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November 17, 2016

Carl Edwards

Q. It's my understanding that the championship pays less this year, that as part of the charter agreement they redistributed it. They've kind of evened it out a little bit.
CARL EDWARDS: Don't ruin it for me. I didn't know that.

Q. Does it matter whether it's $2 million, $3 million, $4 million?
CARL EDWARDS: No, it doesn't matter. No, it doesn't matter what it pays. I hadn't even thought of that, actually. It'll be great no matter what. If it was a new pair of driving shoes, it would be just as important.

Q. You used to race big races, late model races, $10,000 to the winner, $15,000. That was a big deal then.
CARL EDWARDS: I won a $2,000 to win race at Moberly, Missouri, and it was huge, yeah, so that was a huge race. My first paycheck from racing was‑‑ the first race I won was $125, so to me‑‑ yeah, we don't race for money, but I'm sure it pays fine. I don't know what you're asking me exactly, but I'm not too worried about that part of it.

Q. A year ago it probably paid double, according to‑‑ depending on how y'all word your contracts under the charter system.

Q. They used to give you a big check on the stage, so it‑‑
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I'm‑‑ I don't know. I'm trying to think of something to say about it, but I can't. It's just not important to me.

Q. You turned on the television this week, and you saw 2011, watched it for a few minutes. What was going through your mind?
CARL EDWARDS: I was actually thinking, I was like, why did he try this other line? I had to go back and think about my mindset during the race. Those last few laps I was driving my guts out. That was everything I had.
But at first I thought, man, I don't want to watch this, and then I watched it, and I thought, this is go for me. I need to get to remember what that was like and remember‑‑ and get a glimpse and a view of how important this is, and it really was. It was motivating. When I shut it off, I was really ready to race right then.

Q. How long did you watch it?
CARL EDWARDS: Probably about 15 minutes. Yeah, that experience, obviously, I would love to have won that more than just about anything, but it really was a good experience, and I think Joey put it well up there. It's just good to go through that. It kind of galvanizes you, and I think it makes it easier to do it again.

Q. You didn't watch the end, did you?
CARL EDWARDS: I did. I don't know how the broadcast was going, but I watched the end of the race, and then they started over again and had something else go on. I didn't want to watch the whole thing.

Q. Besides that video and all that, do you look at tape like NFL players look at tape and everything?
CARL EDWARDS: Right, so much changes quickly, things change so quickly in this sport, that watching video from a couple of years ago might not be as beneficial, but definitely looking at last year's race, notes from Texas, our test that we just had here, all those things, we make sure so go over all of that and make sure we don't forget something or leave something on the table.

Q. Along those same lines, when did everybody start running the top?
CARL EDWARDS: The top kind of through my career has‑‑ now everybody goes straight for the top when you can't make things happen on the bottom. But it seems to come in quicker now. People go use it quicker. They go to the top faster, which in a way‑‑ at some point, enough people go up there that it wears it out and it's maybe not as big of an advantage. Yeah, it's different now. I think you'll see people just use the whole racetrack. You do see people use the whole racetrack earlier in the race.

Q. Is that just one like guy started going up there, and everybody was like, hey, he's faster up there? Is that how it started?
CARL EDWARDS: Well, that, and everyone is closer now, so if you have a really good car now, you might only just be a half a tenth better than the guy that's following you, and if he moves to the top and picks up three quarters of a tenth, you can't hold him off doing what you were doing, where it used to be you could have such an advantage that you didn't have to go up there maybe. And then everybody also is just so good at communication. I mean, Jason Hedlesky, my spotter, we were talking about it six or eight years ago, he was one of the only guys who would come and tell me over the radio, hey, this guy is doing this, here's where he's entering, he's beating you here, here, here. He would kind of driver coach me the whole time, and now everybody is doing that all the time. It's just evolved.

Q. Daniel Suarez has called you his mentor. What's your relationship like with him? Have you talked to him this week about your own experience?
CARL EDWARDS: I haven't talked to Daniel yet. I'm hoping to get to talk to him at the racetrack. We did a really neat thing for ARRIS. I don't know if you saw the stuff on the web where we joked around quite a bit. Man, that guy is really impressive. He's a very nice person, to begin with, and then he just is a hard worker, and if you take the experience that Daniel has, he shouldn't be running the way he is. He's very, very gifted, so I really enjoy being around him.

Q. Do you ever allow yourself to step back and be a fan of the sport and see how great this competition is going to be, there's a guy going for seven championships and you're trying to knock him off?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, what Jimmie is trying to do, really it's spectacular. That's one of the neat things, I don't know if we really talked about it up there, but it's an honor to be a part of this group. These guys are really fierce competitors. They're at the top of their game, and yeah, it's hard when you're in it to look at it that way, to look at it objectively. Whatever happens, if we win the championship, we win. If we don't, it's going to be hard to look at it as a great sporting event objectively, but it should be a heck of a race. It's going to be neat.

Q. The way you came back to win at Texas after Martinsville, do you feel any sense of playing with house money or anything like that?
CARL EDWARDS: A little bit, but it wasn't like we ran poorly at Martinsville. We had a problem, and I felt like‑‑ I really believed once we made it to that round I felt like we were going to make it to Homestead. I just felt really confident, and then the tire problem kind of threw us for a loop. I thought, man, now we have to win, and Dave Rogers put it best. He said, well, you knew we were going to have to win at Homestead anyway. You might as well get to it now. So it was kind of a little kick in the pants there that got us going, and having to do that is hopefully‑‑ hopefully that helped us really. I mean, I know it did for me for my confidence and to know that our team could perform under the pressure, win when we had to. It feels really good.

Q. When you were down here for the tire test a couple weeks ago, the whole Twitter thing came up. It's come up again. Is there any push by the sponsors to make you get on Twitter, and has Subway given you an all‑you‑can‑eat card yet?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, so yeah, there is a push, and I'll be participating more in some social media stuff. Boris from JGR has been doing some stuff with me. I don't really know if you guys noticed, but we did some stuff last week that was kind of fun.

Q. The Facebook Live thing?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, some other stuff. I'm not really sure what it's called, but I was using the camera and then I think it was like emailed to people or something. But no, we're having fun with it.
And yes, I do have a Subway card. It's black. It's awesome. It's so great. But I did bicycle to Subway the other day. I was biking, halfway through my ride, my plan was to eat at Subway, and I didn't have any money, and the people didn't know who I was, so they were really reluctant to‑‑ I was like, I just want the black forest egg and ham breakfast sandwich, that's it, and a glass of‑‑ I said, I swear I'll pay next time I'm by here. They're like, fine, okay. So they gave me a sandwich. So bicycle eat free at subways every once in a while, and I don't know if I've gone and given the money back.
Anyway, I haven't. I asked somebody else to. I don't know if they have. It's like confessional here.

Q. What can you take from the high‑pressure situation at Texas going into Homestead?
CARL EDWARDS: What was neat about Texas, Dave and I talked about it this week, is the pressure was on, and we had fun. It was really a fun race. And it worked out. I thought, man, well, there it is. We can do it. It was a pretty straightforward race. We ran well enough, ran up front, pit crew was awesome. We didn't have really any trouble, and I'm aware that the race can go that way at Homestead, or it can be a complete disaster that we have to recover from and perform that way.
I don't know, I'm not exactly sure what you asked me. I think‑‑

Q. What do you learn from that sprint to the last‑‑
CARL EDWARDS: Right, yeah. I learned that we can. We can do it. When we need to win, we can. There it is. We got the trophy and we did it. Having that happen a couple weeks from Homestead, I don't think there's anything that can be bad about that.

Q. Your crew chiefs work together well and will continue to talk. Do you do that with Kyle, and when does that stop?
CARL EDWARDS: Randy and I were just talking about that. I don't know what we do this weekend. I don't know if we meet‑‑ I would assume we just do everything the way we have. But I thought about that. If we find out something in practice, do we share it back and forth? I don't know, we haven't talked about it. It depends on if he's faster or I'm faster. If he's faster, I'm going to definitely think we should share some things.
No, I don't know. It's really up to Coach. It's probably up to Kyle and I, honestly. We ought to talk about that. We haven't discussed that yet.

Q. I heard you on the Dan Patrick Show talking about OMS.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, it's old man stuff. It's the stuffy do that's been noted by people close to me.

Q. I think you were wearing Van's. Is that the type of sneakers you wear to try and combat that?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, so that's like the only style of sneakers that I have, and Brad Wamble, my buddy, gave them to me about eight years ago, and it's taken me that long to wear them, because I thought, man, these are a little flashy. I put them on the other day, and my wife was like, whoa, what's going on. She calls it OMS. If I can't sleep I get up and mow the grass before dawn, watch TV with closed captioning on. I wear waterproof shoes just in case, stuff like that. It's terrible. Yeah, it's OMS. It'll get you.

Q. (On giving Tony Stewart his helmet.)
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, at Phoenix.

Q. So I guess one question to you is‑‑
CARL EDWARDS: He asked for it about four years ago, and we didn't get together and do it, and then he reached out and said it was something that would be really awesome, and I thought, man, how cool would that be to be able to do something like that for him.

Q. Why keep that‑‑ (indiscernible).
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I don't think that way. I think that would be foolish. You've got to take‑‑ not to get too deep, the experiences that you have and sometimes the things that don't go your way, that's the stuff that you learn from. That's the most powerful stuff in life. I keep my helmets. I don't keep much. I keep my helmets and my suits, and so they're special to me.
Tony expressed how special helmets are to him. He's got an amazing collection he said. So that was really cool. I hope he knows, and I think he does, how special that is for me. I don't think I've ever given away one of my race helmets to anyone, so that was pretty cool.

Q. Do you carry anything in the car, picture of your family maybe or anything in the car?
CARL EDWARDS: Every once in a while somebody will give me something. Someone gave me a four‑leaf clover on a piece of tape, and it seemed like we won every week we had that in the car, and that was really cool. But nothing lately. It just kind of‑‑ if something comes up.

Q. Had you and Tony, before he asked for the helmet, had you guys sat down mano‑a‑mano and talked about that championship?
CARL EDWARDS: You know, we never really have, and we still didn't talk that much in Phoenix. I think it just‑‑ I don't think there's really much‑‑ at this point there's not a lot to talk about because we both compete every week. But I'm sure it's a lot more fun for him to talk about than me. But it really was a good battle. It was pretty cool. Going back and seeing it on TV the other night made me realize, man, that was neat just‑‑ it could have gone either way, and I felt like we both brought our A game, and that was good.

Q. Did you learn something from him specifically?
CARL EDWARDS: I'd say the only thing I learned specifically, just how that race went for them, they didn't quit. They had trouble, I think they had something go through the radiator screen, and they didn't get, and then working with Darian Grubb, afterwards, he kind of described to me Tony's mindset and his mindset and how they went into that really expecting to win it, and I think all that stuff together with my experience, I think that's good stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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