Edwards Wins Pole For Sharpie 500

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion (Qualified 27th) – “I just got a little free and I felt like I would have enough track to chase it and just didn’t get out of the throttle.  In a normal situation I would have cracked the throttle and just slowed down a little bit, but I felt like I could hold on for that extra split-second and still get a good lap in.  Our AAA Ford was fast in practice, so we’ll have to put some of the same stuff that worked well in practice on our backup car and just try to make the best out of a bad situation.”

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion (Qualified 1st) – “That’s as fast as I could go.  I wish I hadn’t hit the wall, but I imagine it will be worse than that by the time the race is over.  Bob did a really good job because it was just like it was in practice.” 

HOW EXCITING WAS THAT LAP?  “It wasn’t pretty, but I think it will hold up for a top-5 or top-10.  Bob did a really good job.  It’s just a little treacherous off of four.  We have so much grip in the center, but it can go away just like that.  Hopefully, we can go get David’s car put back together.  He’s done a great job and I really hope he can make the chase.”

BILL ELLIOTT – No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion (Qualified 5th) – “I was tickled to death regardless of what happens to this point.  We made a few changes and, honestly, it didn’t feel that much quicker but you can be a tenth one way or the other here.  I had to feather it a little bit off of four because I got just a little hung out, but it was a good, solid lap.  I thought, ‘Maybe that’ll be OK,’ but we’ll see.”

TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 28 Knight Rider Ford Fusion (Qualified 32nd) – “It’s just not very good.  We’ve really fought it ever since we’ve been here.  We’re just really tight from the middle of the corner and on the throttle.  We made some pretty big adjustments for qualifying there and it was just nowhere near enough.  It actually seemed tighter there than what we actually had in practice, so I don’t know if it’s more rubber getting laid on the track that might have made the track tighter, but we’ve definitely got some work to do.  It’s gonna be tough starting towards the back, but we’ll just have to keep our nose clean and turning a little a better for tomorrow night.”

DAVID GILLILAND – No. 38 Ford. Drive one. Ford Fusion (Qualified 15th) – “I’m really happy with it.  That was a good lap for us.  We weren’t quite as fast as we needed to be in practice, but we kept plugging away and chipping away at it and I’m very happy with that lap.  We weren’t as good as we needed to be in practice, but Cully Barraclough and Scott Graves, we got a new engineer this week, made some great changes and everybody is gelling really well.  Hopefully, this will be the start of good things to come.” 

ALL OF THE LOOSE CARS COMING OFF FOUR, DID THAT AFFECT YOUR LAP?  “It didn’t affect how I ran my lap, but we had some air-pressure stuff in the car that we thought we needed and it made us think twice about that.  We backed some of that out of it.  We should have left it in because we would have been OK, so it does.  It definitely makes you think about it, but, all in all, it was a great lap for our Ford. Drive one. Ford Fusion.”

CARL EDWARDS POLE-WINNING PRESS CONFERENCE

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion – YOU’VE GOT SOME GOOD MOMENTUM.  “Yes.  The pole is huge for us.  At this track, obviously, track position, pit stall selection, those things could not be more important, so that’s really big.  It’s great for the guys and keeps our momentum going, even though I don’t believe in momentum, it sounds good.  We’ll be in the Shootout and that’s the big thing is getting in that race for my guys and sponsors and it’s a chance to get another trophy, so that’s a great, great qualifying effort.” 

HOW FAST WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN IF YOU DIDN’T HIT THE WALL?  “Bob Osborne said, ‘Unless you get the pole, I’m gonna be really ticked off at you for that,’ and it worked out.  But I just got real loose.  You saw a lot of people get loose there.  The cars have so much power and on the bump stops and everything, when you come off the corner the car changes so much.  It’s interesting sometimes coming off the corner, so I’m just glad I didn’t wreck it any worse.” 

THEY’LL FIX IT?  “Yeah, it didn’t hit anything hard.  It just got the body, so I think the guys pretty much have it patched up.  If that’s all the damage we get in the next 24-36 hours, we’ll be alright.” 

SO YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN MOMENTUM?  “I’m just saying it doesn’t really exist.  It’s great for the morale and all that.  That’s the only way that it exists, but, really, this sport you’re either fast or you’re not when you unload and that has to do with the guys and the work they’ve done – not just in the last week or whatever – it’s a long process.  I think the reason we’re running well right now is that everybody has been working real hard for a long time.  I don’t think it has to do with just the last few weeks is all I’m saying.  And I’ve been victim to the momentum stoppers so many times.  Like I came here in 2005 and the whole week they’ve been writing about the magical race car driver that won.  I won my first race and then I spun out in qualifying before I even took the flag and wrecked and I went from hero to zero.  That momentum didn’t work.  It’s just about how it went.  For instance, you can have three wins and then crash, and then three more.”