NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen
Topics: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen
August 10, 2009
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK
KERRY THARP: We are pleased to be joined in the media center here at Watkins Glen by our third-place finisher in today's race. That is Carl Edwards. He drives the No. 99 Aflac Ford for Roush Fenway. Carl, certainly a lot of excitement, a lot of give and go out there today. You wound up third.
CARL EDWARDS: From 33rd to third, that was a good, solid day for us. Really proud of my guys for the strategy. It was great. Bob did a great job. Ran out of fuel really on the last lap. The light was on, it was missing. Guys did a great job.
Just perfect day for points for us. I wanted to win this thing really badly. That was one of my goals this year, is to win a road course race. I really, really wanted to win today. But third place, we'll take it. To finish in front of Kyle, who was 13th in points, that's good for us. To finish behind Marcos and Tony, closing on them at the end, that felt good. If you were saving fuel, I don't want to know about it (laughter).
KERRY THARP: We also have our race runner-up, quite a weekend this weekend, Marcos Ambrose, second-place finish for the No. 47 car. Marcos, talk about your performance out there today. You had quite a weekend. You were in contention for the weekend.
MARCOS AMBROSE: Yeah, just a great weekend for us. We didn't quite have enough to get Tony there at the end. I threw everything I could at him. We got off strategy for some run the way the race rolled for us. We got stuck. We got stuck in the back of the pack, had to make a gamble. We came in and splashed off fuel, didn't put tires on it. I think that was the difference between first and second here this afternoon, was just the extra laps I did on my tires, probably eight or 10 more laps than Tony.
I could close in on him, I could see him starting to make a few little mistakes, locking tires, but not enough for me to catch him. Just really proud of my team. We didn't quite close the deal, but it's just been a great weekend for us. Really excited for our future.
KERRY THARP: We'll take questions for Carl or Marcos.
Q. Yesterday Darian Grubb was talking about for him and Tony this race might play right into their hands because it was going to be a hot, slick track. Carl, did it play into your hands in the sense that the hot track was to your liking? Marcos, do you agree that the hot, slick track played into Tony's hands?
CARL EDWARDS: For me, the slicker it is on the racetrack, the hotter it is outside, the better off we are, our 99 team. I really like that a lot. I can only assume Tony's leaning on his dirt experience, all the open-wheel stuff he's done to driving that kind of racetrack.
I know that I really enjoy it, when it's like that. It's a lot of fun. So it was good for me.
MARCOS AMBROSE: Yeah, we missed it just a little bit. I thought our car in practice on Saturday was better than what we had today. It was on the edge the whole time. If I had the perfect line, did everything just right, I could get away with it. But the track was slick. We were slightly aggressive on our setup for it. We didn't really get a chance to tune on it either. I think we only changed a quarter pound of tire pressure all day because we were pitting under green, didn't have time to do anything to it.
All in all, it's just a great track for us. I'd love to see better brakes because it's very hard to pass when your brakes are so hot.
CARL EDWARDS: When you go in 200 feet deeper than anybody else... (Laughter).
MARCOS AMBROSE: Maybe (laughter). That's all. I think it's a great track for us. The track was slick and hot. But it makes it a challenge. That's why you see the good guys tend to get to the front.
Q. Carl, when you made that move on Kyle Busch, were you aware of what had already happened to the 24 car, the 48 is far enough behind you that you're going to have a decent points day?
CARL EDWARDS: I hadn't really thought about that. I couldn't see Denny. I know I'm close with him. I didn't know where Jeff was as far as -- I don't know where he is in front-of-us in points. I don't know how big a gap it is. All I knew is I wanted to be in front of the 18 because coming in he was 13th in points. The difference between fourth and third, it's not a lot, but it's the morale for the guys to open up that gap a little more.
Going into Richmond, I know I need all I can. I'm assuming Kyle is still 13th in points. It's got to be close.
KERRY THARP: I believe so.
CARL EDWARDS: To make ground on 13th, other than win races, that's the mission for the 99 team right now. That's all I was thinking about. I did think about Jeff's wreck because I was underneath him. I wanted to make sure I was clear of Kyle before I moved up. That's the only thing I was thinking of in regard to Jeff.
Q. Marcos, what is the practical effect of you having tires that were about 10 laps older? Couldn't go deeper in the turns or what?
MARCOS AMBROSE: Well, the grip gradually drops. It's a fairly linear graph. Tires wear, they get hotter. Forward drive becomes an issue, brake performance becomes an issue. Flat spots, you got to look after your tires because you're bound to nip them every now and then. That's the difference. Just nor grip available to you if the tires are new. We all love the feel-good tires that we put on after each pit stop. Our race, the way it rolled, we just couldn't afford to spend the time to put tires on that last splash.
It worked in our favor. We jumped a lot of spots, were able to work forward once we got ourselves in the top five to pick off a couple more. I think the strategy for us after halfway was the right one. I think we did the best we could.
Q. Marcos, at what point I heard a crew chief say they thought you were a second quicker than the rest of the field. Was that just the clean air or do you think you were that much quicker? Does that make this second more frustrating?
MARCOS AMBROSE: No, no. Not at all. We were very fast in practice. Unfortunately, you know, the track was hotter and slicker than what we wanted. We just didn't quite have the grip we had on Saturday. I talked the team into making a couple of changes for me that I thought were better. They were on Saturday. With the hot, slick track, we were slightly aggressive. We'll learn from it for next year and hopefully go one more spot up the sheet.
Q. You mentioned your pit strategy earlier. Sounded like on the radio you and Frank were torn early in the race when to come in. Is that when you got off strategy or was it later on?
MARCOS AMBROSE: No, it was the first stop. We were third. We stayed out. Everybody pitted, except for three cars. Then our destiny was set. We couldn't then, you know, pit with everybody else because we were off sequence. We had to just try to then run our own race and just have the shortest pit stop we could as soon as we could make it home. When that caution came out, that 10 laps shy of our number, our lap number to make it home, we stopped, got tires, got fuel, then we splashed after 10 laps and came in and took off.
That's the difference, was right there, the very first caution flag is what set our course for the day.
Q. Could you please talk about the double-file restarts today.
MARCOS AMBROSE: I thought they were good. You have to be very careful to look after your campadres. It's easy to get into somebody. I bumped Carl yesterday, getting a bet greedy into turn one. I learnt my lesson. Today I don't want to ruin Tony's or Kyle's Race for the Chase. I was mindful who I was racing up there. I think we looked after each other reasonably well. Plenty good dicing and passing, skill level up there to keep everybody off each other. I think it's good. I think it's great for the fans. It makes it tough for the drivers, no doubt. This sport wasn't meant to be easy.
CARL EDWARDS: It went very well. I thought everyone did a great job. I mean, there was one point where I drove down into turn one, they were screaming three-wide, guys on the inside. Clint Bowyer was in there. We went through turn one touching. We got aggressive. I think everyone did that all day. Everyone was really, really good.
KERRY THARP: Appreciate it, Carl and Marcos. Congratulations on good finishes out there today.
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