Carl Edwards qualifies second at Texas

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, will start second on Sunday, one of three Roush Fenway Racing drivers to qualify in the top 10. David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion) will start seventh, and Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion) will start eighth.

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd) –

YOU WERE FAST IN PRACTICE, AND THEN PICKED UP FOR YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. “That’s just my guys working hard and me sitting there thinking about it. I wasn’t doing the best job in practice. I knew I could go faster. It’s really cool to put together a good lap like that. I’m not the best qualifier, so hopefully that will hold up for a really good spot.” DO YOU DO BACKFLIPS AFTER WINNING A POLE, TOO? “No. I’ll tell you what, though, I really want to be in that Bud Shootout. That Shootout is a fun race. I sat and watched them – I don’t want to talk about it too much, they’ve got about 50 more guys to go, but I hope it holds up.” ROUSH FENWAY RACING IS SO GOOD AT THESE INTERMEDIATE TRACKS. HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THAT BUILD UP FOR YOU COMING INTO A RACE LIKE THIS? “That’s huge. It’s a huge amount of confidence. Right now, I feel like our cars are second to none, so when we come to these places where the car is really huge, the car is an integral part of it more than other places. I’m really, really happy to come to these tracks right now.”

CARL EDWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (qualified 2nd) – DID YOU SEE MCDOWELL’S CRASH, AND WHAT DID YOU THINK? “I’m glad that he’s all right, just like everybody else. I went and looked at the car. That’s a hard hit. That’s all you can say about that. That’s a very, very hard hit – that initial hit and then everything that happened afterwards. I’m real happy that he walked away. I’m surprised that he’s not hurt in any way. Like everybody said, that’s a testament to the safety equipment. I still think that, like always, there’s things that we can do to be better, and I think the number one thing will be to look at the car – I got to look at it really closely, and I think there are parts of that roll cage that we can beef up more and do a better job with. But I’m glad he’s all right. I’m glad I didn’t have to go after THAT, I’m glad I went before it, because that would be a hard one to get out of your mind.”

IS THERE SOME PRESSURE NOW TO REALLY GET A TOP-FIVE OR A WIN TO GET BACK IN THE TOP 12 AND BE A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLE FROM HERE ON OUT? “Nothing’s guaranteed, and for me, I feel pressure to win every week that I put on myself, since I started racing when I was 15 years old. In light of the points situation, we just can’t give away any more points. Our cars are so great at these mile-and-a-half tracks – I’m very excited, I couldn’t wait to come back to this race track and race. And the way things went in practice and how fast it was in qualifying, I think we’ve got an amazingly fast race car. So, if nothing goes wrong it should be a great weekend for us.”

CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH THE LAP. AND, DID YOU LEAVE ANYTHING OUT THERE? “I didn’t leave anything out there. That was a good lap. I think I ran a 28.73 or something like that in practice, a .74. To run a 28.49, for me, was really good, considering the track was essentially the same temperature, the sun was still high in the sky. So, if I did it again I don’t think I could go any faster. That was a greta lap for me. I really wanted that shotgun. That was a little painful to see Dale go that fast.”

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion (qualified 7th) – IT’S CERTAINLY BEEN A LONG DAY, BUT IT HAS BEEN A GOOD DAY FOR YOU. “Yeah, Friday’s kind of checked off now. We got through Friday. We were pretty good in practice, and this was a good lap, so far. If it can wind up anywhere in the top-10, top-15, we’ll be happy. It certainly helps to start up towards the front, and we’re pretty pleased to see some of the other Fords up there. Five hundred miles is a long ride on Sunday, and this is a good start.”

ROUSH FENWAY AS A GROUP DID WELL TODAY. ARE THE SET-UPS SIMILAR OR DOES THIS TRACK LEND ITSELF TO SOME DRIVER INDIVIDUALITY? “We’re pretty close to the same. I don’t know the particulars, but usually, in this new-style car, if you’ve got one car that’s pretty fast and you get something that’s similar set-up-wise amongst all the cars, you’ve got something that’s pretty good. We all work hard and we put our minds together after practice, after qualifying and we’re trying to make this team stronger and I think we have, and I think that shows from qualifying down to the races.”

MATT KENSETH – No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion (qualified 8th) – “Actually, really disappointed with it. The car didn’t drive anything like it did in practice. It was just way too tight, for some reason. The speed doesn’t look that bad, but I’m really disappointed in how it drove. I really thought we were going to have a shot to be a little bit quicker than that.”

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion (qualified 16th) – WERE YOU HOPING FOR A LITTLE MORE THAN THAT? “I was. That’s too bad. I had a pretty good car. I wasn’t expecting the track to look like it did. It had so much grease sweep on it, it had a white color. So then I was worried about getting up out of the groove a little bit, and the front tire started chattering a little bit, and I just couldn’t go to the gas when I wanted to, and just had to wait on it. And that cost me some time. I hit pretty good down here in three and four, but I had to wait for one and two.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Yates Racing Ford Fusion (DNF, engine; will start 41st) – “We’re lucky we’ve put ourselves in a good position in the points this year, so far.”

CAN THIS ALL BE FIXED TODAY SO YOU WON’T LOSE ANY PRACTICE TIME TOMORROW? “Yeah, everything can be fixed. It’s just a bad deal for us.”