NASCAR Busch Series: Ford 300
Topics: Ford 300
November 17, 2007
MODERATOR: Jack, comment about winning this final championship in what we have known as the Busch Series. Your thoughts?
JACK ROUSH: We have been pretty fortunate to win the some of these championships. The Nextel Cup Championship, the next, one of the last ones, of course, Matt Kenseth won and Curt Busch came along and won the first Nextel Cup. So I'm hoping that trend will continue and we'll be able to win the first Nationwide Championship going forward.
Of course, then the challenge will be to see if we can win two in a row in the same series with the same name.
But it was a great honor to be involved with Ford this year. They gave us good support for our Ford Fusion. P.K., he did a great job, our crew chief, he's been a great guy in the business for a long time. Certainly deserved it. Carl has got great potential. He was, did a nice job last year and got the experience he needed to close the deal.
We -- I'm feeling that somehow I let the team down. I'm not sure what I did different from helping Carl win the Drivers Championship to not being able to win the Owner Championship myself. But I'll have to work on that. I think that there's, I missed something along the way.
But congratulations to Richard Childress and what he did with his bunch. They certainly put cars out there that were fast and a number of people drove them and did a real nice job with them.
But we had an unbelievable first half to our season and then, of course, came off the track there a little bit. And we had some crashes and we broke some parts. Just had to give some of that good luck back. We had, fortunately, there wasn't one Childress driver in there that was the whole time or we would have been in trouble.
MODERATOR: P.K., your thoughts? You were the quarterback of this team. Your thoughts about winning this title.
PIERRE KUETTEL: Sure means a lot. This is great to win the final Busch Series title and have finish that 26 year run out. Those guys, Busch people, have done a fantastic job in sponsoring this series and supporting it and it is just to be great to be a part of it.
MODERATOR: We're also pleased right now to be joined by our 2007 NASCAR Busch Series Champion and that's Carl Edwards. Carl, your thoughts about winning the championship and the significance of winning the final Busch Series Championship.
CARL EDWARDS: I'm very pleased, obviously, to be the champion. That's great. I don't know what else to say. I can't thank Jack enough for giving me the opportunities that he has in my career. P.K. for working so hard. I know that his hair was pretty gray when we started, but it's shiny silver now. And we have been working pretty hard. And I appreciate all the guys efforts.
And really have to congratulate Jeff Burton and Richard Childress Racing. They showed tonight how strong they can be. They did a great job winning the Owners Championship. It will be fun to, I mean, they're a good group to share this with. And I'm just excited. I can't wait to do it again next year.
We're gearing up hopefully we can have a season next year all year like the beginning of this season where we just, we were really on a roll. So very excited about next year. Hopefully we got a big clawed monkey off our back that Jack talked about. And I think tonight was a good run for us. It was a great rebound from the beginning of the race and that, that will be something that we can hang our hats on for the winter time.
MODERATOR: Take questions now.
Q. Carl, you came in here last year after the last race of the season and talked about this whopping margin that Kevin Harvick had won the title with. And you said it may well have been a thousand points the way things have gone. But you win the title by a pretty big margin. Just talk about the satisfaction level of that.
CARL EDWARDS: I'm glad Kevin didn't compete in every race this year. Those guys do a great job. We were off to a better start I believe than he was even last year at the beginning of the season. We just were on an unbelievable roll. And it's just fun to be part of it something like that.
The first half of this season I think we made it to the 11th race before we ever ran outside the top 10. And that's what this team's capable of.
So it's about that time they started talking about the championship being a run away and I'm just glad that I was the guy leading the thing. It's not very often that you get to have runs like that. So I'm just glad to be driving this race car.
Q. Jack, this being NASCAR everything gets talked about and there's been a lot of talk about the Busch Series, Nationwide Series now, being broken or needing solutions. In your opinion, is it broken and if so, what would you do and if it's not broken, I guess we can continue as normal.
JACK ROUSH: I guess the simplest think that I can start with is to say that for the sponsors I've talked to and for the NASCAR officials I've talked to, everybody agrees that we need to have the Cup drivers to help attract attention and relevance to the Busch Series or the Nationwide Series. And we need to have the Cup sponsors and they're doing their part as well.
It's not real easy to separate that. I guess if you didn't want the Cup people involved, you would have it at South Boston and a number of other places where you don't have Cup races. And you don't have a Cup crowd.
I had conversation with Robin Pemberton and regarding the rumors that were out there that the Cup drivers were going to be excluded and Cup teams would be excluded in competing for a championship. And he assured me that would not be the case in 2008. That they were, however, looking at the prospect of how they can engage Busch or Nationwide drivers that didn't compete in the Cup series to a greater extent.
The suggestion I made was that they have a chase not unlike what we have for the Cup series. Take as many as you want, eight, 10, 12, 15 drivers to that to compete for the championship run. And then when you assign the points, you assign the additional points for drivers that haven't competed seven times in the Cup series, then give them more points. And if you think you need to weight the Cup drivers down with 50 points or a 100 point burden or whatever it is, do that, and then let the Cup drivers come from the back and see if they could overtake with their experience and with their arguable advantages, be able to see if they could overtake the Nationwide regulars. He didn't comment on that. He said he would consider it.
But I think there's a way to make competition between the Cup guys -- if this was a horse race and you had somebody that was too fast, you just put a little more weight on the jockey that was going too fast.
Q. Carl, were you cognizant at all of the kind of the historical significance or kind of the way the race unfolded with guys like Burton and Martin and Kenseth who all are in the top 6 in all-time wins in the series, out there battling with you.
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't know that. That's cool though. I mean, obviously, to be up there racing with Jeff Burton and Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth, guys that, the closest I got to those guys before was getting the same RC car bodies like their cars back in the day.
So it's very cool to be able to race with those guys, to be up there fighting for a win with them. And especially Mark, that was neat at the end of the race to be able to race with him like that. Just because of how much he's done for my career personally and before I even knew him how much he inspired me to work hard. And so that is pretty neat.
Q. Carl, we all know that you're a fitness buff and you're in great shape, but how much longer can you keep up the pace of doing both series full-time?
CARL EDWARDS: The racing part is easy. I mean I love it. The time I get to do what I really love to do is then. So that part is easy. And Jack and everybody's been, P.K., and all the people that work around me have been doing a great job of making things as easy as they can be on me. I still voluntarily take on more stuff, more marketing partners and stuff like that because we have got everything tidied up enough that I have extra time and energy. So -- and I'm working on getting a faster airplane. Which will open up a whole bunch more time, so we can do more stuff. But it's fine, man. I mean this is the third full year now. Crazy how fast it goes. But I just, I'm enjoying it
Q. A shameless plug here, but that classified ad you took out in Speed Sport, what was it? '98? Was that like one of the, you know, the best expenses you ever came out with to help get your career off the ground?
CARL EDWARDS: It's crazy, that was pretty cool. Speed Sport has this thing where I think it was 28 dollars to put a picture in with like four lines of text. Just before to put four lines of text in it was like 7.50 or 7 dollars a week or something like that. I didn't realize that you could just pay the one time the 28 dollars and you got to keep your picture in there until you changed the picture. So I was pumped it was like the deal of all deals. And that's pretty cool.
And it's, I'm very proud that all the people that have helped me and stuff, and I said it out there, it's, if you have something that you dream about doing, all you got to do is just keep your head down and work and don't listen to what anybody says. People always try to bring you down. People always have negative things to say. And you just got to keep plugging away. And I'm very glad that people taught me that lesson early and I got a chance to do this.
Q. (No microphone.)
CARL EDWARDS: I never heard from any owners. I cannot tell you how many race car drivers called me up and said, hey, does that ad work? I said, place an ad for yourself and find out. Or I told them, no, it just doesn't work. Don't do it. But it's cool, it took me a lot of time. A lot of people laughed at me. A ton of people, I mean people in this garage right now that I walk by every day working on these crews, one guy in particular I see an awful lot, I shared a hotel room with him one time when I was about 17 years old working for Kenny. And he laughed at me, told me I would never make it in racing, it's too hard. So it feels good to accomplish something.
Q. Jack, those couple years ago at Daytona, I don't remember what press conference, but you laid it out when you said one of your career goals for Carl was to win the Busch Series title. And now he did. And now so what's next on your list for him?
JACK ROUSH: Well, he's in his second year in the Cup series, finished tied for second in points with Greg. Because he had won one less race they declared him third. But we kind of learned from that. That we got to do better. We missed the Chase last year but then, of course, made the Chase but didn't make much of it this year as it turned out. But he's a championship contender and with the changes that we made in the organization, with Robby taking the helm for general managership, we think that some of the, there will be some cross pollination of the things at 17 that we're doing that will help Bob Osborne and help the team and so I'm anxious to really accentuate all the positives and try to get a Cup championship for Carl before he's 30 years old.
Q. (No microphone.)
PIERRE KUETTEL: About 20 minutes ago out on the stage I'm kind of tied to the Busch Series. Two years ago I came into this deal and watched it from afar and it's always been the Busch Series ever since I've known it. And it's great. To come in here and top it all off with that standing on the stage out there.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, that is a huge highlight. I think for me personally as a participant in the Busch Series, the win at Gateway was the biggest moment for me. That was the neatest thing in the world to win that close to home. To see the whole crowd stick around for the interviews afterwards. And I just felt like that was one of the neatest moments of my career and I'm glad I got to be a part of that.
JACK ROUSH: Most of my history in the Busch Series has been with Mark Martin in one of our Busch cars. He was a staple there for so long. 18 years he was with the team. And he was in the Busch Series I think with me all but maybe two years of that. And when he achieved the, broke the record for winning the most races in the Busch Series, I really felt the weight of that. And I was really proud to have been with him for all that time and felt glad for the support that the Busch Brewery Company had made of the series, so that it was there for us to race. That was really a big deal.
Q. Carl, you're a guy who likes to test yourself physically, so no more races for a few months, what are you going to do? Like go climb Mount Everest or something?
CARL EDWARDS: I watched show on that last night. That looks like a tough deal. I don't know if I will ever do that. But we got a pretty good training program going for the guys from CTS, they got me on a really tough regimen for the winter time. So hopefully I'll just do a lot of that.
And we're going on a vacation somewhere, me and a couple of my buddies, I think we're going to go somewhere real, real far away where they don't speak English and ride our bikes around and explore a little bit and have a good time. We're going to have a good time. So hopefully get to spend a little bit of time off and, but the big thing is just to prepare for next season. I want to win two championships, the Busch Series and the Cup series and that's my mission. Nobody has ever done that and I would like to be the guy. So whatever it takes to get that done, that's what we'll be working on.
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