Photo by: Jeff Kluss-SIT
Carl Edwards Wins at Dover
· Roush Fenway Racing is the first Ford team to win 100 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
· Jack Roush began his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career as a car owner with Ford Racing in 1988 when he selected Mark Martin to drive the No. 6 Ford Thunderbird.
· Roush celebrated his first series win on Oct. 22, 1989 when Martin won the AC Delco 500 at North Carolina Speedway.
· Roush has two NNCS championships with Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004).
· Roush Fenway Racing won a team-high 15 races in 2005, a year in which all five teams won at least once and qualified for the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
· Roush Fenway Racing has 100 of the 581 all-time Ford NNCS victories.
· Seven different drivers have combined for Roush Fenway Racing’s 100 wins, led by Mark Martin (35). The others are: Jeff Burton (17), Matt Kenseth (15), Kurt Busch (14), Greg Biffle (11), Carl Edwards (7) and Jamie McMurray (1).
· Matt Kenseth won the first NNCS race with Fusion when he captured the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on Feb. 26, 2006.
· Mark Martin earned the first NNCS points race victory in a Taurus when he won the Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 1998.
· Greg Biffle won the last NNCS race Taurus competed in when he took the checkered flag in the Ford 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, 2005. The victory gave Taurus 100 NNCS points wins during its eight-year tenure as Ford’s flagship model.
· Kurt Busch’s win at Michigan International Speedway on June 15, 2003 was significant because it came on the same day Ford Motor Co. was celebrating its 100th Anniversary.
· Ford became the first manufacturer to win 500 races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series when Jeff Burton won the Carsdirect.com 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, 2000.
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (finished 1st) – “We unloaded on Friday, the Office Depot Ford Fusion was fast. I wish we could’ve started the race right then, it was so good. I’m just really proud of Bob and the guys and all the work they’ve been doing back at the shop and making these cars go quick, and when we unload, because everyone knows how tough it is to drive around here with a car that’s not fast. So, just had a good time – the only trouble we had during the day was the throttle pedal was hanging up early but we came in and fixed that, I think on lap 190 or somewhere in there, and from then on the car was just great. We just fought back and had a great battle with Matt. Hated to see him lose an engine. He easily would’ve been first or second today, and then there at the end battling with Mark. Those restarts were a real stresser, but kind of just decided to have fun with it. And Greg was pretty fast at the end, had tires; I did not need another restart, I was pretty excited that it went green.”
THIS IS YOUR THIRD VICTORY OF THE YEAR AND JACK ROUSH’S 100TH
IN THE CUP SERIES. “I didn’t realize it was your 100th win.”
WHAT ABOUT BEING ONLY THREE POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD? “I think this Chase is turning into what people predicted, the depth is such that I think you’re going to have to win races. We’re two races in and guys had bad luck and all that stuff, to have the top seven guys within 30-something points – is that right? – that’s insane. I think it’s going to be an extremely tough Chase. You’re going to have to have win races to be leading the points at the end. And, I wouldn’t have said that before it started, really, looking at the past Chases, but this one’s for sure that way.”
YOU SEEMED TO BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. DID YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH ANYTHING? “I was always the guy who – Bob can tell you this – I’m a pretty big micro-manager and I like to know everything that’s going on. And I used to do everything on my own race cars – weld everything up and check everything, and now I just pretty much leave it up to Bob. I’m realizing the value of having a good team and being able to lean on them to make decision. It gets to the point now in this sport, I feel where if the car’s doing something, really my job – as much as I’d like to tell Bob what do do – my job is to tell him what it’s doing and to have faith that he’ll fix it and do the right thing. So, I’ve been kind of relying on him more lately and I think that’s been working out. I never worried about anything, really. I just left it up to Bob.”
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS BEFORE YOUR ORGANIZATION STARTED TESTING THE CAR OF TOMORROW? “I can’t speak for Jack, but I think most of us, we kind of waited because we weren’t sure what exactly what rules package we were going to race. I was kind of in denial; I didn’t think we were going to race these cars as much as we’re getting ready to and we are right now. So I think we all just kind of waited around, which probably wasn’t the right thing to do for the short term, but we didn’t waste any resources on testing before we had to, and it was pretty painful. When we went to Richmond that first time, I remember thinking, ‘We’re out to lunch.’ I’ll never forget watching Denny Hamlin go by me, and I thought, ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do. His car is extremely fast.’ But since then it’s turned around, it’s been great. But, initially, yeah, I remember we went to Max Jones’ office and all the drivers showed up and we said, ‘We’ve got to do something,’ and I think everybody responded great. It’s been a great effort.”
CAN YOU ELABORATE ON YOUR PREVIOUS COMMENT ABOUT HAVING TO WIN RACES TO WIN THIS CHASE? AND WHY ARE THE POINTS SO CLOSE RIGHT NOW? “I don’t know the exact reason, but it just seems like you show up at the race track, and it seems to me just in the short time I’ve been here that this race compared to the first time I came to Dover, it seems like the competition is getting closer and closer and there’s less time split between running first and the guy running 10th. It’s just small little things make a big difference. And I think the Chase has worked out this year, I don’t know if it’s because they included 12 drivers or whatever, but it just seems that there are a lot of guys that extremely fast and running very well. I think that folks are used to the format right now. Everyone has seen it happen and watched how guys have won it. I think everybody’s points racing very well. People aren’t making mistakes. Yeah, we’re only two races in, but I just can’t pick a guy out of the Chase that can’t win the thing, so that’s why I think it’s going to be tough, and it’s showing.”
ON GETTING THROUGH THIS RACE, A CHASE RACE, UNSCATHED, COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE FIELD. “It’s huge. This place has great potential for disaster. I think everybody saw those wrecks. I saw the replay on the big screen of that one, into turn three, that’s huge. When we came in and fixed the throttle and went back to 24th, or whatever position we went back to, they threw the green flag, I was running, I think, 38th or 40th or something on the race track, and it looked like a mess. It looked like Russian roulette, to me, for a while. I do feel great that we got out of here. There’s just so many things that could happen. There’s no room for error at this race track. So, to start the Chase off with a 12th and win, that’s about as good as we could’ve hoped for. That’s good. I’m proud of it.”
YOU GAINED 60 POINTS ON THE LEAD TODAY. AND, HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING THE CHASE THIS YEAR AS OPPOSED TO 2005? “Two years ago, at New Hampshire, we couldn’t go in and think we were going to win races. I was learning a lot, as a team were not as mature as we are now, so it is a little different – our perspective, my perspective is, for sure. I look at it completely differently now. I look at it it, go out at gain points, we can win the championship, don’t make mistakes, where in 2005 I thought pretty much, ‘The [heck] with it. I’m just going to go race as hard as I can and see what happens.’ So, it’s different in that way, but w did make a 60-point jump today. I believe Jeff Gordon was leading before the day started; today, as long as I can remember, this race was the biggest disparity in speed between Jeff Gordon and myself, with us being faster. So, I don’t think you’ll see too many days like that where guys are much faster than the point leader. I think Jeff and Tony and myself, between the three or four of us that are tied for the lead, I think one of us is going to run really well and that’s why I think you’re going to have to win races to pick up on these guys. I think we got a little bit lucky with that points jump today.”
HOW DIFFICULT WILL BE NOT TO MAKE MISTAKES AND BE PERFECT FOR THE REST OF THE CHASE? “It is very hard not to make mistakes. In the Busch race yesterday I took a gamble, passing a lapped car and got wrecked, and everybody said, ‘Don’t worry. It’s their fault.’ But you’ve got to learn not to put yourself in those positions. It wasn’t Kurt Busch’s fault last week that he had something wrong with his carburetor. It wasn’t his fault this week that he had a flat tire, I heard he had a flat tire and that’s why he wrecked. So, that wasn’t Kurt Busch making mistakes, it was just things that happened. So, my dad told me from Day 1, ‘There’s a thousand ways to lose a race, and you can only control some of them,’ so you just have to control what you can control. You can’t lose because of one of those things you could control, and if one of those things happen, you just have to accept that – just realizing your performance is all you can do. You can’t dwell. Matt Kenseth had an engine blow up today. That is not Matt Kenseth’s fault, you know? Those are tough to swallow, but you just have to move on.”