualifying effort, I was pretty certain you were gonna have to get pretty insane to beat that.  Our lap was really fast and my plan going down the back straightaway coming to pit road, I was planning on being conservative because I saw how many guys were sliding through their pits and then got around to turn three and the car had so much grip that I came on pit road pretty hard.  It’s fun and I wish we did this kind of thing more often.  It was really neat to run that practice session at Talladega because we all knew that might be qualifying, so that was really neat, and then this felt a lot like that, where it was a real exciting, dynamic, difficult qualifying format.  So this stuff is great.  I think we should do more of it.  And my pit crew was like a second faster than everyone else, or something like that, so that was spectacular.”

DID YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME IN PRACTICE TO FIGURE OUT WHERE YOUR MARK WOULD BE AND HOW FAST YOU COULD GO?  “Kind of, but the problem is we only had 15 minutes, so I came onto pit road like 10 times in practice, but that’s not enough time to feel real comfortable.  So then when I got out there I kind of had a loose plan, but I got into turn three and couldn’t really remember how I got onto pit road, so I think that’s why you saw a lot of the different lines because in those transitions you don’t know whether to stay in the gas or slow down, and no one really knows how far you can push it, and I think it’s kind of a shot in the dark.  You kind of just go for it, so that was fun.  I think if we did it every week like that, people would get so good at it that everybody would be separated by a half or tenth of a second, but, right now, it looked pretty wide-open.  That’s pretty neat.”

DID THE FACT YOU DRIVE THE 99 HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH PUTTING DICK TRICKLE’S NAME ABOVE THE DRIVER’S DOOR AND JIMMY FENNIG’S HISTORY WITH HIM?  “So Greg Emmar, one of the mechanics, texted me and then we talked with Randy Fuller and all the guys.  Everybody said there were so many guys from up there in Wisconsin that Dick Trickle is a hero to over half of the crew.  Jimmy has worked with him.  I’ve been telling the same Dick Trickle story.  The first time I met him he was out there in the sun on a 100-degree day just smoking a cigarette.  I was 16 years old and I was dying.  I can’t remember, but it seems like he had a cup of coffee in his hand, so I always had a lot of respect for his toughness and his determination.  So they came up with the idea since we have the 99 car and there are so many guys from Wisconsin, to try to honor him in some way and putting his name above the door was their idea.  Hopefully, his family is doing as best they can and hopefully he’s in a better place and we’re honoring him by doing that.”

CARL EDWARDS CONTINUED – SURELY YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO QUALIFY LIKE THIS EVERY WEEK, WOULD YOU?  “I like things like this, so, yeah, I’d want to do it every weekend, but they probably wouldn’t want to do that.  I tell you what’s really cool about it is we sat over there in Victory Lane – me and Jack and all the pit crew guys – and everyone was a part of that.  That’s a big deal.  You can go out there and drive the perfect lap and beat everyone by a tenth of a second or something, or you can be a tenth of a second off, and then your pit crew can come in and save the day and have that blistering stop.  They’re really as big of a part of it as the driver, so, to me, that’s neat.  The other thing that’s neat is it’s pretty chaotic.  It’s pretty neat to watch guys.  When you see half of the guys in the All-Star Race making big mistakes, they’re blowing through their pit box and almost wrecking their cars on pit road.  That means it’s really hard and that’s cool when you see us out of our comfort zone.”

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE NASCAR INVOKE F1-TYPE QUALIFYING WITH SESSIONS AND GROUPS?  “Now, we’re doing that at the road courses this year if I’m not mistaken, right?  So that will be good.  That’s been fun in the Nationwide Series, but I think even neater than that is the idea – almost like the heat race format that we had at Talladega – that practice session, if you ask all the drivers, that was the most intense practice session we’ve ever had at Talladega because everyone knew that you’re not just practicing and figuring out the balance of your car, you’re trying to sandbag and get a run at the field.  Jimmie Johnson and I almost wrecked in that practice session trying to out-brave each other coming to the start-finish line going through the pack.  It was insane, so I think that stuff is neat, and I don’t know about the fans’ perspective, but, for me, standing up on that building down there tonight watching those guys, it almost felt like I was riding with them because they come through turn three and it was like, ‘How brave are you gonna be going down pit road?’  So I think it’s a lot of fun for everybody.  The more stuff we can do like that, the better.  I think NASCAR recognizes that and I think the idea of getting rid of that pit road speed on entry was genius.  Whoever came up with that, I appreciate it.  That was fun.”

CAN YOU IMAGINE DOING THAT ON EVERY PIT STOP WITH EVERY CAR ON THE RACE TRACK ALL YEAR?  “No, that would be insanity.  I thought about that in practice when I was following Mark Martin.  I thought, ‘He did this for how many years every pit stop?’  I can’t imagine being a pit crew member and the risk those guys are taking today is huge, but to do that, that’s insanity.”

THE ULTIMATE WOULD BE TO WIN THE RACE TOMORROW AND WIN EVERY SEGMENT.  DOES THIS GIVE YOU A BETTER SHOT AND DO YOU HAVE THAT IN MIND THAT YOU COULD LEAD EVERY SEGMENT?  “We could win every segment.  I think the fact that there’s an extra million dollars on the line to do that, if we go out and win the first one and win the second one, you might see us screw the whole thing up trying to win the third and fourth one because that carrot is out there.  So I think it’s a pretty genius thing to put on the table, but the most important part for us is to get that first pit stall because the final 10 laps that starting position is gonna be determined by that pit stop.  First of all, our pit crew is awesome and, second, to give them that first pit stall – if we come onto pit road in the top five, I think we’re gonna be hard to beat off of pit road.  And I think if we can have the front spot and have our car halfway decent, I think we’ll have a pretty good shot at it.”

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