Q and A with Carl Edwards Carl Edwards stands in the garage area at Pocono Raceway Friday.
Photo by Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts

By Dominic Aragon and Justin Melillo
June 4, 2016

LONG POND, Pa.—Carl Edwards will start fifth in Sunday’s Axalta We Paint Winners 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Edwards is a two-time winner at the 2.5-mile track, amassing a 15.2 average starting position in 22 starts in the Sprint Cup Series.

The 36-year-old driver sits fifth in driver’s standings, posting two wins in 2016 and enters this Sunday’s race with four consecutive finishes outside the top-ten.

Edwards spoke with The Racing Experts Friday at Pocono Raceway to talk about how the weather may affect the race, Toyota, and thoughts on the new downforce package being used at the track this weekend.

Q. With the inclement weather here, how does it affect your plans for Sunday’s race?
Carl Edwards: “Man, the weather here, I don’t know how it’s going to affect the race plans for Sunday, but right now, what’s happened is we’ve got one lap of practice in qualifying trim...some people didn’t even get on the track, so nobody knows how it’s going to be.

“It looks like [Saturday’s] going to be good to practice, but then the weather on Sunday could make for an interesting race.”

Q. With two wins this season for you and your team, how much does that open up the playbook from here on out till the beginning of the Chase, and how much does that come to play this weekend?
Edwards: “So yeah, with the wins, we get the opportunity to try a couple of different things. This track is a good track to try stuff because it is smooth and fast. You get some good feedback.

Carl Edwards practices at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
Photo by Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts

“But also, you have to balance it, you want to win races, that’s what we’re here to do, so we can’t get too far off the path, we have to focus on what’s got us here.”

Q. With Truex’s win last week, that puts all Toyota Racing Development drivers inside the Chase. How does that help with what your team is doing leading up to the Chase?
Edwards: “I’m really glad we have the 78 team close enough that we can know what they’re doing [be]cause they’re so fast every week. Martin’s doing an amazing job, Cole Pearn, all those guys are doing a great job, at the Furniture Row shop.

“For us, having them be close to us and being able to share information is big, and it’s motivating. They’ve been so fast, it’s really helped us. But strategically, or I guess globally, within Toyota, TRD and our shop, there’s just a lot of pride, to have all five cars with a win, it means a lot and I think it’s a testament to everybody.”

Q. With two victories at Pocono Raceway, what are your chances of getting back to victory lane this weekend?
Edwards: “I think right now, I feel like we’ve got a shot to win basically everywhere we go, I really do. I feel like we’ve got a good shot. We’ve got a fast pit crew, we’ve got great engines with TRD, Dave and my guys are amazing.

“I feel like every track we go to, we’ve got a shot. It could be the time, It’s been awhile since victory lane here.”

Q. This is the first race with the lower downforce package. What are the challenges associated with that?
Edwards: “I believe that any time we can take downforce away, like NASCAR’s done, it just makes for a better race. It makes it more fun to drive. You don’t get stuck back in dirty air, so I think the fans are going to benefit, it will be more fun for the drivers, it will be good all around.”

Where will Carl Edwards finish Sunday?
31st or worse
Quiz Maker