Coming off of last week’s big win at Bristol Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards heads to Auto Club Speedway ready to have some fun as he feels the pressure is now off of his Roush-Fenway Racing team.
“It is nice to be able to race like that. I had a good time racing last week,” he commented. “Now, to come here to one of my favorite race tracks, it has to be one of the most fun tracks to drive on the circuit because of the way the pavement has aged and the tire you can slide the car around quite a bit. We are just working on our Subway Ford and hoping we can get another victory this weekend.”
Edwards struggled early this season, as did the entire Roush-Fenway Racing camp, so Edwards’ success last week was a small surprise. However, Edwards says that you can’t use Bristol as a judge as to whether they have their package together or not.
“We know Bristol is a stand-alone, very unique race track and we don’t think there is much carry-over,” Edwards explained. “It is huge from a team perspective that we were able to bring great cars there and all our Fords ran so well. It is a morale booster but it won’t make our cars faster here in California. Our California package has to stand on its own.”
While some people have believed that once you get a victory, you can just have fun and not worry, Edwards says that isn’t the case as he’s still worried about points.
“Mathematically we aren’t in the Chase. If 26 guys win races then the points are going to be pretty important,” Edwards reasoned. “We are aware of that. We aren’t going to go crazy right now. We are going to kind of see how things go for the next month or so and then once we really feel like we are locked in – the easiest way to lock ourselves in is to win this weekend, then we will be good. Once we are in that position, it will be completely pressure free which will be really nice.”
Throughout practice today, Edwards was working at getting his No. 99 Subway Ford to handle. Of course, beyond handling, aerodynamics should play a heavy role into this weekend’s race. As a result, Edwards says making sure that they are good areo-wise behind other drivers will be important, just as important as making sure to manage the tires.
Team are using a slightly different areo-package this year with the ‘no minimum ride height’ rule. As a result, the cars are driving differently and Edwards says he feels that’s a function of the bumps.
“I will say, I think that is a good thing,” Edwards added. “As terrible as it feels to drive I think it gives me a lot of room for Jimmy Fennig to adjust on it and for me to go run different lines. I think you will see people migrating all over. The harder they are to drive and more touchy they are it puts it more in the drivers hands which is good. It is very complicated and I’ve had to have things explained to me a couple times already because of the way the front geometry works.”