Carl Edwards comes into today’s Party In The Poconos 400 by Walmart sitting second in the point standings. You’d think he’d be ok with where he is at from a standings perspective. He is not and knows the Roush-Yates Engines could have a little more horsepower behind them.
“We’ve talked a little bit about the engines. Our Ford engines from Roush Yates are really great engines, and when our cars are really good, we don’t ever think about the engines. When the cars are struggling, each week I call Doug and say, ‘Boy, I could sure use some more horsepower.’ And the reason we’re always leaning on him is that we know more horsepower makes you faster. That’s one of the things we know, so it’s just like downforce or sideforce. If you can get more of that, you go faster. But I don’t personally feel right now the engine is the weak link in our program. Yes, we’ll always take more horsepower, but when our cars are good qualifying – our cars run well in qualifying – we’ve got tape on the cars, we don’t really complain about the engine, so we want to figure out what the root problems are, or maybe just adjustments and maybe want to work that direction,” Edwards told media members Friday from the track.
It’s not a time for the Roush Fenway Racing teams to go into panic mode, but they know they can not let their guard down anytime soon.
“It’s not that we’re having a bad year, and you have to keep things in perspective. Jimmy Fennig has helped me a lot with this. He’s not a guy to panic. Greg and I talked about it. Greg and Ricky and I all talked about it before the All-Star Race. We know that there is some parameter that we’re missing. The elephant in the room is that Matt Kenseth leaves and he runs really well at a different organization, and not that Matt didn’t run well at Roush, but we know that we can perform at that level. So what we have to do is figure out what we’re doing differently,” explained Edwards.
Pocono is a track where Edwards has won previously, two times to be exact. Racing the track, rather than racing the competition is the key to success.
“There are a couple of different things you have to do here. You have to make it to the end with your transmission, which is tougher to do than it sounds. You have the opportunity to shift three times each lap, or I guess it’s six times when you downshift and then upshift in each corner, and that can be very, very tough on the equipment. And then mentally this is a pretty tough race. We call it an oval, but it’s a lot like a road course. There are three distinct corners, three braking zones that are a lot different, and then the aero part of the race is very interesting. You do some drafting here down the straightaways and then you definitely don’t want to be right up against somebody’s bumper in the corner, so there is some strategy lap to lap here. All of those things you have to do well, plus you have to have the right strategy. This race has come down to fuel in the past, so that will be key. It’s a pretty neat race. It’s one of the most dynamic and fun races we go to in that there are a lot of things you have to do right,” commented Edwards.
By virtue of rain washing out qualifying, Edwards will start in the second position for today’s race.