KERRY THARP: We have our 2011 Sprint All-Star Race winner, Carl Edwards, for Roush Fenway Racing. He's joined by team owner Jack Roush. This is Carl's first All-Star Race win, the eighth different winner over the past eight races.
Carl, your racecar was just right on out there tonight. You drove it like a true champion. Talk about winning the All-Star Race and all that that means.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I don't think it's sunk in yet. I'm really excited to be able to get on the phone (audio feed interruption) and Iowa tomorrow, it will be neat to show up there as the All-Star winner. It's going to be fun.
Can't thank Jack enough, Aflac. My pit crew stepped up tonight. They did an unbelievable job on that last stop. If we wouldn't have come off of pit road first, it would have been a very difficult race. It took me about 10 laps to get by Kyle, so it would have been a very difficult race. Those guys, they get a lot of credit for this win.
KERRY THARP: Bob Osborne, talk about some of the changes you made to the car, if any. Certainly that racecar was lights out.
BOB OSBORNE: Thank you very much. We really didn't make a lot of changes through the race. A couple changes for the last 10 laps, it seemed like it worked for us. Carl got a fabulous restart, got out front there, seemed to be able to do the business he needed to do.
KERRY THARP: Jack, congratulations. This race organization is off to a very solid start. Winning the All-Star Race here tonight, just your thoughts about that overall?
JACK ROUSH: It's a testament to the hard work everybody's been doing. There's a lot of discussion about hard work in this business. But the Roush Fenway guys have really, really suited up for it in the winter, and the manufacturing part is working well.
Carl went through a manhole cover in the end and damaged the car. Most people looked at the car and said, That car has to go to the 600. Bob assured me he has a better car back at the shop waiting to go.
The unsung hero tonight is Doug Yates and engine tonight. I watched the way that engine held down the straightaway, and it was really, really, really good. A long time since we've seen our engines run as good as they did tonight.
Glad to have Ford here with us tonight. We had a big contingent of Ford, Albert, the great grandson of Henry, was here, then the grandson of Henry, Edsel, was here as well. We had really a good Ford showing at the same time we had great performance from all the guys that worked behind this thing.
I'm amazed at the calls that Bob makes. I generally want to make a call, a change that's half as big or twice as big, and he always has it right.
KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for Carl, Bob or Jack.
Q. Carl, you got a great restart there on the last jump against the best in the business. Did you have any fears with that FR9 horsepower you might spin the tires?
CARL EDWARDS: I was a little bit worried about spinning the tires. What do we do when we make mistakes? We learn from them, that's what we do (smiling). Thanks, Jack.
So I learned from that. It's the positive light you have to shed on things like that. I'm sure we're going to get to my destroying the car incident and I'm going to shed some positive light on that, too (smiling).
But the restart was good. Man, that thing really runs. You do have to be careful, especially these engines that they brought for the All-Star Race. They're fast. It was a great restart. It could have gone either way. I mean, Kyle could have really hung in there and it would have been a really tough race, so I'm glad we were able to get him.
Q. I know you're a racer, and racers love to race. You're excited about every chance. How in the name of God can you win $1 million after midnight out here. I know you're a Midwesterner, then go to Iowa at the crack of dawn tomorrow?
CARL EDWARDS: That's Cessna Citation for you right there. Got a really nice plane. I'm going to go jump in and fly up there. It's amazing we're able to do all these things.
That car, I went up there this morning and practiced in it a little bit. Brian Ickler practiced a little bit after I left. Mike Beam and Jack and all of these guys, Doug Yates, had prepared a racecar that any one of these guys would like to go get in and race tomorrow. That's what it's about, is having fun and going racing.
It's interesting as a racer, I think a lot of racers feel this way, I know for myself, when you win a race, something big like what happened tonight, it's kind of fun, because you got a little spring in your step. I really can't wait to go tomorrow. People say, Hey, what are you going to do after you won this race? The most enjoyable thing I can do is go race another car. I appreciate Jack giving me the opportunity. I'm really excited about it.
Q. Carl, clearly you had a great car tonight. Could you talk about sitting on pit road that 10-minute break trying to figure out what to do or not to do to that car.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I did not like that part, sitting on pit road. I did not enjoy that. I was a little embarrassed to tell Dick Berggren how nervous I was about the last 10 laps. I felt like we had the fastest car. If I did everything right, got a good restart, Bob and I made the right adjustments, this was our race. I felt like we were that good.
You know, those are the only times I really get antsy, which I know, If I do everything right, we can win this thing. So, yeah, I was ready to go back to racing. I didn't want to be sitting there.
Q. Jack, as bad as it was a couple of years ago, couldn't have been much better to have won every segment tonight.
JACK ROUSH: We could have lined all four of our cars up in the top four. We missed that. Have to work on that for next year (laughter).
The guys worked hard. I'm just proud to be part of their program. They got me really close to the door so there's not as many tools I can get my hands on and not as many things I could screw up as I used to.
But the manufacturing piece that's headed up by Robbie Reiser and the job he does with all the managers in the shop is just extraordinary. I can't imagine anybody is doing a better job than they are doing today at getting these cars ready.
The new Ford engine has come online. Last year was a teething period with it. Took us a while to figure out exactly what it wanted. Doug has the measure of it now. As Carl said, the engines we have here are a little better than we'll have next week for the 600. But the engines that we have here will be coming by Chase time in the fall.
So the engine is good, the car is good, the engineering is just incredible. People ask me, How do we get off last year? The winner of 2009, 2010, we had some simulation help that we had consultants help us with that didn't correlate. The correlation, Ford stepped in and helped us with it. Things are correlating now.
When the engineer tells the crew chief, which Bob is an engineer himself, so he looks at things different than a lot of crew chiefs do, but when he gets the indication that the sensitivity is going to be track bar for this track or it's going to be wedge or camber, whatever it's going to be, he believes that and it works out that way. We would not have had the year we've had to this point if our engineering didn't stand as tall as the rest of it behind it.
Q. Carl, you said you didn't like that 10-minute break. Seemed like tonight a lot of breaks, 50-lap segment where things got strung out. Is it time to reexamine the format of this race?
CARL EDWARDS: Hell no. It's perfect (smiling).
No, you have to remember, you're not always going to have side-by-side, three-wide finishes. I think that tonight our car was superior. It ended up being a race that we were able to pull away from.
But one little thing being different, one different bump-stop combination, track bar height, tire pressure thing, it could have been a much different race.
I believe, as much as we ended up winning the race by, I think that's a rarity in this event. I think with a 10-lap shootout at the end, four fresh tires, nine out of ten times it's going to be a much closer finish. Changing the format, I think that would be a jump.
I know I was really nervous about that last run. I did not feel like we had it in the bag by any means. So it just so happened to turn out that way.
Q. Carl, I think you were kidding. You said somewhere out there I guess NASCAR is mad, think we're hiding something with the car, I think you referred to the incident in the grass. Can you elaborate on that and shed some positive light on the destroying the car incident.
CARL EDWARDS: I think some people would like to think that I'm smart enough and savvy enough, all of us are, to come up with some trick and destroy it like that and make it look like an accident. We're not that smart. I really did just tear up the racecar.
They have to look at it, like they might have tried to gain an advantage, which we didn't. I'm sure that the conspiracy theorists will ponder that for a while. But that's okay. It's what happened.
The light I was going to shed on it, you never know what comes from misfortunes. It was definitely unfortunate that I tore up that racecar. Like Bob said, we got another one at the shop. It might be the difference in winning the race at the Coke 600. I'm going to have confidence that something good will come out of it.
Q. Carl, if you aren't the most coveted free agent, you are among them. How does having this much speed tonight and all year impact a tough decision that you're facing?
CARL EDWARDS: All I'll say about that is we're running really well right now and it's because of Jack Roush, Ford, all these people's hard work. Those talks are going on behind closed doors and we'll hopefully get something done.
But right now we're running well and that is fun. What I'm trying to do is focus on that because we have a championship to win this year. That's the number one goal.
Q. Carl, last year Kurt Busch won this race then won the 600. How much confidence does this give you?
CARL EDWARDS: Did he use the same car, do you know?
We really have struggled at this racetrack. I have. Jack has had a ton of success here. Bob and I, I would say it's fair to say that we have been not very good here and sometimes terrible. I think that we figured some things out. Bob and the guys have done a really good job. I think it bodes well for the 600, for sure.
I would hope we can come back here next week with as good or better a car and definitely a lot more confidence than we had before we got here this weekend. That's good.
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