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Friday, August 15, 2014

Carl Edwards press conference at Michigan Speeday -- FULL TRANSCRIPT

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Ford EcoBoost Fusion – YOU HAVE HAD SUCCESS HERE AND WERE FAST OUT THERE ALREADY TODAY. “There is a lot of pride for me to be driving the Ford EcoBoost Fusion here in Ford’s backyard and Jack Roush’s backyard to be able to come here and drive that car means a lot to me. If I am not mistaken it was 10 years ago this weekend that I got my start in this series in the 99 car with Jack. It makes me feel really old. The car was extremely fast in qualifying trim there. That was a blast. I think that is the fastest lap I’ve ever made in a race car. That was fun. It looks like all our Ford’s are pretty good. Hopefully we can turn that into a good qualifying effort. We still need a pole this season and then we move on to race trim tomorrow. For us, this would be a great place to get a win.”
WHAT IS THE KEY HERE TO CAR SETUP? “The key for me is to be able to look at Greg Biffle’s data. That is the key here. He is Superman here. I think Greg is going to be really good and that helped me a lot in practice. For this track, there is so much time on throttle. You are just on the gas with super high speeds. The engines, everybody at Roush Yates engines has been doing a great job. The car has to be perfect. Not only does it have to handle perfectly but has to be the right distance off the race track. It has to be perfect. This is a place where there is a lot of engineering involved. As a driver you have to be ultra smooth. It is a huge corner and if you bobble or slit the stopwatch shows it.”
NO MATTER YOUR VIEW OF THE TRAGEDY LAST SATURDAY NIGHT WE KNOW IT INVOLVED DRIVER EMOTIONS. YOU HAVE HAD SOME TIMES IN THE PAST WHERE I WOULD ASSUME YOU WOULD SAY THAT YOUR EMOTIONS GOT THE BEST OF YOU.“Well, you can assume that but I think people are assuming a lot. I think to frame this in the light that we understand what happened I think is wrong. I will say that really clearly. I have been racing my whole life you guys. I have been around racing my whole life. I don’t know what happened. I guess the people that know what happened or know what everybody was thinking must be a lot smarter than me. To me, for me personally – I can’t obviously tell everybody what they should do, but it is not right for me to discuss what happened because I don’t know. The things I do know is that was a tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. It seems like the Ward family are good people and I can say that if anybody in this room – anybody in a 10 mile radius of here needed something – we all know Tony Stewart would help them with it. Those are the things we know. That is all I have to say about that.”
IS THERE A WAY FOR DRIVERS TO CONTROL THEIR EMOTIONS WHEN THEY ARE UPSET? “I am not going to answer that question because I believe you are framing a question with the assumption that you know what was going on in that situation. I don’t think any of us do right now. I am not trying to be disrespectful; I am trying to respect the events and the folks that are grieving over those events.”
RACING AT MICHIGAN, WHAT IS IT YOU FIND THE MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS TRACK AND HOW MUCH DO YOU FEEL THIS IS STILL A FORD TRACK, A ROUSH TRACK, DESPITE RECENT STRUGGLES? “We came and tested here. Just walking through the garage you see people wearing Roush t-shirts. There are a lot of people here from Roush Industries. The Ford folks come here. Jim Farley and those guys drive their personal cars to the racetrack to be a part of this event. For us, there is no place where there is more pride in winning as a driver for Roush Fenway. From the performance side, the first race here we were not the way we needed to be. We have hopefully stepped it up. If there is a Roush Fenway driver standing in victory lane it will be the biggest win of the year for our team.”
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE HERE? “The biggest challenge is the perfection you have to bring to win here. At these speeds with the way the cars are now, your strategy and everything just has to be perfect. I think that is really hard to do right now. I know it is because we have been struggling.”
YOU STRUGGLED IN JUNE HERE YET WERE FAST ON THE BOARD, ALL THREE ROUSH CARS, WHAT CHANGED OVER THAT TIME PERIOD AND ALSO DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR TUESDAY AT ABOUT 10 AM? “What changed? I guess you guys should probably go talk to Robbie Reiser. I don’t know if there is a guy that has worked harder this season in this sport than he has. He has given everything. Jack Roush is the same way. Everyone at the shop has dug deep. Some of the meetings I have been in – the few I have been in relative to those guys it has been pretty rough. Everybody is digging deep trying to figure out what we need to do. The change is not one thing, it is the whole group. I don’t know what releases have gone out of whatever so I can’t really talk about next Tuesday yet. I am not really up to speed about what all has been said or what I am supposed to say.”
CONSIDERING WE KNOW YOU ARE LEAVING ROUSH AND POSSIBLY FORD, GIVEN THE HISTORY OF THAT MANUFACTURER HERE, DOES IT MAKE THIS RACE FOR YOU ANY MORE SPECIAL OR PRESSURE? “This race is always special. You guys know how proud I am to represent Ford. Right now my goal is to go represent Ford and drive as hard as I can for Jack Roush the same way I always have and to get us a championship. That would be I guess extra special to be able to do that right now.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS SUNDAY TO SHOW WHERE MAYBE THE TEAM IS FOR THE CHASE? “It is not about making a statement or proving anything to anyone. We have to go out and perform and for us it is about technically and literally being able to prove that we can do it. We want to be able to not only perform well but to learn all we can in these next few races so that we are best prepared for the Chase. Right now, these races as the clock winds down and you get closer it becomes more of a rush and more serious. You know and I know that if we go those first three or six races and we don’t have our act together it doesn’t matter what you do after that. You have to wait a whole year to do it again. It is an important time for us and it appears from this practice session we are making progress.”


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