Tag:Carl Edwards
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Behind the Hauler: J.D. Gibbs

By Pete Pistone

HUNTERSVILLE, NC - JANUARY 27:  Team owner Joe Gibbs (3rd-R) poses with J.D. Gibbs (3rd-L), JGR President, Joey Logano (L), driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, Kyle Busch (2nd-L), driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, Denny Hamlin (2nd-R), driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota, and driver Brian Scott (R), during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Joe Gibbs Racing, on January 27, 2011 in Huntersville, North Carolina.

(The Joe Gibbs Racing team has been in the spotlight early in the 2011 season)

Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs stopped by Sirius NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" this week to discuss a wide range of topics including the unapproved oil pans found with the team's three cars during inspection at Michigan, Denny Hamlin's first win of the season and his championship prospects and the possibility of free agent Carl Edwards joining the organization in 2012:

Denny Hamlin won eight times last year but it wasn’t until Sunday at Michigan that he scored his first victory of 2011. Are you pleased with the team’s performance in the first fifteen races despite what’s perceived as some as a slow start? 

Overall, the 11 car, each year that it's been in existence, has been a strong-performing car. You kind of start the year off not as quickly and successfully as we would like. To watch them kind of come together and lift each other up, be a team that was kind of for me I get a lot of satisfaction watching those guys rally around each other and look for some great momentum for the rest of the year. 

All three JGR cars of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano were found to have what NASCAR called unapproved oil pans found during pre-race inspection at Michigan last Friday. What is your view as the team owner about what transpired in that situation? 

I think for us we take responsibility but the reality is there’s a lot of parts in these cars and it’s not an illegal part it just has to be submitted so they can see it, look at it and then they give you your stamp. And so a lot of things you bring to the track they look at it and then go okay run the race or say take it off and let us look at it or just say hey take it off. So I think that’s where some of our guys weren’t thinking and I thought there was some kind of an issue that really wasn’t there but they though it was, they kind of raised the red flag and then your put in a position with on our part was not submitting it first. But that’s part of the sport and it’s our responsibility to say hey we have to submit this stuff first especially for the bigger items and kind of go forward with that. 

The perception from some is that there is some kind of quality control issue at JGR and do you agree with that view? 

Yeh I think from our standpoint our guys have definitely been working hard on the reliability. We’ve got good performance and that’s been a big part but the reliability piece is somewhat difficult…we have three teams here. Most teams might have six, seven eight teams to work with and they can see more things than we see. So part of it is seeing more with the three teams we have and to work closer with Toyota and TRD on what issues they see, what we see and kind of just have better communication but part of it is…we’ve been doing this twenty years and had a motor program probably for seventeen of them and one of the hardest things you do is build motors. You try to be consistent and be fast and that hasn’t changed but hopefully we’ll be able to get some of these kinds worked out and get some more reliability. 

This isn’t the first team you’re team has been in the spotlight for things away from the race track but they always seems to rise to the occasion – you had Denny Hamlin first and Kyle Busch third Sunday in Michigan. What is it about your race team that they can rebound and perform so well when things like this are thrown in their way? 

Our guys mentally are pretty strong, they’re tough but I think that’s probably the same with a lot of teams in the garage. But I think our guys if you’re running in the field like mid-pack or further, no one is going to talk about you anyway. An issue comes up in tech line nobody cares. When you run upfront and you’re expected to win and challenge it’s a big deal. And so I think our guys to a good job, the crew chiefs’ responsibility with their guys have done a good job, with media and with fans….kind of controlling that piece and I think from an ownership standpoint we’ve done a good job and we need to keep working on that to make sure our guys continue. What’s been fun for me is watching Kyle and Denny and Joey each of them have been good at a different track really where they haven’t been good at. It makes Kyle good at tracks where he hasn’t been good at and Joey good at tracks where he hasn’t been good at and Denny the same.  That’s been a good thing for me and interesting to watch this year. 

JGR has been mentioned often of late as a possible destination for Carl Edwards who is a free agent from Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the year. Have you had discussions about bringing Edwards into your fold and perhaps starting a fourth team? 

For us in each of the past three years when a driver’s name comes up when you look around the garage we’re one of the few teams that has a fourth spot available. So they all get plugged in there. Obviously this year it’s been a bigger deal because Carl’s become a bigger name among drivers. But we learned when we put the 11 car together you have to have all of the pieces right. You have to have the sponsor, you have to have the driver, you have to have the team…if you don’t have one of those aspects and we learned the hard way putting the 11 car together it’s going to be a rough road. So you’ve gotta make sure that just because it all looks good you have to make sure it all fits together. We have the room for a fourth car that we can do, we can be prepared but we’ve learned you’re better off with three and just making that work until you get all the pieces in place for a fourth one.


 
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Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Carl Edwards paces opening Pocono practice

Posted by Pete Pistone

Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards was on top the leader board in Friday's first Sprint Cup Series practice session at Pocono Raceway for SUnday's 5-Hour Energy 500:

5-HOUR ENERGY PRACTICE ONE 



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Posted on: May 22, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 10:47 am
 

Edwards, team post All-Star comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

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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Posted on: May 22, 2011 12:48 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 12:55 am
 

Speed Read: Sprint All-Star Race

By Pete Pistone




It’s not often a race can live up to unrealistic expectations.

Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race was a perfect example.

In the wake of the Mother’s Day weekend dust-up between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, the war of words that followed for several days and the near constant focus on “Boys Have at It,” many expected Saturday’s 27th annual event to be one for the ages.

It had all the ingredients. No points on the line. A sanctioning body willing to look the other way on aggressive driving. And a $1 million payday at the end of the night.

But after nearly four hours of mostly pomp and not much circumstance only Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing had much to celebrate about.

Edwards dominated the night and ran away from Kyle Busch in the final ten-lap segment to salt away the win and leave any potential fireworks for another day.

Not surprisingly, Edwards wasn’t very upset at the lack of drama.

“You're not always going to have a side-by-side, three-wide finish," Edwards said. "But one little thing being different...and it could have been a much different race.

"Nine out of 10 times, it's going to be a much closer finish that it was tonight."

Unfortunately for thousands of race fans who jammed into Charlotte Motor Speedway and who were watching at home Saturday night was not one of those nights.

The night reminded me a lot of last September’s regular season finale at Richmond. With all the Chase spots locked up and no real incentive to points race, there was much speculation the last race before the playoffs would be a barnburner of epic proportions.

Every driver had nothing else to prove except to bring home the winning trophy.

“Boys Have at It” was in full stride and with the competitive reputation of the Richmond short track, the stage seemed to be set for something special.

Not so much.

It turned out to be a dud and a reminder of how dangerous it is to raise the expectation level too high.

This year’s All-Star Race was a refresher course.

    

RISERS

David Reutimann

A former Charlotte winner, Reutimann was closing fast in the final segment and should carry a nice dose of momentum and confidence into next Sunday’s 600.

Tony Stewart

Celebrated his 40th birth weekend with a strong showing in the All-Star Race, a much-needed solid performance for the of late struggling Stewart Haas Racing entry.

David Ragan

Raced his way into the main event by winning the Sprint Showdown and followed that performance with a Top 10 run in the All-Star Race. A potential dark horse for a first points Cup win in the 600.

 

FALLERS

Kasey Kahne

The former winner suffered one of the night’s biggest accidents when he slammed the second turn wall hard and knocked out the Team Red Bull entry that has been running so well in recent weeks.

Mark Martin

A third All-Star Race win was not in the cards for the veteran driver who was piloting a sweet retro paint scheme honoring the late Tim Richmond.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Could not race his way from the Showdown to the main event so used the Sprint Fan Vote as his ticket in but could not muster anything but a mediocre 14th place finish.

 

RADIO WAVES

(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs) 

"Really hot in here. Like my legs and my back are really hot,” Kasey Kahne

"Same things as every week. I really just don't care. I can't believe we're this good right now,” Kurt Busch

“Just kick your feet up. Grab a drink with an umbrella," Kurt Busch to his spotter

`It looks like we took a knife to a gun fight on part of that," Kasey Kahne’s crew chief Kenny Francis

 

RACE RATING

On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Saturday night’ Sprint All-Star Race a one. They can’t all be gems and Saturday’s 27th edition of the all-star gathering was a big dud. All the build-up of possible repercussions from the Kyle Busch-Kevin Harvick feud or “Boys Have at It” erupting into a good old-fashioned Saturday night brawl ended in a tame and rather peaceful night in Charlotte. Carl Edwards and his fans were no doubt happy but there had to be a lot of folks left disappointed after watching one of the more sedate Sprint Cup races in some time. Track officials, NASCAR and SPEED also need to do something about the inordinate amount of dead time between actual racing and the endless introductions, ceremonies and fluff. Any other major sport that started its all-star event at 9:50 p.m. ET would be barbequed.

 

DOWN THE ROAD

Back to the nitty gritty of the regular season with the longest race on the schedule and next Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. While teams have the luxury of staying home another weekend in Charlotte, they’ll have one of the year’s most grueling races to tackle next Sunday as the Memorial Day weekend tradition continues in NASCAR.



 
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Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:14 am
 

Edwards, Keselowski post Darlington comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

KERRY THARP: Let's roll right into our post-race press conference. Our third-place finisher is Brad Keselowski. Brad, certainly your best showing of the 2011 season. Have to feel pretty good.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: It was our best finish, but definitely not our best run. We're probably about a 15th-place car. Just kind of played some strategy there at the end and still kind of in the same boat. We've had a couple races where I felt like we were pretty decent. Bristol, so forth, caught some bad breaks.

Today honestly we weren't so good and caught some good breaks, kind of stayed out, made something of that last few restarts, was able to get a third-place finish out of it.

I'm proud of the result. Not really how we got it, but proud of the result. Still we got a long ways to go to be fast and to earn it. We got a lot of work to do, but a good team effort to kind of get a solid finish out of a mediocre day.

KERRY THARP: Questions for Brad.

Q. The decision to stay out on old tires, was that yours or the crew chief?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, I kind of had been yelling at Paul all day. At the end he told me to do what I wanted to do. I saw everybody pitting. I kind of figured they would all wreck on one of the last restarts, it would come down to a green-white-checkered. It did. Caught a good break there. There's no guarantees that will happen.

Was able to hold off the 4 car, everybody but the 99 there at the end.

Q. On the restart, you pulled up in front of Carl. What were you looking for right there?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Which one? The last one?

Q. The last one.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: The last one, basically Regan with his older tires, it was going to be hard for him to get going with the gears. I restarted next to Regan before in the race, saw he was struggling even in normal situations. I timed the restart about a car length or so back, gave him a huge push into turn one, which was enough to get him the drive he needed. That helped him clear the 99. I just fouled him up in the hole, kind of logjammed it, which kept Carl from getting back next to him.

Your thought is to just get all you can and dig and claw. I knew I was no match for Carl. His car had been way faster all night. Had two more tires than what I had, which was zero.

This has always been one of my favorite tracks. I think it was '94, '95, somewhere in there, this racing video game came out called NASCAR Racing. This was the only track I ran.

I don't know, for some reason I always liked it. I always said I had the advantage from that all along, ran well here, at least on the Cup side. I used to race with Denny Hamlin and stuff on the video game. This was one of our favorite places to come. It's that way in the real world, too. Maybe that's why I run here better than some other places.

It's a place I respect. It's a place that you have to respect. It's been good to me.

Q. The restart before that last restart, what did you see? We're looking at 18, 29. Did you see any of that stuff going on?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: No, I didn't see any of the wrecks back there. I'm sure there are some angry people. It's the basic same old thing, kind of what happened last night. You line up a bunch of faster cars. They all kind of lose their heads because they have to make hay real quick. Someone is going to lose out on that deal. Sounds like that's what happened.

KERRY THARP: Brad, good run out there tonight.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Thank you, guys.

KERRY THARP: Our race runner-up, still our points leader by 23 over Jimmie Johnson is Carl Edwards.

Congratulations. Solid run out there tonight. Talk about how things went out there for you this evening.

CARL EDWARDS: I definitely underestimated that restart a little bit. I saw Regan spin his tires and I heard him pedaling a little. I thought, Don't beat him to the start/finish line. We have an advantage with these tires. I didn't want to lose that way. As soon as I started pedaling to stay even with him, Brad and him locked up, they were gone. Then I was chasing.

Man, I really felt like that was our race to win. We had a great lead that we earned all night. It was unfortunate, we had that yellow.

Regan is a heck of a guy. That's NASCAR racing. As upset as I am to have lost that race, I'm happy for Regan and his accomplishment. But, man, I'll run that one back a few times in my head.

KERRY THARP: Questions for Carl Edwards.

Q. This is the second surprise victor we had after Trevor. Talk about how NASCAR has changed in the last few years.

CARL EDWARDS: I think that's the wrong way to look at this. I think Regan is as good as any driver out there. Those guys have earned what they have. There's a reason they sit not on poles, but they've been out-qualifying everyone. It's just a matter of time before they put a whole race together.

I think, myself included, all of us kind of underestimate them a little bit. But that will occur no longer. Those guys, you know, they got to Victory Lane. This is NASCAR. It's an equal opportunity. If you can do it, then you earn it.

Q. Carl, did you and Bob contemplate staying out when the next to last caution came out? Also, how surprised are you that Regan beat you on old tires?

CARL EDWARDS: I didn't contemplate staying out. I thought about it. But I thought new tires would be such an advantage with 20 or 25 laps. I thought what we did was the right call.

I think if it would have gone green, if we wouldn't have had that caution, if I would have had more than a lap to work Regan over, I think we would have run right by him.

But we didn't get it. It turned into a green-white-checkered. I was surprised. When I drove down into turn three on the last lap, I sincerely planned on driving right by him. His car stuck a lot better than I thought. It surprised me. I really thought it was going to be a drag race to the start/finish line. He stayed out front.

Q. Carl, whether this is accurate, does it just seem sometimes like the most impossible races to win are the very ones that you want the most?

CARL EDWARDS: In the case of Darlington and me, yes, that seems to be true.

From my first trip here, Bobby Hutchens, Jeff Burton, Jack Roush, everyone that helped me get prepared for this race told me how much history there was here. I talked to everyone. I studied tapes. I got help from all these guys.

That first truck race, we were running I mean great, running down Ted Musgrave for the win, we had some trouble. Then one time we were running down Jeff and Greg for the lead in the 500, I think we had an oil pump belt come off or something like that.

Then tonight I let myself for a minute imagine what it would be like to win this race. It felt really good for a minute, but it wasn't meant to be. I'll keep trying. It's sad we have to wait a year to come back here. I love racing here. This is as good as it gets for a driver.

Q. Can you talk about being in close quarters with Keselowski, given your history? Were you happy you kept it together and raced each other cleanly?

CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I told him after the race I thought he did a really good job, because he did. He gathered it up underneath me. I couldn't see his elbows in there, but I could imagine they were flying all over the place. I was between him and the wall, and I was in a safer spot if something did go wrong, but he did a good job.

Q. You were talking about having the better tires. How much more did aero play into this? Did aero overcome the advantage of the tires?

CARL EDWARDS: That's a very good question. I think that was a big part of it. It seemed aero played a bigger role here than I think it ever has. It was a larger factor in how fast your car went than the difference between the cars. So even if you had a faster car, sometimes you could catch a guy, you just couldn't overcome that bad air that you'd be running in trying to pass him.

There at the end, I think that might have been part of it. Regan did a good job. Looked like he was going to drive into the bottom on three. Let it wash into my path. Did a good job of mirror driving there. Kept my car from having the most grip it could have.

Q. Why was there a University of Georgia decal on your car tonight?

CARL EDWARDS: The folks from Aflac were here. Dan Amos was here. He brought Georgia football and basketball coaches with him. There was a lot of folks pulling from Georgia for that racecar tonight. I wish I could have got the win for them.

Q. You told a story on TV working for Regan Smith's car. Can you go over that story for us.

CARL EDWARDS: I was driving Mike's truck. I had run I think seven races and I couldn't run any more and still hold the rookie eligibility for the next year, so Mike hired Regan to drive at Phoenix. I was kind of heartbroken. I was a racecar driver. I didn't want to go work on that truck while somebody else was driving it.

I went there and I felt kind of honored when it was all over, to have worked with him and met his family. They're really good people. We changed the engine right there in the garage. I just decided, All right, I'm going to go ahead and work, swallow my pride. I'm glad I did because I got to know Regan a little bit better and he's a good guy.

He could have treated me any way and he treated me like gold then, so I got a lot of respect for him.

Q. This is one of the toughest tracks, yet there are more drivers that seem to like it. Can you explain that? He studied video. Did you do any of that?

CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I think the iRacing stuff can help you here. I think the reason we racecar drivers like this track is because, you know, it's so difficult that the driver can make a difference in the outcome. It seems like it's a real driver's racetrack. If you really dig down deep and do your best, you can make something happen here. That's really fun. As a racecar driver, that's as good as it gets.

Q. You had a history with Brad last year. We saw Montoya and Newman. I guess Montoya was into Jimmie Johnson tonight. Then you saw the Harvick/Busch thing. Are you worried that this thing is getting a little out of hand?

CARL EDWARDS: No. I haven't really paid much attention to the details of everything that's going on. That's the passion of the sport. I've been involved with my fair share of that stuff. I guess I'll just sit back and watch like everybody else and see what happens.

Q. (No microphone.)

CARL EDWARDS: It depends. It is nice to just go out and race and to be upset after the race for finishing second, not being in an altercation with someone. That's kind of nice. But this is racing. You're going to have stuff like that. I think all of us out there know that can happen anytime and we're prepared.

 

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 11:19 am
 

Biffle contract extension near

By Pete Pistone

Greg Biffle is expected to officially announce a contract extension to stay with Roush Fenway Racing during this weekend's activities at Talladega Superspeedway.

Several sources have reported Biffle has inked a new deal to remain with team owner Jack Roush. 

Biffle hinted last month that he was on track to continue his Cup career with RFR, where he has competed since 2003. Prior to moving up to NASCAR's top level, Biffle won championships in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series with Roush.

Terms of the deal are not known but speculation has the extension keeping Biffle in the stable through the 2014 season.

Once Biffle is inked, Roush has the task of negotiating a new contract for Carl Edwards. His deal also expires at the end of 2011 and like Biffle, Edwards has publicly stated he'd like to remain in the Roush camp although rumors of Team Ted Bull, which has an open seat when Kasey Kahne leaves for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, may make an offer.


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Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: April 12, 2011 11:24 am
 

Video of the Day: Edwards Talladega crash

Posted by Pete Pistone

Carl Edwards went airborne in a race to the finish line with Brad Keselowski two years ago at Talladega Superspeedway in one of the most spectacular crashes in NASCAR history:




Posted on: April 10, 2011 1:21 am
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:23 am
 

Bowyer, Edwards post Texas comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

We're now joined in the Samsung Mobile Media Center by tonight's second place finisher, Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. Clint, it's your best career finish at TMS, your third Top 5 finish here, talk about your night.

CLINT BOWYER:  It was a good night, a good weekend. Really proud of everybody on this Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet. We've come on, we've had solid runs and we're clicking now. That's what it takes in this sport. You've got to be able to get on a momentum swing, get some confidence built back up, and you have to start with that.

Just so proud of everybody for digging in deep, and bringing in good equipment to the racetrack, and you know having great finishes. I got in the lead there, and got away from him once, but I was driver, you know, as hard as I possibly could to stay in front of him, obviously.

I got into the 83 car, and about ruined our night for us. But it was a solid run. It was a run we could be proud of.

Q. Clint, how about that incident with the 83?

CLINT BOWYER:  It was big.

Q. It could have been a lot bigger?

CLINT BOWYER: Yeah.

Q. Did you come up on him faster than you thought?

CLINT BOWYER:  I had a run. And it was so important to get around those guys as soon as you got to them. They just slowed you down so much. It took me a couple of laps and I slowed down 2.5 tenths. And he was starting to catch me.

I just forced the issue a little too much. Got loose underneath, having got into him, and almost ruined the night. Did you see that? It was dirt tracking it. At its best, in the middle of the straightaway. Not supposed to do that.

CARL EDWARDS:  I didn't see the straightaway.

CLINT BOWYER:  Oh, you didn't?

CARL EDWARDS:  I saw Matt get under there. You did that to me.

CLINT BOWYER:  I did?

CARL EDWARDS:  Yeah, you got by me.

CLINT BOWYER:  I'm sorry.

CARL EDWARDS:  You're not sorry.

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Scotts Ford. It's his fourth Top 5 finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Carl, talk about your night?

CARL EDWARDS:  Our car was really loose all night. Man, we struggled. It seemed like we put on a set of tires, made a small adjustment and the car would be way different. I don't know what adjustment was making the car change so much.

But we worked pretty hard, and it just went our way. Third was about the best we could hope for, and coming out of here with the points lead and a trip to Victory Lane is a good trip to Texas for us.

Q. Two things real quick. Could you talk about the heat? Some of the guys were talking about how hot it was and needing water early on, what was that like?

CLINT BOWYER:  That was one of the hottest times I've ever had in the car. It's early in the season, and those guys are a little reluctant to put all the fans in the car that Carl has in his. And, you know, makes him look like Superman all the time. You know, that's pretty much what it is.

More than anything, my feet were burning up. There is a lot of stuff they're doing for weight and everything else. It's early in the season, and they just figured they don't need to put it in until it gets hot in the summer. But I'd say my boys will be putting that stuff back in.  I think Kevin was hot too, so it's kind of a common thing with the RCR cars.

Q. What has Kevin's wins the last couple of weeks done to start a fire for all you guys that didn't get off to the best of starts with the RCR?

CLINT BOWYER:  You've got to give credit where credit's due. It's the set-up that we have in our car. We owe a lot to them. They came over to RCR, and had a good package, a good baseline package. We didn't go down that path for a few weeks. We were out to lunch. We switched over to their stuff, and you know, it's worked out good for us.

Proud of their race team. It's been an asset to RCR so far, and we hope to continue it that way.

Q. For both of you, how did the wind affect you out there especially coming off the backstretch into three and four?

CARL EDWARDS:  It's pretty serious. My car started moving around a lot like three quarters into the race. I was like what the heck is that? It's like the wind got stiffer throughout the race maybe. So it's a pretty big factor, I thought.

CLINT BOWYER:  It was weird. Whatever your car was, it was the handful you had into three. If it was tight, it was really tight. If it was loose, it almost pushed you around backwards getting in. So that's what you thought. It just amplified the problem.

Q. Were you going for the Pepto Bismol sponsorship? What was wrong?

CARL EDWARDS:  I was a little sick this morning, and I thought I was all right. My stomach was messed up about 50 laps in.

CLINT BOWYER:  What did you eat last night?

CARL EDWARDS:  Well, my mom made a little dish. I don't think one of the ingredients was bad. I think it might have been her first attempt at it.

CLINT BOWYER:  I'll cook for you next week.

CARL EDWARDS:  Yeah, I bet.

Q. Was there an ultimate result you want to talk about?

CARL EDWARDS:  No, I'd rather not talk about the details. I'm good. No, I kept everything in, so we were okay.

I knew in this white fire suit I had to be careful, so...

Q. Carl, did you feel like that you pretty much spent the entire race making in-race adjustments?

CARL EDWARDS:  Yeah, we were trying really hard to get the car right, and we never did. That's why Bob and I are so happy with third. It was the best result with the balance that was that far off that we've probably ever had. I think everybody was struggling a lot. It was kind of who struggled the least.

Yeah, we worked hard.

Q. Carl, was there any point early on where you wondered am I going to have to get out of this thing? Was it ever that bad?

CARL EDWARDS: If I were from Kansas or something, we might think about that. But we don't do that where I'm from.

No, I didn't think about that. If it would have gotten worse, Ricky Stenhouse was standing by for child birthing relief duties.

CLINT BOWYER:  So you did have a standby driver, the all mighty Carl Edwards.

CARL EDWARDS:  Yeah, but no, I wasn't going to get out of the car. We were running too well.

Q. Did you guys really hit a bird early on? I mean, you guys went through everything tonight.

CARL EDWARDS:  I didn't see any feathers, but Bob said there were some feathers on the front, which being sponsored by a duck, that's not good. So we’ll leave that be. It probably did not happen.

Q. You won in Las Vegas. Now Matt's won here. All four of the cars finished in the top seven on a big 1.5 mile oval. That's got to give you guys a lot of confidence going forward going through the track being so dominant in the series?

CARL EDWARDS:  Yeah, I was a little nervous after Martinsville. We came here and ran like we did at Vegas. There were times when all the Roush cars, I think they were 1, 2, 3, and I was running 6th or 7th. So our cars are good right now. We're enjoying it. We've just got to keep it going.

 

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