Toyota NSCS Kansas Carl Edwards Notes & Quotes

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards was made available to the media at Kansas Speedway:

CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 XFINITY Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What type of pressure do you feel racing in front of your hometown crowd at Kansas Speedway?
“I think it’s pretty obvious – the pressure is pretty high with this format. It’s a little more pressure coming here, but it’s good pressure. I got to talk to Dale Roper this morning, him and a bunch of guys are here. My good buddy Cameron Cooper is here fresh out of court, he’s an attorney. We’re having fun – it’s neat to race here in front of all these people. The car seems very fast, the weather conditions are making the track extremely fast right now. We’ll go qualify, we focus on that this afternoon. We’ll try to go qualify up front and tomorrow we’ll get a good shot at race trim. Everything is going well – having fun.”

What is your initial impression with the new 2017 rules package announcement?
“I have not even looked at it. If it’s not leading up to the Chase at Homestead, I haven’t. That sounds good, it’s neat. Anything we can do to take aerodynamic dependency away from these cars I believe makes the racing better and makes it more fun and showcases the driver’s talent and crew chief’s ability to change. That’s good stuff. Less aero-dependency is good, so good job NASCAR – sounds like it’s going to be fun.”

How special was your first Truck Series victory at Kansas Speedway?
“That race was amazing – it was so much fun. Dennis Setzer and I got together early, I think it was the first lap and I hit the fence. I remember thinking we’d ruined the day and then we ended winning the race. That was the one where I came down to do the backflip and I thought I could hear this noise and the engine was blowing up and at least the race is over and when I shut the engine off I realized it was the crowd. I had never heard the crowd from inside the car – people were really excited and that win meant a lot to me. Then we had that battle with Jimmie Johnson here and I wanted to win that race so badly. This place is going to be special when we get to victory lane – it’s going to be cool.”

What would be your first thought if you win at Kansas this weekend with this Chase format?
“Just the idea of winning here in front of all the people who have supported me so much – that would be huge. But icing on the cake would be no pressure at Talladega. I definitely envy Jimmie Johnson right now. Those guys did a really good job. I know he’s going to be on his bike a bunch and relaxing and having a good time the next two weeks. We want to be able to do that going to Talladega.”

How does JGR decide which driver gets to test at Miami and are you surprised Martin Truex Jr. isn’t testing?
“I don’t know all of the details, I know that when the year starts we decide who will test where and I really wanted to test at Homestead. There’s two sides to it. There’s an opportunity to test for the ultimate race – the race that finishes the year, but it’s also an interruption in your Chase and you have to go do it and it can take away as well. We feel like testing at Homestead is going to benefit us. I love Homestead, I like going down to south Florida, so for me I think it’s good and our team is prepared to deal with it. There are two sides to it, so I’m not too surprised they decided not to, but I haven’t talked to them and I don’t know their thinking on it.”

How do you approach races at Kansas versus other tracks since it is your home track?
“Cam (Cameron Cooper) and I spoke about it this morning on the phone. It’s like, ‘Hey I’m going to come up and see you, we haven’t seen each other in a long time.’ I’m very fortunate I do have good friends like Cam, like Dale Roper and others who are going to come up and visit. They know I’m here to do a job and it’s really neat because everyone shows up and they’ll come down to the pit box before the race or they’ll be around during practice, but when I go back to the motorhome or talk with the crew chief, everybody knows I’m here to do a job. They’ve been around me since day one and they know what the race track is about and I just feel like I’m really blessed to have a good group of people around me.”

What do you think about the opportunity to share some of your biometric stats with fans from inside the race car?
“I had only heard just a little bit about that. Brad (Keselowski) or somebody brought it up. I don’t know all the details, but it sounds really neat. It sounds like it would be something cool for the fans to watch and it would be cool to go back through the race and see. What kind of parameters are they monitoring, do you know – is it like heartrate? I thought it was more for the fans to see, so hopefully it goes that direction, that would be pretty interesting to watch.”

Have you ever measured your heartrate in the race car?
“We did it one time a long time ago and it is interesting to look at. I remember thinking it didn’t tell me a lot at that time, so we didn’t continue doing it. I notice now going on bike rides and doing stuff – a lot of people are keeping track of their heartrate and it is interesting to watch. Physical exertion and mental stress and all that stuff and how it plays out with your heartrate. I know Dean Golich, my coach from CTS, they understand so much about those things. Being allowed to do that on a regular basis might open up the door to learn some things about myself – especially if it’s broadcast and you can learn about your competition. That would be kind of cool, too. I think they need them on the crew chiefs too – I imagine when that caution comes out late in the race [laughter] that would be interesting.”

What is your outlook on racing at Talladega?
“I think it’s one of those things like Mark Martin said, that pack racing and the restrictor plate racing – once the fans saw it, you’re never going to be able to take it away because it’s crazy. It’s stressful and I don’t think any of the drivers – when it’s over and if you were to win, I’m sure that feels great – I haven’t been able to do that yet. In the middle of it you’re thinking this is insane and that’s why people buy tickets and that’s why they tune in. As you guys are all aware, I don’t know how many times you’ve written or spoken about Talladega in the last few weeks – it’s out there and there’s a reason – it’s unpredictable.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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