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Edwards Holds Court In Daytona

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 13 2010
Carl Edwards spent some time talking racing at Daytona on Friday. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards spent some time talking racing at Daytona on Friday. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Daytona Beach, Fla. – When it comes to speaking his mind, there are few NASCAR drivers more candid than Carl Edwards.

On a rainy Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway, Edwards met with the media twice and touched on a wide range of topics including Sunday’s Daytona 500, Ford’s new engine, Hendrick Motorsports’ domination of the sport, fatherhood and his recent appearance on WWE’s Monday night raw.

On his chances of winning the Daytona 500: “Our Aflac Ford Fusion seems pretty good, not quite as good as Kasey Kahne’s Ford Fusion, though, so I’m really glad we have him as a teammate to go lean on.

“In the qualifying race, we got a lot of really good racing in. I learned a lot. (Crew chief) Bob (Osborne) and I got to make some adjustments to figure out what was wrong with our setup and why it wasn’t quite as good as it needed to be, and, fortunately, everybody did a really good job of making it through the end of the race without any catastrophe.

“So we can all go work on our cars and go practice a little bit (on Saturday) and hopefully have a great race. I’m really looking forward to this race. The cars drive really neat on the race track. The rules package is very, very good.  It’s very exciting for us drivers.”

On competing in the 500 with Ford’s older 452 model engine instead of their new FR9 power plant: “I’m fine with the old engine. It’s been great. That has not been a limiting factor for us in the past. I think that’s the right thing for us to do is stick with what we know works and not risk too much.

“Right now, we’re starting the race to make the Chase and you can’t give up anything right now trying stuff, but as we get later in the year and we either have more confidence or less to lose, then maybe we try it more.”

On Hendrick Motorsports’ recent domination: “It’s unreal. It’s very frustrating because, obviously, we’re competing with them. It’s frustrating, but then the other side of that is we look over there – and I know people say this a lot, but it’s true – you say, ‘That’s how good we can be.  If we do everything right, we can do that.’

“I know what that feels like. In 2008, I felt like every time we went to the track I’m like, ‘We can beat them. We can do it.” So they’re inspirational as well as frustrating, I guess.”

On impending fatherhood: “(Wife) Kate is doing really well. We put the crib together (Thursday night). It felt like building, but she’s doing really well. I’ve been taking pictures of her belly from the same point. I have my spot on the floor. I get down and take a picture and she stands there on the same spot and we’ve been flipping  through the pictures and the belly just gets bigger and bigger.

“I asked her if it felt like it’s moving down at all because they say that’s what happens before the baby comes out, so we reviewed the pictures and the last picture looks a lot different. I’m a little nervous. It won’t be long. The due date is Wednesday. I’ve got my new phone that Sprint gave me that’s working well and I’m just waiting for a phone call.”

On guest hosting WWE Monday Night Raw on USA earlier this week: “(Professional wrestler) John Cena and I met at a Gillette production day. And he is a car nut. He loves cars. He loves racing. Since that time, maybe three years ago, he’s come to the races a lot. He does that because he likes the sport.

“He’s been trying to get me to come and do something with the WWE and it’s taken a long time for it to work out. But we went Monday night and (Subway spokesperson) Jared (Foley) and I got to spend a lot of time there. It was a blast. I got to do a backflip off of the top rope at a WWE wrestling match. It’s like every kid’s dream. And that was a lot of fun.

“Everybody was a lot of fun to work with. And Jared and I had some fun with the guys doing some skits for Subway backstage. So it was a pretty cool event.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, February 13 2010
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