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May 24, 2015
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
KERRY THARP:¬† Let's hear from our winning crew chief in tonight's 56th‑annual Coca‑Cola 600.¬† That's Darian Grubb.¬† He's the crew chief of the No.19 Subway Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing.¬† Darian, congratulations on this win here tonight.¬† Talk about how you got that No.19 Toyota to victory lane here tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† Thank you very much.¬† It was honestly a struggle of a day for us.¬† We qualified pretty well, started up front, and just started falling back.¬† We lost two or three positions on every run, just kind of going backwards, didn't have quite the speed we wanted to have.¬† We got way too tight, especially when the sun went down, but we started making our way back up through.¬† We did make a couple of adjustments that finally seemed to start helping.¬† Two runs from the end we realized that this was going to have the potential for a fuel‑mileage race because we hit right on our fuel windows, then that last caution came out 12 laps before the fuel window that we wanted to pit on, and everybody pitted there because we had to.¬† It was basically the end of the fuel run.¬† And then when the actual last caution came out, it was right on the lap we were going to pit under green flag to make it to the end, and I was really surprised that a lot of people didn't come down and pit when we did.¬† We were actually planning to do two tires just to make sure we could get enough fuel to finish, and since hardly anybody came, we took four, fueled up and good to go to the end.
KERRY THARP:¬† The gentleman sitting to your right, Coach Joe Gibbs, congratulations.¬† Two straight wins here.¬† Last week in the Sprint All‑Star Race with the No.11, and now you get the No.19 into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.¬† Congratulations, Coach.¬† Talk about the win and how big that is for your team and for the No.19 team with Carl Edwards.
JOE GIBBS:¬† Well, I think everybody, Carl, all of us, really appreciate Darian.¬† That was awesome.¬† I was so focused on the 11 at that point, and then Denny was sick.¬† I was over there because I was afraid we were going to have to get him out of the car, so I kind of lost track of everything, and I turned around with nine to go, and I was standing next to Todd, and I said, we can't make this, can we?¬† So Darian just made a great call.¬† I think it's special in a lot of ways.¬† It's our fourth car, adding a fourth car, Subway, you coming over with us, which was really awesome.¬† ARRIS is big on that car, obviously carries a big part of it.¬† They're a new sponsor.¬† We've got Sport Clips on there.¬† And then to have Carl get his first win for us here tonight.¬† So in so many ways it's a big deal for us.
I think as much as anything, Darian can talk about it, but we've been way off on intermediate stuff.¬† It's really been a disappointment for us for quite a while.¬† We've worked extremely hard.¬† It shows you how hard our sport is because we've had a hard time catching up.¬† I'm not saying we've caught up, but for the last two races here it's a big deal for us for all those reasons.¬† So I appreciate everybody back at the shop that's worked that hard.¬† Many times they don't get to experience the thrill of being in the winner's circle, but it's also big for Toyota.¬† I just want to say that was their‑‑ the 300th Cup start, but it was also their 300th win over all the series, so it was a big deal for Toyota.
KERRY THARP:¬† Certainly was, Coach.¬† 300 wins across all national series, 300th start.¬† It's a big night.¬† Congratulations to Toyota and Dave Wilson.¬† Certainly congratulations to all the folks that are with y'all's organization.
Let's open it up to questions right now for Coach Gibbs and Darian Grubb.
Q.¬† Darian, you had your first win with Carl tonight, did you find it a little bit ironic that you beat him in 2011 for the championship on fuel mileage, and you're with him here tonight in victory lane?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† Not really ironic.¬† It might be a fuel‑mileage win but it's also whoever gets from the start‑finish line to the start‑finish line after 600 miles the fastest.¬† It doesn't really matter how you get there.¬† We came out in front.¬† In Homestead, beating him for the championship, we played our cards right there.¬† It was weather, fuel mileage and speed.¬† All around it was whoever came out of the pits the last time with the lead, and that ended up being us.¬† Now we've got a win together, so I guess we can wipe the slate clean and go on and win championships together.
Q.¬† Coach, have you talked to Denny at all since after the race?¬† Can you give us an update on how he's doing, and then also just how important it is that you have three guys pretty much in the Chase and can kind of focus on Kyle?
JOE GIBBS:¬† Yeah, from the winner's circle as soon as we got in there I called and they took Denny to the medical center, but Austin was with him and Austin said, hey, they checked everything and they just felt like he was dehydrated and they were IVing him, so he felt good.¬† So good update there. ¬†We're glad of that because I know Denny, there's no way he's getting out of that car, so you're a little concerned about that.
It's a big deal having three in the Chase.¬† We can focus now on Kyle.¬† It was a big night for us, too, with Kyle, to have him come back.¬† Pretty miraculous really, the kind of injuries he had, to come back in 11 weeks.¬† I think that says a lot about his passion and his wanting to do this.¬† It's a big deal for him, and for him to go 600 miles tonight and to be up front, did a good job with it.¬† I think he finished 11th.¬† So a big deal for us all the way around, and all of the Mars people were here this weekend.¬† We had Skittles on the car.¬† That was a big deal for us.
Q.¬† Darian, if you had to put a number on it, what percentage chance did you give that strategy of working out, and how confident were you, and how concerned were you about it not working out?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† I actually wasn't that concerned about it.¬† That was really our only play at that point.¬† We knew we had to have tires to be able to try to compete with those guys, so we were going to come pit anyway.¬† We had tried to stay out before and it just didn't work with three laps on tires, and that was four.¬† Coming in to pit really was a no‑brainer for us.¬† And then like I said before, I was really surprised that more people did not pit at that point, but I guess our fuel mileage was better than most to where we could make it from that point on, and everything just worked out in our favor.
Q.¬† Joe, just to clarify, they said Denny had a migraine headache; is that correct?
JOE GIBBS:¬† Yeah, he had come over the radio and said, hey, I've got a real bad headache.¬† Just make sure when I get out that I've got something to take for it.¬† But he also, I think he felt just overall sick.¬† But evidently just really dehydrated, so I think when we got the report from the medical center, I felt a lot better.
Q.¬† Darian, have you guys noticed any difference in the Goodyear tire, the multizone deal that they've been running?¬† Has that impacted your setups or anything like that?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† Not particularly.¬† I mean, it gives us a little bit more of a margin of durability.¬† This used to be one of the tracks we'd come to and we'd be really nervous, especially if the rain came or something, the track got green.¬† There's no way you can make a fuel run on the first set or two.¬† You'd end up with cords on the outside and the inside of the tire.¬† Now that they've gone to the dual zone the inside shoulder is not an issue, and now I think it's just some of the XFINITY cars showed a little issue on the outside of the right front, but with the Cup cars we haven't had any issues with that.¬† Didn't see any blistering or any cords or anything through the entire weekend so I think they've got the combination right for durability.¬† It does give up a little bit of grip versus what the old tire did, but we'll pay that price to have some consistency and durability.
Q.¬† Does that impact the passing, giving up that little bit of grip?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† I don't think so.¬† Everybody has got the same tires, so if you give everybody more grip, it's going to be the same race.¬† I don't think it's going to be‑‑ if you're off, it might Band‑Aid it a little bit more to where everybody is a little bit more consistent if you have the tire to make up for it, but at least with this if you get your setup right, you're not going to have the issues.
Q.¬† Darian, do you know what the heck was going on with his feet?¬† Sticky, do you have any idea what that is?¬† And Coach, Denny looked like he was going to be the Gibbs guy and then it looked like Kenseth.¬† Did you kind of‑‑ was it a big surprise that Carl came back and won?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† Yeah, the sticky feet, that's just a property of exactly what we were setting on pit road prior to the race.¬† The way the pre‑race ceremonies are setup here, to have all the military out there, which was an awesome show ‑‑¬† it's awesome to have all those soldiers out there with the big American flag ‑‑ but you're actually backing the cars into the pit stalls, and that's been an age‑old secret that everybody in the garage does is they spray their pit box down.¬† The only thing that's legal now is Coke syrup, so it's fitting for the Coke 600 that the teams spray Coke syrup on the pit box.¬† Carl had stepped in a nice big puddle of it evidently, and got in the car and didn't realize it.¬† So he got it all over his shoe and the pedals and everything else, too.¬† So we handed him a rag later on to clean it off and some baby powder to tone it down, and it seemed to help a little bit, but it was still sticky.
JOE GIBBS:¬† Yeah, I think for us to have four cars, you're always kind of‑‑ I normally wind up going where we're having the most problems, but today, like I said, I was more focused on the 11 because we're up front and Denny was having a problem, and then, of course, it was a surprise to me, but it was a great surprise.¬† Extremely well done.¬† We talked about Darian and how smart of a call that was.
Q.¬† Coach, for the last 10 days your organization has pretty much owned Charlotte Motor Speedway and everything it's done, and on both nights, last Saturday night and tonight, your son has been here.¬† How critical and important is that, not only to you but to your team, that your son was here on both of those nights?
JOE GIBBS:¬† I think it's very important to everybody, and like I've thanked everybody before, everybody in the NASCAR family, and certainly on our race team, and to have J.D. there.¬† The last time when I had to apologize to him because he was in the room and I didn't know it.¬† I was talking like he wasn't here.¬† But we had the whole family here on J.D.'s side and we had all the grandkids, and it was just a great celebration for us, and J.D. couldn't be happier and it was a big deal for us and a big deal to have him at the racetrack, and everybody really‑‑ hey, they really, really kind of take care of him, everybody does.¬† We appreciate it.
Q.¬† Darian, you guys have won these two races at Charlotte.¬† That being said, at times it looked like the Chevys did have the dominant pace.¬† Truex led the most laps at Kansas and here, the 4, the 41 both strong.¬† You're very familiar with the Hendrick group.¬† Just talk a little bit about whether or not you feel like Toyota has caught them?¬† Is there still work that needs to be done?¬† What's going on when guys like Jimmie and Kevin are having trouble, feel like they're spinning out coming through the corners when they hit the gas?¬† Is it more of an aero issue?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† I think that specific thing is more of an aero issue and just pure setup, but I definitely think we have more speed to keep going and trying to find.¬† We did not have the best setup tonight, that's for sure.¬† We've been building more speed in the cars every week.¬† It's a testament to what everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota and TRD have done.¬† We've dug in really hard for the last year and a half and gotten a lot better, and the speed is starting to show, obviously, with us qualifying first, third, fifth and 11th, I think.¬† We were struggling to do that before, so I think we're much more competitive now.¬† We want to go out and be dominant, though, so that's what we're going to keep working towards.
KERRY THARP:¬† Let's hear from our race winner right now.¬† He's the driver of the No.19 Subway Toyota.¬† This gets him into the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.¬† Carl, congratulations, very exciting win for you here tonight.¬† It's got to be.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Yeah, it does not feel like one of 24 wins.¬† This one feels pretty big to me.¬† I just cannot thank Joe Gibbs and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing enough.¬† Everyone took a big chance.¬† Darian took a chance.¬† All these crew guys came over here and took a chance.¬† Our sponsors took a chance on making this fourth team happen.¬† Up to this point in the year, we have just basically done a good job holding it all together and staying focused, but we've not delivered the results that we all planned on.¬† To get this win and to put ourselves in a position to be in the Chase and to be able to now take a deep breath and step back and work on all the little things that we know we need to work on to be a championship‑level team, this is just a huge opportunity.¬† I mean, it's great.
I don't think it's sunk in yet for me.
Q.¬† You kind of touched on it there for a second; what's the difference, how does this feel compared to some of the other firsts of your NASCAR Sprint Cup career?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† This one feels different.¬† I don't know how to explain it other than to just say that it's a big relief, and more than that, it's just a big opportunity.¬† I mean, this‑‑ I've been doing this long enough to know that you're a lot better off to go to the races in the position that we're going to go now.¬† You go there a little more relaxed. ¬†We can focus on being the best team we can be in those final ten races.¬† I can let Darian and these guys work on what they're good at, and that's making the cars better and figuring out the communication, instead of going and trying to fight and claw for a points position or a win.¬† Now we can go and just become better, and that's what we need.
This is just a huge opportunity for us.
Q.¬† Carl, you were able to give Toyota their 300th win and your first win for them.¬† How did that make you feel?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† It's great.¬† I mean, I had the opportunity to go to Georgetown, Kentucky, about a week‑and‑a‑half ago to the plant where they build the Camrys.¬† I got to meet a lot of folks that are building these cars that are in Kentucky.¬† I've had the chance to go out to California and go to Toyota's headquarters and to TRD and see how much work goes into this, and I mean, it's really a true partnership, and Toyota has been behind me 100 percent, and it really feels good to get them the 300th win.
This is the first step to delivering them a championship trophy at the end of the year.¬† It's cool to be a part of this Toyota team.
Q.¬† Carl, you went up in the stands again to celebrate with the people.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Well, I saw a lot of people with other guys' shirts on and stuff, but we're working on the merchandise sales stuff right now.
Q.¬† What was that experience like?¬† I know you've done that a couple times.¬† Do you plan to keep doing that?¬† It looks like it could be dangerous a little bit.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I believe they are serving alcoholic beverages at this property.¬† I noticed a couple folks‑‑ no, everybody was fine.¬† Everybody was having a good time up there.¬† It's cool.¬† It's neat to go up there and see how excited people are.¬† I tell you, it really is one of the neatest things, and I hope some of the other drivers will do it, too, but to go up there and stand just a little ways in the grandstands and look back at the racetrack.¬† You look up and down to your left and right and there's just a huge amount of people, and those fans are what make this sport, so that was really fun.
Q.¬† Was there much of a worry factor with Biffle in the last few laps, especially since he did seem to be losing ground on you there?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I was worried.¬† Greg Biffle is tenacious.¬† He is just an extremely tough competitor, and I was driving pretty hard.¬† Darian told me we could make it.¬† I don't know if he was lying to me or not, how close we were.¬† I can't tell when he's lying yet.¬† But Greg a couple times closed, and I would get‑‑ I would miss my line a little and he would close in, and then I started thinking, maybe he's been holding back.¬† Maybe he's going for it now, but it seemed like we were about the same speed.¬† But yeah, just‑‑ I mean, all the things that I've screwed up and have had happen this year and all the bad luck we've had, I figured something would happen.¬† But it just worked out.
Q.¬† How happy were you to see guys like Truex, Harvick, Kurt Busch pit when you didn't, and they didn't gamble on fuel?¬† Was that a good omen for you?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Well, yeah.¬† That's great when those guys pull off the racetrack and you don't have to stop.¬† I can't thank Darian enough for seeing that opportunity.¬† I mean, that really I believe is one of Darian's strengths on the box is that he seems to be very calculated, and whenever there's an opportunity he makes the most of the opportunity.¬† That was just a great job of putting us in that position.¬† We were not going to win this race on pure speed.¬† That was pretty obvious in the first 550 miles or so, so he put us in a position to win.¬† Those guys were definitely fast, and that was‑‑ Darian beat them tonight.
Q.¬† My first question I guess could be for Carl or Darian.¬† I don't know if I heard correctly, but I believe at one point, Carl, you came over and said that you were trying to run wide open because of the exhaust or something, and Darian, you said you were keeping track of that.¬† Can you just explain what that was about?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† Yeah, the exhaust changed tone at some point so Carl thought he had a problem so he was already running more throttle.¬† We think it was an exhaust crack or something like that, exhaust leak, but just watching lap times and stuff.¬† We knew he wasn't using a lot more throttle at that point.¬† Based on lap times, it takes a certain amount of throttle getting around there, so we knew it wasn't getting any worse at that point, so we just told him to basically stay the course and everything was going to be fine.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† That's a nice way of saying I told him something, and he's like, just ignore Carl.¬† We've got it all figured out.
JOE GIBBS:¬† The first rule by the owner is never say we're blowing up, okay, because that's a heart attack, I'm down on the floor.¬† Just wait, and if it happens, it happens.¬† But we knew we weren't blowing up.¬† Anyway, that was scary.
Q.¬† Carl, you admitted back in Martinsville that you felt like you had to calm yourself down and focus on getting back to basics because you were trying too hard.¬† How cognizant have you been of that since then?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I've been trying very hard.¬† I'm extremely competitive, but I have been trying very hard to pace myself and to be smart and not do stupid things or try too hard, but I'm curious now to see if we go out and just start hauling the mail and winning races left and right, it might have been me putting too much pressure on myself.¬† But I don't know, I think that we'll see how it goes the next few weeks.¬† But I do know that there are a lot of new things, and with all the new things and all the things I'm trying to learn and Darian and I learning to work together and all this stuff, I believe this gives us an opportunity to learn under not such pressure, so that'll be great, so I welcome this win hugely.
Q.¬† Carl, you said it's a big win.¬† You talk about relief.¬† Considering you didn't dominate this race, are you more excited or more relieved?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I don't know.¬† I guess, like I said earlier, I've been doing this a long time, and I just have this feeling that we were gearing up for some really great stuff.¬† Everything that has been going on at the shop, all of TRD's involvement, the engine program and how much everyone is working on that, I really feel like we're just gearing up to be in a great position towards the second half of this season, and for me, I guess it's relief because now that we have a win we don't have to worry about points as much.¬† We don't have to focus on little things.¬† Now we can just focus on building that championship run, and that's really the way these seasons go now.¬† You get that win, you put yourself in position, and then you focus on making something happen those final 10 races, and now we can do that.
Q.¬† A couple years ago we were at Homestead and it was probably one of the lowest points because you just lost the championship, and in large part to this gentleman sitting beside you.¬† You won this race tonight in large part to this guy playing a fuel‑mileage race just like he did at Homestead.¬† Can you talk about the up and downs of that?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† One of the first talks we had is we were in the office, and I'm like, alright, let's talk about this.¬† How in the hell did you know it was going to rain at Homestead and how did you make that call, and it was really cool to be able to talk to Darian about that, because yes, that was really the neatest, most tough battle I've ever been a part of in racing, and Darian and Tony beat me.¬† It's nice to work with him now, and I can see why he did so well.¬† He's very good.
Q.¬† Carl, you now join Denny and Matt being for all intents and purposes locked into the Chase.¬† That leaves Kyle.¬† Based on your experience with him over the years as a competitor and what you saw him do tonight, what do you think his chances are of joining the three of you in the Chase this year?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I would say they're pretty good.¬† I mean, Kyle is‑‑ I mean, he's spectacular, and it appeared tonight he was very, very fast, faster than me.¬† I am prepared to have to battle him for the championship.¬† I don't think anyone ever counts Kyle Busch out.
Q.¬† Darian, we went to the tapered space for this year, but corner speeds seem to be up a little bit.¬† From a fuel‑mileage perspective, has the fuel mileage that cars are getting changed much, and have you really had to recalculate that or has it been pretty much when you've had in your old notebooks?
DARIAN GRUBB:¬† We've definitely had to recalculate it.¬† It seems to have a lot more to do with the tire selection at the racetrack now than it does with the speeds.¬† We are going faster corner speeds on a lot more throttle time, but if the tire falls off a lot like it does here, your fuel mileage actually gets better and you start to use less and less fuel as you go on through the run, because we slowed down about a second and a half through a fuel run here.¬† Some of the other tracks the tires don't fall off that much and the fuel mileage is actually worse just because of the percentage of throttle a lap.
Q.¬† Carl, you and I stood right outside this room on Thursday and talked before qualifying even occurred, and you seemed extremely confident then that this is where you would be sitting tonight.¬† Did that get interrupted at all throughout the weekend?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Yeah, I'd say for about‑‑ I don't know how long the race was, but for about 500 miles I was not feeling that confident.¬† The first couple laps I felt pretty good, and then we kind of steadily went backwards.¬† We took the opportunity to make a couple of changes during pit stops and cost us a little track position, and then I had a couple poor restarts, and it just felt like we were going to be about a 10th‑place car, and that's what I talked about earlier, just Darian's ability to look past all that and say, hey, our opportunity to win this race is on fuel mileage and he did that.¬† So yes, when I talked to you on Thursday I didn't think we were going to win because of our good fuel‑mileage strategy, I thought we were going to win because of speed.¬† But Denny, you know, those guys were fast, and it looked like Kyle was very fast, so we will go back as a group and look at that and be better the next time we're here.
Q.¬† Carl, it looked like most of the night, at least when I was watching it, that most of the racing, they were pretty much close with the speeds.¬† You talked about the immediate program, and also did you think when you pitted in that final caution you would make it with 60‑some laps to go on fuel?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Yeah, the speeds are very close because you rely on these aerodynamic devices on the car so once everybody gets kind of strung out you're limited by the guy in front of you.¬† If you have a very good car or you're able to run a different line, sometimes you can close up and pass a guy.¬† But we were just good enough to hang on, not really good enough to go up and make a lot of things happen.¬† That's what I saw from my seat.
And then as far as fuel mileage, I really didn't quite understand how off sequence Darian was getting.¬† I didn't realize that he was putting us in position to beat all of the guys in front of us with that call, and I think that's probably by design.¬† He didn't want to talk about it too much on the radio, so he did a great job with that.
Q.¬† Carl, first one at Charlotte, given the history and the prestige of the 600, it might not be the 500 but it's a race you can stack up with the likes of Indianapolis, Darlington, the July race at Daytona.¬† Does this carry a little bit more meaning and significance to you than some of the other ones you've won in your career?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Yes, it does, I've spent a little time on YouTube and watched some of the races here from the '60s.¬† You know, up on the big screen they showed that, I believe it was this morning, they had that show on, and it was going over a lot of the history here.¬† I guess I didn't realize how many great races there had been here and how much had happened in NASCAR here, so to be on the list of guys that have won the 600, I mean, that's huge.¬† Not just for all‑‑ I mean, that's bigger than just all the reasons I'm happy to win for this year.¬† That's something I'll be proud of for my whole life.
Q.¬† If you want to comment on these two, I'd appreciate it.¬† So many times we've watched the Hendrick organization dominate the month of May.¬† This month of May has been your month.¬† What does this mean to you as long as you've been in the sport?
JOE GIBBS:¬† Well, I think that's a good point.¬† I always reflect on the people you go up against.¬† I think the biggest thrill in pro sports is you know you're going against the best people in the world, when you think about Penske and Hendrick and Stewart‑Haas and Roush, you're going up against people that are‑‑ and I'm leaving out a few.¬† Obviously tonight the 78 car was strong, and those guys deserve a lot of credit.¬† So I think that's part of the thrill.¬† The thrill is you get a chance to try and match up with them.¬† We know how dominant they've been.¬† It's a thrill for me to be a part of a sport where you have a chance to do this.
So it's really a big deal for us, and so we appreciate the opportunity.¬† I get excited every time we got to the racetrack because you've got a chance to do something like beat some of the real good people we go against.
The other point I wanted to make, too, so it's Memorial Day and the fact that today, the fireworks and everything, the great job that the track here does, a great job of celebrating Memorial Day, and many times I think about all the people that sacrifice so much to protect us, and so many of those have been hurt or paid the ultimate price, and it was a huge‑‑ it's a huge day for all of us, and it's a thrill to be a part of a win.
Q.¬† Carl, another driver that was in NASCAR won the other race today, Juan Pablo Montoya.¬† Can you talk about when he was here racing and how special it is for you to win this race on that same day?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I don't think I've ever seen Juan so excited ever in all the time I've spent around him, so that was really cool to see his excitement and how much that race meant to him.¬† He is such a tough competitor, just a real racer, and that was neat to see him get that victory for his whole team.¬† You know, that's huge for Roger Penske and those guys, everything they put into this sport and the sport of auto racing.¬† I mean, this day is such a cool day of racing.¬† It's neat to be‑‑ like Coach Gibbs says, it's neat to be one of the guys that won today on such a special day.
Q.¬† You gave Darian a lot of credit and rightfully so, but you've won a lot of fuel‑mileage races.¬† It has a little bit to do with the right foot there I'm sure.¬† What do you do a little differently that makes you so good at this?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Tonight I didn't have to do much, because of when we pitted and the fuel mileage we must have been getting already.¬† I used to have a bunch of tricks and things I did, but now we've got the EFI data so you can't really hide any of that stuff.¬† Yeah, I've had good crew chiefs who were willing to take gambles, and Bob Osborne and I we won a couple of those we probably shouldn't have won, just really spectacular fuel mileage there, and then all the people at TRD that work so hard on getting the most fuel mileage they can.¬† It's such a huge effort from Toyota and TRD's part to make these engines the best they can be in all aspects.¬† I'm grateful to be driving one of these cars with these engines.
Q.¬† On your car you had Seaman Thrasher.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Yes.
Q.¬† How did that name get put on your car?¬† Did you choose it or was it given to you of a random list of soldiers that passed away?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† Thanks for asking that.¬† So Terry Thrasher, I call here my Aunt Terry, she's basically a second mom to me, she helped with everything with my family when I was a kid, and to this day she helps me with so many things, and Lynn Thrasher is her father and he served in the Navy during World War II.¬† He served on a ship that provided supplies and munitions during the battle of Okinawa, and the story is for 16 or so nights they were out there, shells going over their heads, and Mr.Thrasher ended up with some shrapnel and was honored for that.¬† But I didn't know any of that until just recently.¬† I knew him as just this great old guy that was such an amazing family man.¬† He lived up by the Michigan International Raceway, and he's a huge racing fan, and we'd go up there and visit him, and I always thought of him as kind of like a grandpa figure, just a really cool guy.
So I learned all this stuff when we were talking about who to put on the car.¬† I talked to my Aunt Terry and she said it would be great, and then I learned all this about him and what he'd done, and it was just a great honor to carry him across for the checkered flag tonight.¬† That was really cool.
Q.¬† I wanted to get a quote for all your current fans and your new fans in the military because I'm in the military.
CARL EDWARDS:¬† I think I speak on behalf of everyone here at this racetrack and everybody involved in the sport, just saying thank you.¬† We all understand that you guys sacrifice a lot and that you take huge risks to defend our country and that our country is made great by our freedoms and our liberties and the things that separate us from a lot of someplaces in the world, and we appreciate you defending those things.
Q.¬† You mentioned Homestead earlier with Darian back in 2011.¬† With the whole fuel mileage tonight, were you thinking back at all to the wins you had in 2008, Homestead in Texas, stretching the fuel like you did, and did you find it ironic that you won on fuel mileage in your first race with Darian Grubb?
CARL EDWARDS:¬† That's interesting.¬† I didn't think of it as ironic, but yeah, I'm grateful that Darian‑‑ as a competitor, he beat me a number of times, I guess, he beat a lot of people just with the ability to look at the race from a bunch of different angles and not always win just because the car is the fastest, and that's really tough to do, I think.¬† I know it would be tough for me as a crew chief to do, so to see that Darian, he truly has that ability. ¬†He's put me in some positions that I don't think a lot of folks have noticed, but during the year so far we've been in a bad spot or I've had a bad restart and we've fallen back, and he's done some things strategy wise that will always put us up front.¬† He's very good at that.¬† Bob Osborne was good at that.¬† Jimmy Fennig was very good, and I feel like I've worked with a lot of good crew chiefs, and I'm very fortunate because it's not easy to do that.
KERRY THARP:¬† Thank you very much, Carl and Coach Gibbs and everybody over at the No.19 team.¬† It's certainly been a great couple of weeks here at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and a big win tonight certainly topped it off.
JOE GIBBS:¬† Wanted to say to Marcus, make sure you tell Bruton thank you.¬† We're going to lunch, and tell him I'm going to buy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports