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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota/Save Mart 350

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Toyota/Save Mart 350

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Toyota/Save Mart 350

Carl Edwards
June 23, 2013


THE MODERATOR: We are also our joined by third‑place finisher Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 AFLAC Ford. Carl, you started third and were very excited in here yesterday to be starting third. Are you just as excited finishing third today?
CARL EDWARDS: I would have liked to have made a couple spots up. It feels weird to race that hard all day and finish in the same spot you started. That's not the true story. I actually got passed a lot and passed a lot of folks. Pretty dynamic race. There was a lot that happened.
The handling changed quite a bit throughout the race. The tires were a big struggle, which I think makes the racing really good. I'm really, really excited about the tires. And I think everybody did a great job on my team. Jimmy Fennig did a great job.
We had a little bit of a fuel issue. We were spilling some fuel, weren't getting the car all the way full, so we were very nervous whether or not we were going to make it to the end.
Top three finishes, I mean, it's something we can be proud of, and if we can keep coming here and qualify well and finish well, and eventually we will win one of these races.

Q. Can you talk about the amount of work your team has done to improve its road course results?
CARL EDWARDS: We have done a lot of work and there are a lot of people who have contributed a bunch. As a group our whole Ford group has tried and tested different things. We've leaned on Marcos Ambrose a lot and his expertise in road racing, and I think you saw that in qualifying and in the race with myself, Greg and Marcos all qualifying in the top four. There's a pretty big feat for us, and to be running as well as we did‑‑ I think there at the end ‑‑ I don't know where Greg finished‑‑ does anybody know? Eighth? But he was really fast at the beginning. We were pretty fast at times. It looked like Brad was pretty fast. It won't be long and we'll get a Ford to victory lane here at Sonoma.

Q. Carl, you mentioned you were low on fuel late. Could you have afforded a green‑white checkered?
CARL EDWARDS: I don't know. I don't know how much fuel was in the car, but I was definitely dreading a caution with two to go because if that would have happened I don't know if we would have made it to the end. We were very, very close on fuel. Is that what happened to the 42 car? Did he run out of fuel?
I think there would have been a lot of people, and you might have seen guys out there on foot pushing their cars, which I don't know, yeah, that was‑‑ and I also want to say congrats to Martin and that whole bunch. They've worked very hard. I've seen in his eyes some of the close finishes he's had and fast cars without a win. To go that long without a win, that is very tough, and those guys, they've worked really hard, so congrats to them.

Q. Carl, this track has always been known as being difficult to pass on, and the spots are usually 7 and down here in 11. I saw some passes today with the Gen‑6 car all over the track. It looks to be a lot racier than it usually is.
CARL EDWARDS: That's interesting the way you put that because I thought it was harder to pass and that's why we saw guys taking advantage of different spots. So it's not‑‑ but you are right. I saw passes happening in places that I hadn't seen them before, so it was an interesting race that way.
And I think it's because everyone was closer and more even, and there weren't‑‑ it was more difficult to just out‑brake someone into a braking zone. It seemed easier to keep a guy behind you in the braking zone. You saw swaps for position in the esses and up through 2 and 3, and that was pretty interesting.

Q. Obviously there were a couple cautions related to the weather, slowed the race down a little. Did the rain affect you and your driving at all?
CARL EDWARDS: I thought it was pretty neat when it was raining a little bit and the curbs were really slick, but the track retained a lot of grip even though it was a little bit damp. When they threw the caution I thought we could have kept running. I thought that was pretty interesting because it seems like when a track gets that wet it's almost you're unable to get any grip. But this was pretty impressive.
I don't think we were in danger of having any trouble if we would have kept racing. But the curbs were really slippery, so that was an interesting game. I thought I was the only one who saw that, and then I started noticing no one was touching the curbs so it was neat as a racer to see everyone out there trying to figure out where the slick spots were.
THE MODERATOR: Carl, congratulations on your run today.

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