Carl Edwards: "I Feel Like We Can Win This Championship"

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJuly 31, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - JULY 24:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, prepares to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Aflac car, currently sits fifth in the championship chase points standings.  He shared his assessment of his season so far from the media center in rainy Pocono Raceway.

"We've performed fairly well, but just have not had the results we have hoped to have," said Edwards,  "We are steadily getting more and more competitive and that's good."

Edwards described his team as being on a "mission to make sure we're solidly in the chase."  The No. 99 driver and crew are focusing on maintaining consistency and ensuring consistent finishes.

"We just have to have a few good races here and we will be alright," said Edwards.  He continued, "It goes in waves."

Edwards acknowledged that has has had his share of ups and downs in his career to date.  He will celebrate his fifth Cup start in Michigan this year, which he can barely believe.

Yet, his five years has "gone in waves," according to Edwards.  In 2005, he said that the wins were easy and they ran very well. 

Even last year season was good, with nine wins and "12 or 13 races that we could have won," according to Edwards.

This year has been more of a struggle, with not a Cup win notched in Edward's belt.  He advised that while he felt like he was doing a "better job than last year," the results have just not been there yet.

"That's just the way the sport goes," acknowledged Edwards.

Edwards also advised that he too has been bit by speeding penalties, which have seemed to be so prevalant in this year's race season.  "I can feel Juan Pablo's pain," said Edwards, referencing Montoya's heartbreaking speeding penalty that cost him the race.

"It's very tough," said Edwards, "It's my opinion that the way NASCAR determines pit road speed is way better than stop watches but there is still potential for error and it can be improved."

Edwards also discussed how important pit stops have become in the determination of the outcome of the racing.  "That's what makes this a real team sport," said Edwards, advising that the crew and team are "just as much a part of your success" out on the track.

As one of the Nationwide drivers as well, Edwards was asked about his impression of the new Mustang, unveiled recently for the series. "That car is cool," said Edwards. 

"Seeing the picture got me excited," said Edwards.  "I like that car a lot."

Turning his attention to the race at hand at Pocono Raceway, Edwards used the "cool" word again.  "This place is cool," said Edwards enthusiastically.  "It has cool bumps and three different types of corners."

"This race was ours to lose last year," said Edwards. "We had a good car the first time that we came here."

Edwards advised, "Hopefully we are on our way up."  But then he asked the quintessential question about being back again at Pocono Raceway, "Does it rain all the time here?"

Edwards was right to ask the question as it seems to be so.  NASCAR just announced that qualifying has been officially rained out, giving Edwards a fifth place starting spot.