NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Pocono 500
Topics: Pocono 500
June 7, 2009
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined in the infield media center by today's second-place finisher, driver of the 99 Aflac Ford, Carl Edwards. Carl, tell us about your run today.
CARL EDWARDS: Well, it's close. It's close. I didn't think Tony could save that much fuel but he did a really good job. Our car was getting great fuel mileage all day, and just really proud of my guys. We were great on pit road. Tony beat us off of pit road on that last stop by about three quarters of a car length or something and that's primarily because of his pit stall. And my guys did a great job, really stepped it up and we ran well all day, led the most laps I'm not sure. That's a good step. Really like to be out there with the trophy, but it's good for points.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by today's third place finisher, driver of the 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, David Reutimann. David tell us about your run.
DAVID REUTIMANN: I think it was probably stellar compared to the runs we've had here in the past this. Place has never really been all that kind to me. Matter of fact, this time last year I was sitting parked in the middle of turn one and two out of fuel and didn't even come back to the starting finishing line.
Little better deal today. Rodney Childers made a great call and just told us to save fuel from the time we went back out there and just trying to be easy with it, which I'm not really very good at that. So he kept telling me just we need to save some fuel and I was like, well, do I need to ride or do I need to race, and he just said, "Just do the best you can." And to me, that's not an answer, you know, so I just knew it meant go as hard as you could and just save fuel at the same time. I don't know exactly how you do that but got us some good fuel mileage and just worked out in the end and didn't rain, so kind of good on that one I guess.
THE MODERATOR: Now open it to questions from the media.
Q. Carl, is a dominant emotion you come out with after a day like today, are you happy because you had truly the dominant car for the first time all year, or mad because you lost?
CARL EDWARDS: I'll probably be happy later today but right now, man, to be that close to victory and to not win, that is frustrating. The cool part about it is, kind of felt like we were in the form that we were in at the end of last season. We ran really well. I could pass people. I felt like if Tony and I had to race there at the end, I felt really good about my chances of being able to just win the race on speed.
So the points are great, though. That's really what it boils down to. All of this is great, but you've got to keep your pride in check and know that the real race is with ten to go. So I definitely take something good out of this.
Q. For Carl, the Roush cars seem to be dominant early, but then it just -- you know, they just were not there at the end and that seems to be what has happened all year long. And for David, once Carl answers that, if you could follow-up with the extra bonus prize that you got for winning the Coca-Cola 600 from your owner, the Shelby.
CARL EDWARDS: You know, I felt like we were strong at the end. I don't know what happened to my teammates, but I felt like my car was very strong at the end. You know, you'll have that in racing. People are going to come and go. And I felt like -- I don't know what happened to my team mates. I didn't see it.
But yeah, we were overall stronger this week than we have been. We were real good at Dover but better here. Yeah, we weren't one through five but we are getting there. It's good.
DAVID REUTIMANN: Originally that was Rodney's deal because Rob Kauffman, the owner of our team, partner there, he restores and collects hotrods and stuff like that, and he had, I can't remember what year it is, a GT 500 Mustang '67, and that thing is just beautiful, beautiful restored, and he drove it to the racetrack. And Rodney said: "If we win that 600, are you going to give me that car?" And he said "Done."
And I said, "Well, I want one, too," just freeloading in on the back side of that deal.
So you know, then it turns out that Rodney is getting a car and somehow I finagled my way in getting one. I think mine's blue and Rodney's, I don't know what color it is, green. But they are awesome cars, and I don't know, I think it's about a $200,000 car when you get down to it. So by the time he gives Rodney one and me one, I think that goes, all the race paid, 400,000. Shoots the profit all to heck I guess.
Rob is a great guy and he's a real, real car guy. He's a numbers guy, stocks and all that stuff I don't understand, but the common bond that we do have is cars and racing, and he's just an awesome guy.
Q. You know, there have been traditions, people start doing burnout, climbing the fences, grabbing the flag. Last night in Nashville, do you vision when you win a race soon, do you think you'll destroy the trophy?
CARL EDWARDS: No. I don't think so. I've got a lot of respect for Sam bass and those people at Gibson that make those beautiful trophies. You definitely will not see me smashing one of them.
Q. For both of you, what did you think after this race of the double-file re starts? Comments, please.
CARL EDWARDS: I thought of one thing that would make it just a little bit more fair, and that would be to let the leader start in his own lane, so he has his own row, I guess is what I'm saying.
So the leader would have no one beside him, he could start inside, outside, do whatever he wanted and then second and third start behind him with the second-place guy having the option. I think that would be a better way to do it.
Other than that, I thought it was great. It was fun. I thought it made for exciting racing. So I think that NASCAR is moving in the right direction there.
DAVID REUTIMANN: I think if the fans like it, I think it comes down to it, if it adds a little something to the race to them I think it's a win/win, and sometimes it's going to work for you, and sometimes, there's a couple of times, I was in the spot I wanted to be and it worked out well, and there's other times you got shuffled around and you weren't. Sometimes it's a 50/50 shot it's going to work for you.
I wasn't close enough to the front to really see what was going on with the leader, but Carl's right, the leader should at least have the right to be out there. He's earned the right to be there and maybe all the rest of us double up. But you know, I'm sure they will refine it and make it better but I think it came off pretty good for the first time going pretty well I guess.
CARL EDWARDS: Don't they do that at a lot of short tracks, leader gets his own?
DAVID REUTIMANN: I think so. As long as they don't start inverting.
Q. At the end of last season there were a lot of people in your organization who were very confident that they were going to see you contending for a spot in the Chase this season. What were your thoughts coming into this year? Were you as confident as those guys seemed to be?
DAVID REUTIMANN: No. Not really. You guys see me enough. I'm not exactly the most confident guy here. But I knew there was -- the potential was there, the way we finished out in the last year. I was like, man, if we can just do this and do a couple of things a little bit better, man, I think we might be able to do that or at least be in contention to do the stuff.
Anyway, it's worked out so far. We have definitely had some races that we would like to forget, but for the most part it's been a pretty good year and it's been pretty productive especially if you look back at the previous years and the results we have had compared to this year, there's just no comparison.
So those guys are pretty confident and they keep me pumped up. In the end I felt like if we did the right things and we were heading in the right direction, I knew the possibility was there, and up to this point, I had not even had the possibility to do that, so I'm pretty happy with everything.
Q. For either one of you, and I know Carl, you spent a lot of time at the points and you might not have seen this but Jeff said around lap 105, the 16, they were so freaking far on the restarts, it was like restarting 7th after restarting 5th; are you going to see a lot of the cat-and-mouse stuff on the restarts, and did you see any of that today?
CARL EDWARDS: I didn't see any of it. But we are going to get all we can. We are racers. So we are going to do everything we can. That's just the nature of us as drivers until someone gets penalized. I didn't see it, though, so I don't know how bad it was.
DAVID REUTIMANN: Like Carl said, sometimes, I've done it and I've had it done to me. Just like the double-file restart, sometimes it works in your favor. If they don't really come down with an iron first on it, you know, it will continue to kind of be that way. And it's at their discretion if a guy is hanging back half a car length, it's such a judgment call. I don't know that -- that's got to be a tough one.
CARL EDWARDS: And sometimes it's not what position -- if David and I are lined up nose-to-tail, I back up to him, and I look like the guy that's laying back, but you can't let the guy behind you laying back, so you never really know who is starting it, you know.
Q. When fuel comes into question, does the crew chief tell you, this is what we are going to do, or do you all discuss it? And the other half of that question is, did you begin that last green flag run knowing that you would have to be in fuel mode at some point?
CARL EDWARDS: I always ask, can we make it. We need a better system. We don't really have a system right now, it just like what David said. Bob tells me, worst case, you're this many laps short and best case, you're this many laps short.
DAVID REUTIMANN: Always seem to be short, though.
CARL EDWARDS: "Worst case, you definitely won't make it."
I asked him, "Well, which case is it, best case or worst case?"
"I have no clue."
Really, you want to start as early as you can so you can save fuel as long as you can, but you know, you want to go as far as you can so that you run out right at the end. The problem with that is you don't know how much fuel you have, so it becomes -- you start going back in your mind thinking about how you drove all those runs, and then you are so confused you have no clue what you're doing but you just hope for the best I guess, a lot of playing.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, I think that does it. Congratulations and appreciate your time.
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