All eyes will be on championship leader Greg Biffle and second place Matt Kenseth going into Sunday’s Pocono 400, but the driver in the Roush Fenway Racing stable that needs the best run is Carl Edwards. Edwards fell from the top ten in points to 12th place after a 26th place finish at Dover. Currently that puts him out of the Chase because he has no wins. Here’s a look at his thoughts on Pocono and his teammate’s.
Greg Biffle on Pocono: “I’m nervous heading to Pocono because I have no idea what to expect. We have a day and a half of testing, which is good, but I have no idea how fast it will be, or how different it will drive through the corners. I’m excited it was repaved and also think that the race being shortened to 400 miles will create some excitement with the fans. There will be more urgency to go and different strategy during the race. I’m pretty anxious to get there and get on the track.”
Crew chief Matt Puccia on Pocono: “Pocono is a unique triangle-shaped race track that offers lots of opportunities to pass. It’s going to be a challenge with the new track surface. It will be fresh for everyone, and not having been there since the repave, we have no idea what to expect. But it should be really fast with the new surface.”
Matt Kenseth on Pocono: “I don’t know a lot about Pocono since they repaved it, but since we have to be there for testing next week, I think by the time we do the test, we’ll have a good idea of what you need and a good plan going into Friday and getting ready for the weekend. It is a bit of an unknown right now, and until we get on the track, having not been on that surface yet with a tire on that new surface it is hard to predict how much tires are going to make a difference compared to track position and all those variables. I would assume with it being a new paved track that we’ll have a fairly hard tire and be more focused on track position and fuel mileage than on tires. Again, we haven’t been on the track yet so it is hard to predict all that right now.”
Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on Pocono: “We have two days of testing this week heading into the race weekend, so there may be a few things we find in the test which we will use. My plan is to use our Indy notes to begin the test since that’s the closest track that is similar to Pocono. We’ll see if there’s anything new from the test this week, but typically at Pocono, teams want a car that can get great gas mileage, but we also need as much horsepower as possible to make the most of the long straightaway.”
Carl Edwards on Pocono: “My heart rate is going up just thinking about how fast it is going to be at Pocono this week. The new pavement has the potential to make this one of the highest-speed tracks that we go to. It was already a fast track. I have yet to be on the surface, so I am very anxious to see how it drives. I think the fact that the surface is new, no one really knows what will work and what won’t. I think it could shake up the race and make it a real interesting one. We have gone there before and run really well on the old surface, so hopefully we can turn that into a good run this weekend, because we need it. Last weekend we had a good car that could compete for the win and we had some bad luck. Now we are on the outside looking in, so it’s time to go.”
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on Pocono:“Pocono is the most unique race track we go to on the circuit. It is a challenging race track, but I enjoy racing there. With three different corners and a very long straightaway, there is a fine line between being good and being good enough to win. It takes a series of compromises to the set-up to run fast there. The track surface will also be a new element for everyone to figure out as well.”