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November 13, 2016

Alex Bowman

Carl Edwards

Avondale, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Carl Edwards, driver of the No.19 Stanley Toyota. Carl, can you talk about your race today and how it feels to be in the championship four?
CARL EDWARDS: There's two different things. Our race day wasn't that great. Yeah, we just struggled for a little bit of speed all weekend, and then we got some track position. I thought we were going to be good. I thought we were going to come out of here with a top 5, and at the end we were on old tires and I think somebody might have bumped me. I didn't feel the impact but I almost wrecked into 3 and I thought I had a flat tire so I went too easy into the next corner and they all drove by me. I think we could have squeaked out a top 5, but definitely not a great day, but definitely excited to go down to Homestead and race for that championship.
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the driver of the No.88, Alex Bowman. Can you talk about your race today?
ALEX BOWMAN: Yeah, we definitely had the best car here all day, especially on long runs. We were really strong. Hendrick Motorsports did a great job. Great guys made great calls from the top of the box all day. Got to thank everybody from Nationwide, Axalta, Mountain Dew. We had a great car. We took four there and restarted on the bottom twice. Our car didn't really take off on restarts all day long very well, so had to make our way back up through there, and we got to second at the end and had that caution come out, and didn't get a terrible restart, and the 18 turned me sideways getting into the corner, and I‑‑ I don't know, it almost feels like‑‑ I almost feel like the 20 thought he was clear because I was against the‑‑ I wasn't at the best angle but I was also against the inside wall when we made contact. I guess he said something on the radio that he thought he was clear.
I hate it for Matt. You take somebody out like that. I would have raced the hell out of him for the win, but definitely don't want to do that.
Hate that, and it ruined our day, too. So it's unfortunate.
But really enjoyable day to run up front and lead 200 laps or however many we led. I don't think I've really led Cup laps before, so it was a lot of fun, just not the way we wanted to end it.

Q. Carl, brand new car at Homestead, or something that you've raced already this year?
CARL EDWARDS: That's a great question. I'm not exactly sure. But I'm sure it'll be fast. The guys have been really good at having great race cars. Eric Phillips does a great job getting everything put together, so yeah, hopefully it'll be a fast one I'm sure.

Q. Alex, Kyle Busch commented that while he was getting going, he got into you a little bit and he feels like he wrecked a teammate, that being Matt Kenseth. What's your perspective on that?
ALEX BOWMAN: Restarts with three to go at the Cup level. I mean, that's what happens. We're all here to win races and doing everything we can to win races. I don't think Kyle wrecked Matt. I don't think I wrecked Matt. I think the situation, it just all‑‑ it all happened like that. It's unfortunate. But I don't think you can really place the blame on one person. It just sucks for Matt.
I don't know Matt. He's probably really mad at me right now I'd imagine, but hopefully we can move past it and race clean at Homestead.

Q. Carl, with you already being locked into the Chase, were you racing any‑‑ I realize you guys were out there trying to win and doing everything you can, but were you any more relaxed out there today knowing that that was already out there and you didn't have to worry about it?
CARL EDWARDS: I was a little bit before the race, but then once the race got going, things weren't going really well. I got just as frustrated as normal. I thought it would be a more relaxed race, but it really wasn't. I think we race so much that it's hard to strap in and go run and feel relaxed.
So yeah, it wasn't much different than a regular day for me.

Q. You can't turn it off in other words?
CARL EDWARDS: No. No. The knob goes from like 10 to 12. There's nothing below it, I guess.

Q. What was going on with your car when you were running at the back of the pack? It just seemed like you were off and‑‑
CARL EDWARDS: You mean early?

Q. Yeah, like midway.
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, I got a couple bad starts. I struggled with a bunch of things. The whole weekend we were too tight, and man, it just would rear its head at the wrong time and you'd get shuffled out and guys would go by, and it was pretty frustrating, actually.

Q. Alex, what was the biggest takeaway from this race for you? With all the time you spent up front‑‑
ALEX BOWMAN: Probably that race car just makes a hell of a difference. To come here, I think I've had four Cup races here, and I don't even know if I've finished inside the top 30 in any of them, and then came here with Hendrick Motorsports and led almost 200 laps. There was a lot of guys in the garage that can get the job done and run up front, they just don't get the opportunity to show it, and I'm just thankful that I was given the opportunity to show it today. Our race car was really good all day. Best car on long runs by far. It was just a lot of fun.

Q. Carl, how do you handicap the final now?
CARL EDWARDS: I don't know. I mean, it's going to be a good race. It's going to be a lot of fun. I don't think you can pick a winner. I think we're going to battle it out. It's going to be a blast.

Q. Is there anybody that you consider a bigger threat than anyone else?
CARL EDWARDS: I'm not too worried about Kyle or Jimmie much‑‑ (laughing) no, these guys, this is going to be a tough group. Whoever wins it, I believe there's going to be a lot of pride in that. It's going to be a good race.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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