Friday, September 11, 2015

Carl Edwards anticipates a ramped-up, high-intensity Chase for the Sprint Cup

Credit: Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs  
With the level of competition higher than ever, Carl Edwards expects even more intense racing in the 10-week NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. For now though, armed with two wins--including last week's Southern 500--Edwards is relaxed and ready to have some fun at Richmond, the last regular-season event. 

“Last week was a blast and it took a couple of days for that to sink in that we actually won the Southern 500. It was a huge win for us. So, for us coming here, this is really just a fun race for us,” he said.

When it comes to the unpredictable Chase, however, all bets are off.

“I really think you can expect the unexpected. Who knows what’s going to happen?" Edwards said. "This sport right now is so competitive and the restarts are so important. Track position is important, and putting yourself maybe two, three or four-wide at some of the tracks. I don’t think there’s any reason to think that it (the Chase) would be any more tame than it was last year. If anything, it will probably be more intense than it was last year."

For Edwards, unpredictability is a major factor driving the intensity.

“The opportunity is there throughout this Chase for anyone to go out and grab that win or grab that spot and move on to the next round. What’s so interesting about this is that it doesn’t matter what happens all the way up to Phoenix and Homestead. You can stay in there and take the opportunities and you can be the champion. I think for that reason there will be a lot of guys really, really going for it. Just my sense is that the intensity level will be up this year,” he said. 

With his confidence running high, Edwards thinks the second Chase race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the best opportunity to get his team into the next round.

“We have a lot of confidence there. Being the pole sitter there, and JGR and Toyota winning the race with Kyle, I feel really good about the race. I know that with everything that can happen in Dover I don’t want to go into Dover in a bad position having to battle it out. We talked a bit about that in the shop. Denny was in that position last year and it was really tough, so we want to come out of the box really fast. We want to win Chicago or New Hampshire.”

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